Dichio done with TFC?

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

Danny Dichio -- Toronto FC's most popular player -- said yesterday that tomorrow's Major League Soccer match against Chicago Fire at BMO Field could be his last as a Red.

The man who scored the franchise's first professional goal and is the leading scorer in team history, said that this past season has given him new perspective on his longevity as a player.

Dichio spent much of the 2008 season recovering from a concussion suffered on Canada Day against the Vancouver Whitecaps and only in the past three games has he been effective in his role as the team's most physical attacker.

"The concussion certainly took a lot out of me," he said after a training session. "I sort of ignored the advice of the trainers because we were low on numbers and I think I may have come back too soon."

What it also did was give Dichio time to think about his future as an MLS player.

"I've thought about it a lot," he said. "This is something that is an emotional kind of feeling for me. I'll have a good long sit down at the end of the season and if I figure I can't give everything to the team whether it be as a squad player or in some other capacity then I'll move on to the next stage of my life."

One thing that Dichio is sure of is that Toronto now is his home and he has no intention of moving his family from the roots it has established here.

"I like to call (Toronto) my home now," Dichio said. "I have no plans to go back to England unless, of course, Canada kicks me out."

The 33-year old Briton said as soon as the season is over he will begin the process of talking about his future with the team and his family.

"It's something I have to talk to my wife and my kids about," he said. "It is a decision I will make at the end of the season."

As for his love of the game, Dichio said that hasn't dwindled even a little bit.

"I've always enjoyed the game," he said. "I've been playing football since I was nine years old. The moment I don't enjoy the game is the moment I will quit."

Dichio said that being finally free of concussion syndrome symptoms has spurred his desire to give TFC the presence up front that made him one of the most feared strikers in the league.

"Now I've got my match fitness inside of me, the past two or three games I've felt a lot stronger," he said.

TFC coach John Carver and Toronto's director of soccer Mo Johnston still have to sit down with Dichio, however, to decide what are the team's plans for him.

"We have to sit down pretty soon because we have to decide what 11 players we are going to protect in the Seattle expansion draft," Carver said.

Dichio's age won't be a deciding factor, Carver said.

"You do have to take (Dichio's) age into consideration but I am not bothered by a player's age if he is doing the job on the pitch" he said.


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