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The Major League Soccer rumor mill did not take a day off on Thanksgiving Thursday.
John Molinaro, Sportnet's chief soccer reporter, reported that Toronto FC has its sights set on Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey potentially as its new club president. The report stated that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) which owns TFC along with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors has been in talks with Lagerwey about becoming the team's president and that with discussions ongoing, no deal has been agreed to.
On Friday, Lagerwey told the Tribune that he would not be addressing said reports.
"RSL and I have agreed that we aren't going to comment on rumors until my situation is resolved," he said.
Lagerwey remains under contract with RSL through Dec. 31, as the four-year contract extension signed in 2011 is fast-approaching its end. Lagerwey and RSL team owner Dell Loy Hansen have spoken about his future with the club. They most recently met Wednesday.
"Discussions are ongoing," Lagerwey said.
The 41-year-old Lagerwey has been at the helm of RSL's player personnel decisions since Sept. 2007, during which time RSL has won an MLS Cup in 2009 and has made it to four respective Cup finals. RSL has qualified for the MLS Cup postseason seven-consecutive years and in 2014 achieved its fifth-straight campaign with at least 50 points and 15 wins in a season.
During RSL's exit interviews on Nov. 12, Lagerwey said there was no rush from either side to make a concrete decision about staying or leaving. In the weeks since RSL's season-ending 5-0 loss at L.A. in the Western Conference semifinal, he and the coaching staff have continued to prepare for what is expected to be a busy off-season with an Expansion Draft scheduled for New York City FC and Orlando City on Dec. 10 as well as a new Collective Bargaining Agreement sometime in early 2015.
If TFC does, in fact, continue its pursuit of Lagerwey as club president, it would represent what Molinaro wrote as "a major change in TFC's management structure." Since entering Major League Soccer in 2007, TFC has generally operated with the club's general manager serving as the team's architect and ultimate decision maker. The only president Toronto has had was Kevin Payne, who was fired by former MLSE president and CEO Tim Leiweke last September after less than a year on the job.
Toronto's current general manager is Tim Bezbatchenko, who was vital in last offseason's big splash of signing Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe.
Lagerwey also weighed in on the situation with 21-year-old defender Carlos Salcedo, who took to Twitter Monday evening to voice his discontent with Lagerwey. Salcedo wrote that he asked RSL not to pick up his club option for the 2015 campaign.
"It is a decision based on personal differences with the GM at the club, who has, unfortunately, not kept his verbal commitments to myself or my father and has not at any point been interested in resolving our differences," Salcedo wrote in the statement.
On Friday, Lagerwey said, "we're addressing the situation and we're not going to do that through the media."