Soccer Banter: With all the roster moves TFC has made this season, how well do you feel the team is coming together?
Julian de Guzman: I feel it will take time for the team to gel. As of the late, the team has been putting in positive performances but just missing out on sealing the result along with the strong efforts. It was a smart thing to make changes now so going into the next season, there will be no surprises for players in learning a new system.
SB: Are the playoffs a realistic goal given the team's current position or is it a case of "maybe next year?"
JDG: At the moment its very slim. We haven't completely written it off. There is still enough games to give fans a positive feel that TFC does have something going for them whether it’s this season or the next. The most important point is to build a winning mentality and better our performances and understanding of the system Aron and Bob have for us and the club.
JDG: I'm pleased that my knee is feeling stronger and as it gets stronger, I feel a lot more comfortable on the pitch with less worries and more confidence. I haven’t felt this good in well over a year. My goal is to finish this season on a good note and injury free.
SB: How did it feel to finally score your first goal for TFC against DC United?
JDG: It felt great, but the result didn’t allow me to enjoy it fully!
SB: Define your role(s) in Aron Winter's tactical set up and what qualities you have that suit his vision for TFC.
JDG: With my experience I see myself bringing a certain type of leadership role to his system. He's brought a European flavor to TFC and I have a clear understanding of what it means and how it can help the squad and culture of football in Toronto. It will take time for it to settle but my abilities on and off the pitch will be an asset to help the tactical set up and vision they have for TFC to succeed.
JDG: I’ve never aimed for individual achievements in my career. If I win one, then I’m happy, but ill be more happy to win team awards. Fitness and form have a lot to do with surrounding. Once that happens everyone on the team finds themselves on the same page, you’ll notice improvement in everyone including myself.
SB: Your career at TFC so far hasn't exactly been the Cinderella story Canadian soccer fans were hoping for. Why do you think you've had such a hard time winning the critics over?
JDG: Because of the money I allegedly make and politics of the football culture in North America.
SB: Your contract for TFC is almost up, what's the next step for your career? Stay in the MLS (with TFC or another team) or play abroad?
JDG: I’m happy here with TFC and I’m living a dream playing in my hometown professionally in front of sold out crowds. The game continues to grow in Toronto and Canada. To be apart of this development is a huge honor. I haven't really thought about my next move with 16 months remaining in my contract. The only thing I miss overseas are my kids. I still have dreams and goals that I would love to accomplish with TFC. Making history with my squad makes me feel whole and eases the pain of being far from my kids. TFC is my drug, which i continue to enjoy.