TFC hopes duo will be dynamic

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

When towering Hal Gill and diminutive Ian White were paired together on the Maple Leafs blue line last season, they quickly earned the nicknames Fred and Barney because of the disparity in their respective heights.

Tonight in Columbus against the Crew, Toronto FC will unveil its own version of Fred and Barney in the form of strikers Danny Dichio and Jeff Cunningham.

Acquired four days ago from Real Salt Lake for forward Alecko Eskandarian and a first-round MLS Superdraft pick in 2008, the 5-foot-7 Cunningham is poised to make his Toronto FC debut at Columbus Crew Stadium.

Having watched his team find the back of the net just six times in seven games, Toronto coach Mo Johnston is eager to see what kind of offensive chemistry will be ignited between the newcomer and Dichio, who is eight inches taller than Cunningham.

"Hopefully it works out for us to score goals together," said Dichio, who scored the first regular-season goal in Toronto FC history.

Given his lanky stature, Dichio is well-suited to use his height to convert crosses and create havoc in front of the opposing goal. Cunningham, meanwhile, relies on his quickness to find open space between defenders, a recipe that has made him the fourth-leading scorer in MLS history with 93 goals.

"Maybe I should ask to wear No. 93," Cunningham said jokingly.

Having led the MLS in goals last season with 16, Cunningham said he is looking forward to working with Dichio.

"He has great technique for a big man," said Cunningham, who had three goals for Salt Lake this season prior to the trade. "Hopefully we can provide some energy up front.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to be here. Mo and I talked back in November and he already showed some interest at that time."

Goalie Greg Sutton and defenders Adam Braz and Marco Reda are scheduled to be in the lineup tonight before leaving tomorrow to join the Canadian national team.

Toronto trails Columbus by one point in the MLS standings.


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