Starting tomorrow, Major League Soccer will take a two-week break as players leave their club teams to play for their country. Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it– Toronto F.C. will not have any players leaving for South Africa. This is too bad because players like T.F.C. captain Dwayne DeRosario would have an opportunity to show his skills to the world. But it also would have meant that Canada had qualified.
The break will give DeRosario some time off to rest, having already logged 763 min in Toronto’s first 11 games. Another player who could use some rest is Julian DeGuzman. The midfielder tweaked his hamstring on Saturday in a 0-0 draw versus Kansas City. DeGuzman was forced to finish the game limping around the midfield because Preki had already used his 3 subs. A hurting DeGuzman missed an opportunity to win it late in the game, putting one high over the bar from just outside the box. However, T.F.C. is now undefeated in its last five games and comfortably in second place in the East division. That puts them in a nice position to make a run to the playoffs after the World Cup break.
One of the positives from Saturday’s game is that Toronto played better when they went a man down. Nick Garcia earned a red card after a harsh foul on Kei Kamara. But Preki has his team playing with a confidence that hasn’t been seen around BMO Field since the team’s inception. So when the referee evened the match with another red card to Kansas City forward Craig Rocastle, Toronto went all-out for the win… but fell short.
This is a team that is learning to win. Last year, T.F.C. would’ve been happy with a draw. Not anymore. After the match, Preki said the game “felt like a loss.” Meanwhile, DeRosario has become a true leader, disappointed with the fact they couldn’t come up with three points.
Walking around the dressing room after the game, it’s refreshing to see a team not happy with a tie… and hungry for wins. In one year, the team’s attitude has changed for the better. Finally, the 21,000 faithful fans who pack BMO field have something to look forward to.
Len is The Fan 590’s field level reporter for TFC games. He plans to spend the two-week break getting hitched while cheering for his beloved Greece. Xronia Polla!