TFC will fight to the finish

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

Toronto FC captain Jim Brennan can't remember when the last time was that he faced so many "must-win" games at the close of a soccer season.

But the 32-year-old defender will lead TFC into another do or die Major League Soccer match tomorrow against FC Dallas with the same determination that got them a road win against New York Red Bulls last week.

This time, however, Brennan will not have steady midfielder Carl Robinson or speedy centre forward Amado Guevarro, both lost to World Cup qualifying games with Wales and Honduras respectively, to bolster TFC's hopes of reaching a playoff round.

Also on international duty are Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala), Tyrone Marshal, (Jamaica) and Kevin Harmse (Canada).

"We really showed what kind of team we were in New York," Brennan said yesterday after the club's final practice before flying to Texas today. "And even with the callups, we have enough good players to fill in a roster that matches up pretty well with Dallas."

The confidence that Brennan shows isn't false bravado.

He believes that the Reds can come back to Toronto for its final home game Oct. 18 at BMO Field against Chicago Fire with its destiny in its own hands.

"Who would have thought a month ago that we would still be in the hunt?" Brennan said. "I know a lot depends on how other clubs (Colorado and Kansas City) do this weekend as well, but we will keep fighting to the end."

Brennan isn't the only TFC player who is convinced the tomorrow's match can be won, adding three more points toward post-season play.

Chad Barrett, who scored twice in the 3-1 win against the Red Bulls, said the feeling in the locker room is all positive.

"Last week showed how much character we have within the team," he said. "We have been building and growing together in recent weeks despite having players missing with injuries and international callups."

Barrett said that the opportunity to play the final game of the 2008 season at BMO Field with something on the line is an attractive enticement for him and his teammates.

"It's a huge game in Dallas (tomorrow) because if we can win there and come back here to face Chicago in our final home game, it will give us a massive boost and keep us in the chase," he said.

TFC will have a healthy and fit Danny Dichio on board as well after the big striker played his best game of an injury interrupted season against the Red Bulls.

The same can't be said for defender Julius James, who still is suffering from a hamstring injury.

He is marked as doubtful, but will accompany the team to Dallas.


Videos

Photos