Filling net remains on Barrett's to-do list

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

With just two goals on 28 shots in 11 games, striker Chad Barrett doesn't yet deserve a flashy CB4 nickname such as high-scoring hoopster Chris Bosh.

But that's not to say CB19 of Toronto FC is glum about how his first full season here has unspooled so far.

"Yes, we could score more at home, yes, I could have finished more of the chances I've had," Barrett said yesterday at BMO Field. "If I'm out there on the wing and don't get any shots, but we score three (as in Saturday's home win against New England), then I probably played a role in one or two of those. If I'm clearing space for someone else, that's important, too.

"If the team is doing well, we're near the top of the (Major League Soccer) table and doing well in the Canadian championship, well there's nothing we can complain about. I'm into setting up goals as much as scoring them."

SUPPORT ROLE

That was the redefined role coach Chris Cummins envisioned for Barrett on Saturday. With a relaxed schedule allowing a full week to prepare, thus enabling big man Danny Dichio to play 90 minutes up front as part of the team's 4-3-3 formula, Barrett spent the majority of the afternoon in a support role to Dichio.

Meanwhile, Amado Guevara -- who yesterday was named MLS player of the week -- and Dwayne De Rosario took turns moving up with Barrett. Guevara scored two, De Rosario one and Dichio had two assists.

But Barrett's efforts didn't go unappreciated.

"We expected him to link the play better, to get on the end of crosses when they come in, put crosses in and to trap back and he did every single one of those," Cummins said. "I don't think he had any real clean-cut chances, but he had a different role and I thought he played that for the team.

"He didn't have to play that main striker where he has to get himself in the box. He can play that role, but I like him coming in off of the line. The first goal of the game, Chad was in there and had a touch to set it up."

Barrett came to TFC midway through last season with a first-round draft pick, the hefty price the Chicago Fire were willing to pay TFC to give up rights to Brian McBride, now the Fire's leading scorer. Barrett had five goals when he arrived and four in 13 appearances with TFC heading into 2009.

"I'm a great believer that players do three things: Score goals, stop goals and create goals," Cummins said. "I expect our players to do at least two of those and if they do three, great.

"We said to Chad (for Saturday's game), when DeRo gets on the ball, go and become a centre forward, where normally we'd play them on both wings. It allowed us to get our fullbacks, such as Marvell Wynne, joining in a bit more."

But Barrett hasn't forgotten he has 24 career MLS goals. He used his new duties on the weekend to practice ball control on BMO's notorious hard surface for the next time he gets open.

"There have been a lot of times on this turf that I've tried to take one touch and (risky) stuff like that, but the ball has been getting away from me. So in practice, I've been trying two touches and trying connecting passes. I hate losing the ball."

Briefly

TFC confirmed that Guevara and Wynne will be leaving the team after Saturday's game in Houston to join the Honduran and American national teams, respectively, for a week of World Cup qualifying, including a game against each other's countries.


Videos

Photos