Upon further review...

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston is unlikely to appeal Danny Dichio's red card he received on Saturday....

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston is unlikely to appeal Danny Dichio's red card he received on Saturday. (Sun Media/Craig Robertson)

DEAN McNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

Toronto FC will not ask Major League Soccer to review Danny Dichio's expulsion from Saturday's match with Chicago Fire, coach Mo Johnston said yesterday.

This, in spite of the fact that Johnston feels the one game penalty -- after seeing several replays of Dichio's punch-up with Chicago goalkeeper Matt Pickens and subsequent red card -- was too harsh.

"No one ever wins an appeal on a red card," Johnston said. "We just have to accept the fact that we'll be without Danny on Wednesday (versus Houston Dynamo)."

Johnston skirted the issue that MLS referees may be targeting Dichio because of his reputation for physical play and also may be too quick to call fouls on the rest of the team as well.

In the club's 3-1 victory over Chicago -- TFC's first of the season -- referee Silviu Petrescu called 28 fouls on the home side and only 15 against the Fire.

But Johnston does not want to get into a situation where his club is seen by referees as complainers.

"Listen, referees have a difficult job," he said.

"There are going to be games where we may get an undue amount of calls going against us. But in the next game, we may get a penalty kick, when we might not have deserved one. It all evens out."

Johnston also said that he won't be taking Dichio aside to ask him to ratchet down his game.

"Danny plays his best when he plays physical," he said. "So I'm certainly not going to ask him to stop playing that way."

Johnston admitted, however, that not having Dichio on Wednesday does present problems.

It is expected that TFC will start 19-year-old Andrea Lombardo in place of Dichio, who recorded TFC's historic first goal en route to the club's first win after four losses.

"That is one way of going," Johnston said. "But I haven't made up my mind yet."

Also questionable for Wednesday is forward Alecko Eskandarian, who practised yesterday with a heavily taped left calf.

Midfielder Ronnie O'Brien was on the pitch without a brace and judged his injured right knee to be almost 100%.

Houston, meanwhile, brings a pair of star players who have more than a passing acquaintance with Toronto.

Dwayne De Rosario was born and raised in Scarborough and Pat Onstad played for both the Toronto Blizzard and Toronto Rockets when those teams operated here.


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