Cunningham one goal short of MLS milestone

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

Toronto FC will be up against it tonight at home to the Colorado Rapids, having lost four players to international assignments.

Still, the Reds are unbeaten at BMO Field this season and still have enough firepower in the lineup to do the job on the Rapids (5-6), who have struggled on the road.

One of the players coach John Carver will be leaning on to come through with a big game will be veteran forward Jeff Cunningham, who has three goals in 10 games this season, and is only one goal away from a significant milestone.

Cunningham's next goal will be his 100th in the MLS. He sits fourth overall in MLS history in goals scored with 99, 18 behind career leader Jamie Moreno.

While Carver is excited for the Jamaican-born forward, he also is wary that Cunningham doesn't become obsessed with scoring the goal.

"If he gets it, it's a fantastic achievement, but I hope he's not thinking about it because the team's more important than that 100th goal," Carver said.

Carver has no doubt that Cunningham will put the team ahead of his own record, but the first-year TFC coach isn't reluctant to let his feelings be known about his players in a less-than-subtle fashion -- that is, in a public forum such as talking to the media.

"If he does the job for the team, that 100th goal will come," Carver said. "And when it does, we'll all celebrate with him because he will have deserved it, it's a great achievement, but until he gets it, let's just (chill out) for now."

Toronto FC, 5-4-2 and fourth in the East, will be without four regulars because of international assignments.

Canadians Greg Sutton (goalkeeper) and Jim Brennan (defender) are in St. Vincent and Grenadines for tomorrow's opening World Cup qualifying game. Midfielders Maurice Edu (U.S.) and Amado Guevara (Honduras) also are playing in World Cup qualifying matches. The Rapids will be without goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and defender Ugo Ihemelu because of international assignments.

'Ibee' acquired for pick

TFC acquired 16-year-old forward Abdus (Ibee) Ibrahim from FC Dallas in exchange for a conditional draft pick.Ibrahim became the second-youngest player drafted in the MLS Superdraft when he was taken in the second round (14th overall) in 2007.

"He's a tremendous young talent," Mo Johnston, director of soccer for TFC said. "Ibee's got loads of potential and he could possibly be a major player for Toronto FC in years to come."


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