TFC is black and blue

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston wants to go with the same midfield and defence corps that earned the...

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston wants to go with the same midfield and defence corps that earned the club two straight wins. (Sun Media/Craig Robertson)

STEVEN SANDOR -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

Toronto FC coach Mo Johnston will be anxiously waiting for news from the team's medical and training staff Friday.

That's when he'll find out if he can field the same lineup this Saturday that he used in Wednesday's 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo.

The MLS schedule-maker has been cruel to TFC, with its third game in the space of the week set to go Saturday afternoon against D.C. United. And the ridiculous slate of games is already taking its toll on the lineup.

Johnston wants to go with the same midfield and defence corps that earned the club two straight wins. But Ronnie O'Brien, who is still recovering from a knee injury, and winger Andy Welsh both left Wednesday's rough-and-tumble-in-the-rain affair with knocks. Ironically, the two combined for TFC's winning goal before they were substituted, with Welsh heading in O'Brien's picture-perfect free-kick delivery.

"We have a banged-up lineup," Johnston admitted after Wednesday's win.

Johnston said he won't know until Friday if O'Brien and Welsh could start against United.

The win over Houston was marked with a lot of heavy tackling on both sides, as players struggled with their footing on the wet artificial turf surface, and the ball took often unpredictable skids and bounces.

"The pitch doesn't help when it gets wet,"said Welsh. "With the wet playing surface, the ball skids a lot faster."

TFC will be happy to know that the forecast for Saturday's match is calling for clear skies.


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