TFC kicked by schedule

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:50 AM ET

It's not exactly the best of times for Toronto FC head coach Chris Cummins, who is trying to make the most out of a quirky stretch to the MLS season.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Reds will be hitting the road for the West Coast.

The team leaves for Seattle tomorrow and will convene for an evening practice.

TFC plays the host Sounders FC on Saturday (4 p.m ET, CBC), hoping to beat a Seattle side that spoiled the Reds' season home opener.

"We'll see if the extra two days there helps us,'' Cummins said yesterday. "I'm not going to make any excuses, but the schedule doesn't help.

"We have to manage the best way we can."

When the team returned following last Saturday's 2-0 away loss to Chivas USA, Cummins noticed how inert his players were at Monday's gathering.

The tempo was improved yesterday, but there's no telling how the players will react on Saturday.

"At least we'll have a good day and a half to get acclimated,'' midfielder Sam Cronin said. "Come Saturday, we'll be ready to go."

At least that's the hope.

TFC's back-to-back trips to play a game in the Pacific time zone is a first in the franchise's three-year history.

The unusual travel schedule has forced Cummins to adopt what he calls a "very, very light week'' of training.

One of the victims of the five-hour flight to Seattle will be Danny Dichio, who won't accompany the team amid concerns the veteran's body simply can't cope with the cross-continent trip.

The Reds haven't been road warriors in their MLS existence, going 6-26-8.

This year's team is 8-8-6 overall, but only 2-5-3 on the road.

While Seattle is a first-year side in MLS, its success and quality speaks otherwise.

Goalie Kasey Keller has yielded 20 goals in 22 games.

Fredy Montero and Nate Jaqua have combined for 17 goals.

Midfielder Freddie Ljungberg basically helped control the game when Seattle visited BMO Field in April and left with a 2-0 win.

With Carl Robinson serving a one-game suspension, the accumulation of yellow cards, it likely will be up to Cronin to match up against Ljungberg.

Like Robinson, Adrian Serioux also will be unavailable, but the good news is that Jim Brennan, who missed Saturday's setback, will be back after the defender served his one-game ban.

Pablo Vitti (groin) sat out yesterday's practice for precautionary reasons.

SIGNIFICANT MINUTES

And youngsters such as Lesly Felling and Amadou Sanyang may be asked to play significant minutes in Seattle.

The good news for the Reds is that today is an off day for the travel-weary side.

"If we stick to our game plan and keep things simple, we'll be fine,'' Brennan said.

It's easier said than done.


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