TFC calls in reinforcements

DEAN MCNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

The airlift of new players that Toronto FC hopes will lead it to a Major League Soccer playoff date started yesterday and will continue today at BMO Field.

Arriving from Scottish Premier League's Hibernian yesterday was midfielder Brian Kerr, who started is pro career in the Newcastle United system under the guidance of TFC coach John Carver.

Carver also said yesterday that the club expected to make a trade today that likely will bring in a defender to shore up the back end.

"The deal is only until the end of the season," Carver said, refusing to tell reporters who the player was or where he was coming from.

Kerr was once touted as the midfielder of the future for the Hibs but fell out of favour with the home fans who booed him mercilessly at the start of the current season.

The 26-year-old looked like a good fit in practice with his new teammates yesterday, saying that he left the Scottish side with good feelings in spite of his spat with the fans.

"I've left the club on good terms," he said. "I had a great time at Easter Road. I have no regrets about joining Hibs. Things have perhaps not worked out for me and it is time to move on."

One factor that has Carver pleased with the deal is that Kerr -- a native of Motherwell -- is not currently an international and thus will be available to TFC for the remainder of the season.

Carver said he expects all of his internationals except Carl Robinson and Jarrod Smith -- who played Wednesday in Russia and New Zealand respectively -- to rejoin the club today.

"It will be rather nice to have a full complement of players," Carver said after going without nine players in a 3-1 loss to Chivas USA Saturday at BMO Field.

Of the TFC players making appearances in qualification rounds for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, both Amado Guevara (Honduras) and Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala) scored goals, and that put a smile on Carver's face. "Let's hope they didn't leave all their goals in the internationals," he joked.

MORE GOOD NEWS

Other good news for Carver yesterday came in the form of bad news for Columbus Crew, who will visit BMO tomorrow for a 3:30 p.m. match.

Columbus announced yesterday that star midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto will not play against TFC because of a pulled hamstring suffered in practice Tuesday.

The Argentine veteran has six goals and 18 assists this season making him the Crew's most dangerous player. He has scored or assisted on 10 of the Crew's past 11 goals and on Monday was named MLS player of the week for the fourth time this season.

Meanwhile, TFC defender Marco Velez was fined $500 and given a two-game suspension for his red card foul on Chivas forward Akecko Eskandarian. He will miss both the game against Columbus Crew and against Kansas City Wizards on Sept. 20.


Videos

Photos