TFC gets Bulls twice

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

New York, New York, a team so nice, they're playing it twice.

A scheduling glitch caused by the Real Madrid friendly in August means Toronto FC gets the last-place Red Bulls at home twice in 11 days, and coming off the high of winning the Nutrilite Canadian Championship in Montreal last week conditions are right for a second triumph over New York tonight at BMO Field.

If TFC wins, it would be the first time in five tries that the squad has won consecutive games off the same MLS opponent.

Just don't mention any of this too loudly around coach Chris Cummins and his players who are very wary of taking the Red Bulls too lightly. New York (2-10-4) almost had its first road win of the season here on June 13 as Toronto clung to a 2-1 win.

"New York will be tough. They had a draw on the weekend (1-1 against Seattle) and it's important we get as far away from them as we can in the league," Cummins said.

"(Montreal) is behind us now. We need to be a lot more consistent, and we've said that from Day 1 of the season. It's important we use that result as a springboard."

TFC could be without attacking midfielder Amado Guevara (toe) and defender Adrian Serioux (ankle) for tonight's contest.

After this game, TFC plays four of its next five league games on the road.

Ali for one

As expected, TFC officially added Canadian forward Ali Gerba yesterday, though he can't play until July 15th under international transfer rules.

"Ali is a very strong player. He's quick. He's got an eye for the goal and he's someone that will help us down the stretch," general manager Mo Johnston said in a statement.

Gerba will report to Los Angeles this week for duty with Canada's team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. He was released from his contract with English League One team, Milton Keynes Dons, earlier this year.

A former member of the Toronto Lynx, he had 17 goals in 32 games in his final two season with them.

Born in Cameroon and raised in Montreal, Gerba has made 23 international appearances for Canada.

Real sells out

Despite all the carping from fans about the high prices, TFC announced yesterday tickets for its friendly against Real on Aug. 7 are sold out.

Protests were loud when the game was not included in season-ticket packages, but with subscribers given a chance to buy in at a special "loyalty" price, starting at $125, it took about two weeks to sell the 20,000 seats.

Real Madrid's summer transfers such as Kaka must play a minimum of 45 minutes in the game unless injured. The match is costing MLSEL about $250,000 extra for real grass for one night.


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