Aron Winter Out, Paul Mariner In At Toronto FC

TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 26: Head coach of Toronto FC Aron Winter directs his team against Portland Timbers during MLS action at BMO Field March 26, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Aron Winter essentially fired as head coach of TFC and will be replaced by Paul Mariner.

Paul Mariner was named the seventh head coach in Toronto FC's young history, as Aron Winter "agreed to step down" from his duties on Thursday. The announcement was made during a press conference in which it was said that Winter was offered an ongoing position within the club, but decided to make a clean break.

Mariner made a name for himself in MLS as an assistant with the New England Revolution from 2004-2008, helping lead them to a run of success in which they appeared in three straight MLS Cups (2005-07), won a U.S. Open Cup (2007) and won a SuperLiga title (2008).

Winter's time as head coach was dotted with promising developments, but will ultimately defined by a 7-22-15 record over one-plus MLS seasons. TFC did win two Canadian Championships under Winter and qualified for the most recent CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. He also earned plaudits for revamping their youth development system.

Since joining MLS in 2007, TFC has failed to make the playoffs every year. No other team in MLS history has ever gone five straight seasons without qualifying for the playoffs and at 1-9-0, TFC seems poised to miss them again for a sixth year.

For more on the move, be sure to check out Waking the Red.

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