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Wellington Phoenix's Brockie: Nelsen has right mix with Defoe, Bradley, De Rosario at Toronto

Former Toronto FC loanee Jeremy Brockie is confident that the Canadian club has what it takes to be a serious contender in Major League Soccer.

The Wellington Phoenix forward spent time on loan with the Reds last season, making 15 MLS appearances, experiencing the burgeoning North American competition in the process.

The 26-year old New Zealand international has seen the likes of Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley, Dwayne De Rosario, Julio Cesar, Gilberto and Bradley Orr join TFC during the recent MLS offseason which leads him to believe that perhaps head coach Ryan Nelsen has on his hands a side genuinely capable of pushing for the title.

Brockie spoke to regarding Toronto's potential improvement in 2014 and how the Ontario outfit are well and truly on the up.

"TFC have made some great offseason signings," Brockie said.

"Obviously everyone knows the names of Bradley and Defoe and what they are capable of.

"De Rosario has been one of the greats of the MLS and speaking from experience of playing against him, he may be getting on in age, but he still knows how to find the back of the net!"

During his time with the club, Brockie saw first-hand how things are put in place at BMO Field and he feels that TFC are getting the mix right for a very successful future.

"I keep in regular contact with Captain Steven Caldwell. We arrived at Toronto at the same time last year and have become great mates," he added after seeing the side win their opening two MLS fixtures.

"Everyone at the club is very excited to have them (aforementioned players) join the club and from reading about the first two games it sounds like they are on fire from the start.

"The MLS is a very tight competition but Toronto has goals of becoming one of the biggest clubs in the league. They get sell-outs every week at BMO Field and with the signings they have made in the offseason; I can definitely see them going very close, if not all the way, this year."

As for the coach, fellow Kiwi Nelsen, Brockie feels the former Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham and QPR defender is well-placed to see the four-time Canadian champions continue their climb up the MLS standings.

"When Ryan first stepped into the job there were a lot of things he needed to tidy up," Brockie said of his old All Whites teammate.

"There were a couple of players taking up a lot of the salary cap but he has cleaned that out now and managed to bring in some top quality players.

"He is a very good coach and will be working very hard to make TFC a successful club. I believe they have the right man in Ryan."

Brockie is currently contracted to Wellington but was not prepared to dismiss a possible return to Toronto if the opportunity arose, however, he is only thinking about his current deal with the 'Nix.

"I really enjoyed my time with TFC," he added further.

"It is a great club with great facilities but to be honest, nothing has been mentioned since I departed.

"If an opportunity comes up further down the track then I'd be silly not to look at it but for now I have one more year on my contract here at Wellington."

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Andrew Slevison
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