TFC travels to Kansas City for 'must-win' game

DEAN MCNULTY

, Last Updated: 12:36 PM ET

For veteran midfielder Carl Robinson, today's Major League Soccer match at the Kansas City Wizards' home pitch is the most important of the season for Toronto FC.

As a former English Premier League and Wales international player, Robinson has been in many "must win" contests, so his insight was being sought by his teammates before they flew out yesterday.

In his usual blunt style, Robinson said the pressure of this situation should be welcomed by the Reds.

"As a player you have got to play with pressure," he said. "As a professional you have to want to play in big games. With those big games comes pressure and if you are not able to handle then you are in the wrong sport I'm afraid."

With six games left on the MLS calendar and TFC in a fight with seven other teams, today's result becomes magnified, Robinson said.

"The last couple of games we've said that we've got to start winning, well now we have to do more than just talk about it," he said. "Everyone must understand this is a massive game for us. If we win it puts us right back in the playoff picture. If we lose, then we are really nearly out of it."

Robinson won't get any argument from TFC coach John Carver who has been wringing his hands at his team's inability to stand up with a lead. The past three matches TFC has scored first, yet come away with just a single point out of nine.

"What they've got to realize is if you've got a lead, you've got a lead for a reason," Carver said. "So you don't change what you're doing that actually gave you that lead."

He said that after looking at game films he realized that his squad started dropping back into a defensive mode when they scored early.

"So I'm going to say to them, look, once we take the lead, we're not going to change the way we're playing. We'll stay the same way, keep doing the things that got us this lead and try and reinforce it as well."

TFC 'keeper Greg Sutton admitted that he made an error in the 2-1 loss to Chivas USA a couple of weeks ago when, with a 1-1 tie, he made a short clearing attempt that led to the winning goal in extra time.

Carver said he's trying to stop -- or at least limit -- those sorts of mistakes.

"Eliminate the errors and eliminate the opportunity to create errors," he said. "So when you get to the end of the game, get the ball in their half and let's try to play in their end."

Carver will have a nearly full roster -- with only defender Marco Velez siting out due to a suspension. Danny Dichio, who has been in and out of the line up with recurring symptoms from a concussion earlier this season, finally is ready to take a full role, but will start on the bench.


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