TFC to get a serious test from unbeaten Rapids

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

The Colorado Rapids are coming to BMO Field today on their longest hot streak in more than two Major League Soccer seasons.

Colorado is 2-0-2 in its past four games, having conceded just two goals during that span.

The Rapids also have yet to be scored on while playing on artificial turf this season.

And they will be facing a Toronto FC team (2-5-1) without it's No. 1 goalkeeper, Greg Sutton, and two other regulars -- Adam Braz and Marco Reda -- who were in Venezuela last night playing for Canada's national team in a CONCACAF Gold Cup tuneup.

But a smiling TFC coach Mo Johnston yesterday wasn't ready to concede anything to the 4-0-2 Rapids.

"Listen, they're a quality team," Johnston said after TFC's morning practice. "(Coach) Fernando (Clavijo) has done a great job with them, but we'll be playing before our fans on our field."

One thing that works in TFCs favour is that two of Colorado's starters -- Kyle Beckerman and Pablo Mastroeni -- are on a short leash with each facing suspension if they pick up even a single caution today.

"I don't think it will change the way the two of them play," Johnston said. "Even if they do pick up a yellow card, the suspension is for the next game. It won't affect (today's) match."

Johnston also expects that Jeff Cunningham -- starting his second game since being acquired from Salt Lake City -- to be a force on the TFC attack today.

Cunningham had a couple of breakaways in his first game -- a 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew -- but failed to score.

"I don't have any concerns about what happened last game," Johnston said. "He is going to get his goals, Look, he has 93 goals in the MLS and he'll get a lot more before the season is out."

Johnston also expressed confidence that backup 'keeper Srdjan Djekanovic, who TFC picked up from the Vancouver Whitecaps of the United Soccer League last month, will be able to stop key Colorado forwards such as Roberto Brown and Herculez Gomez, who have scored six goals between them this season.

Djekanovic, a career backup, has played professionally for the past six seasons without starting a game.

"I am excited but I expect to do well," he said. "I have been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. It's what I have been training for since I was a little kid."


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