Toronto FC will be going into tonight's road game against the Montreal Impact down four goals before it starts and still without Canadian international forward Ali Gerba.
Director of soccer Mo Johnston had hoped to announce Gerba's signing this week, with an eye to perhaps playing him in the key Nutrilite Canadian Championship game before the final rosters had to be in Tuesday.
But Johnston hinted yesterday that red tape is delaying the process after TFC picked up Gerba's rights from the San Jose Earthquakes last week in a deal for defender Nick Garcia.
It might not be until next month that Gerba actually gets into MLS action when the transfer window opens.
TFC (2-1-0 in the Nutrilite) must beat the Impact (0-3) at Saputo Stadium by four goals or the Vancouver Whitecaps will represent Canada at the CONCACAF tournament later this summer. TFC coach Chris Cummins and the players have vowed to be aggressive in search of an early strike to set the tone, but not to the point of risking a Montreal goal.
Toronto has scored four in a game just once in franchise history.
"They're not going to roll over," Cummins said, and Impact defender Nevio Pizzolitto agreed.
"Even if we are eliminated, the game is significant to us," Pizzolitto said. "We don't want to lose against Toronto, especially not at home in front of our fans. We also want to show that we are at the same level (as the higher-rung TFC)."
But five Impact regulars are out, while TFC hopes to have Canadian captain and defender Jim Brennan back from an ankle injury.
Toronto FC announced that they have come to an agreement to terminate the contract of midfielder Rohan Ricketts.
Ricketts, 26, signed with the club April 11, 2008. He leaves TFC with 39 appearances, 29 of those as a starter.