TFC looking for new image on road

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Toronto F.C. coach Mo Johnston, who was on hand to lend support for a Habitat for Humanity project in Scarborough yesterday, said his club had "just signed" a key player.

Which is good news, as F.C. is about to embark on a gruelling six-game trip and is missing some key players to Canada's Gold Cup and Under-20 World Cup teams.

Johnston didn't tip his hand as to which player the team signed, but it could be assumed it was Trinidad and Tobago international Collin Samuel, who spent the better part of the last week training with F.C.

Someone, however, must have lost the pen to ink the deal.

A few hours after Johnston's informal announcement of a imminent signing, an F.C. spokesperson said that not only had Samuel not signed with the team, he was on his way back to Scotland. The 25-year-old forward played the past four seasons with Dundee United of the Scottish Premier League. According to reports, there remains a chance he may sign with the club down the road.

Toronto opens its extended trek tomorrow against the New England Revolution and doesn't return home for a game against an MLS rival until July 29, when Eastern Conference rivals Chicago Fire roll into BMO Field.

Despite the daunting task of having to play six in a row on the road while missing some key players, Johnston expects his 4-6-1 squad to not only play well, but to move up to a playoff position from sixth place in the East. F.C. sits one point behind the Fire, with a game in hand.

"I believe in building things," Johnston, a former Glasgow Rangers and Celtics star, said. "We just can't sit on our laurels and I think that we're not bad for an expansion team. I don't want that. I want people talking about us for years to come."

In other words, he won't be happy unless his club returns home in good shape to make a playoff run.

"When it comes to the playoffs, we need to be stronger," Johnston said.

"I don't make no bones about it. I don't care if we're an expansion team, I don't care if I put extra pressure on myself. I believe in the pressure.

"I want the fans going home happy. I want them to be proud of their team. I don't want them coming to the stadium and saying, 'maybe we'll get a tie today.' I don't want that. I want us winning, and I want us winning and playing with style and attractive soccer."

Forward Danny Dichio is questionable for tomorrow's game after spraining his ankle in last Sunday's win over F.C. Dallas.


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