Garcia hopes he can bring order to backfield

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

Nick Garcia has come from the Earthquakes to the eye of a hurricane.

But the new Toronto FC defender, who will be plugged into the contentious centre back role for tomorrow's game against the New York Red Bulls, welcomes the challenge of rescuing the club from its three-game slump and reversing some bad press for old pal Mo Johnston.

"I don't know about a magic number of days or games, but as soon as we pan things out, the better we will be," said Garcia, acquired this week from the San Jose Earthquakes. "I have to adjust and those (incumbent TFC players) have to adjust."

Garcia had obviously been briefed by TFC's director of soccer on the woeful two weeks where they were out-scored 7-1, giving up two horrendous goals last Saturday to the L.A. Galaxy.

Though Johnston is leaving the ultimate lineup decision to coach Chris Cummins, he hinted there could be a 3-5-2 set-up for tomorrow, with Garcia in the middle, Adrian Serioux moved to his favourite spot on right side where he plays for the Canadian national team to mark physical opposition strikers, and Nana Attakora on the left. Jim Brennan is hurt and Marvell Wynne is gone for a few weeks with Team USA, leading to the trade.

"Toronto needs someone like me in the back, to help communicate and organize," said Garcia. "Me being one of the veteran guys (10 years in MLS), I hope to help the guys around me. This is a team sport and we have the potential to be in the playoffs."

KEPT IN TOUCH

Johnston had tried before to land the 30-year-old Garcia, who he played with in K.C. when both were much younger.

"MoJo and I kept up a relationship after that, we've always stayed in contact," Garcia said. "I think there is pressure, expectation and the motivation for me to be what I've been in the league.

"Toronto is a beautiful city and has the best atmosphere in the league, bar none. The mood when I played here was rabid and rancid, and that's what you need in your home base. I expect nothing less now."

Cummins was thrilled when Garcia walked on to BMO Field yesterday.

"Nicky's the right person for the club," Cummins said. "I've been saying it for awhile, that we can't just jump into something He brings a lot to this team, he's already in there talking to the young players and helping them out."


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