Positive reinforcements

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:05 AM ET

Absent players came streaming back to Toronto FC yesterday, while the streamers are bound to fly again at tomorrow's home opener at BMO Field.

Coach John Carver will have to do a quick evaluation of whether midfielders Carl Robinson and Amado Guevera are too jet-lagged from respective World Cup qualifying action in Europe and Honduras to start against the Seattle Sounders.

"I'm just waiting for them to report in," Carver said yesterday at an autograph session at King and Bay. "I'll speak to them on the phone tonight and have a look at their condition tomorrow, then re-evaluate it. Hopefully, they'll be okay."

Both played on Wednesday and while the travel and quick turnaround might get them a rest for at least part of tomorrow, keep in mind they are Carver's "heart of the midfield" and factored heavily in an opening day win in Kansas City before missing the draw in Columbus. Guevera scored twice at Kansas City.

Speaking of which, the acts of a few rogue TFC fans on the road will not force any changes to the home security policy tomorrow. A TFC official said yesterday that Major League Soccer's code of conduct will be enforced, with smoke bombs not tolerated, along with sparklers or fireworks of any kind.

Streamers still are welcome however, with TFC's boisterous south end fans known to hurl them en masse in the area of opposition corner kicks. MLS did ask TFC to tone them down a bit last year, but the code does permit streamers if they don't disrupt play or target specific players or referees.

There will be no concern about an overflow of Sounders fans, most of whom haven't the means to travel three time zones. But the Sounders' famous owner, TV comedian Drew Carey, will be at the game, through he will be keeping a low profile at BMO according to his club.

TFC is under the gun to win this year and make a playoff run.

"The honeymoon is over," Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. COO Tom Anselmi agreed last month when he and manager Mo Johnston met the media.

Johnston brought back Dwayne De Rosario, fellow Torontonian Adrian Serioux and drafted strong youngsters in goalie Stefan Frei and midfielder Sam Cronin.

LANCE.HORNBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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