TFC not laying blame at Gerba's door

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

Toronto FC’s coach and players are frustrated, but not, it appears, at ex-Red Ali Gerba.

The team is discouraged that it is 1-3-0 despite being the better side for parts of its games.

Keeper Stefan Frei does not believe the 10 goals he has allowed so far reflect his or the team’s work defensively and midfielder Julian de Guzman is still annoyed at his mistake that cost TFC in a loss to Colorado Sunday.

At training Wednesday, nobody would take a shot back at Gerba, who blasted the organization — particularly director of soccer Mo Johnston and coach Preki – in an interview earlier in the week.

Struggled

Gerba, who struggled with his fitness and finishing as a member of the team, was sent home and later released prior to the season, following a disappointing 2009 campaign.

Gerba criticized Preki for failing to practice tactics enough and for lowering the morale of players through his style of coaching. He also ripped Johnston for his constant roster-shuffling and for his treatment of shipped out or released players.

“We wish Ali all the best,” Preki said. “He’s not here with us anymore. We gave him a go and we figured he’s not going to be in our plans and we all wish him good luck.”

Preki did not deem Gerba’s questioning of his tactics worthy of much of a response, but did counter the accusations that the team is responding negatively to him.

“I don’t feel that. The guys are working very hard, they’re into it,” he said. “When you lose a couple of games, not everyone is going to smile. It’s always easier when you win than when you lose.”

Added captain Dwayne De Rosario: “Ali said what he had to say and that’s between him and the press.”

With a date with 2-1-1 Seattle looming Sunday, the team was far more interested in figuring out how to become more cohesive and with cutting down on the “little mistakes” that have led to poor results on the scoreboard.

“Some things (like) set pieces, we can do a better job on and hopefully we’ll get there,” Preki said.

“It’s going to take us a while to get adapted to each other. At some point we will be rewarded for hard work.”

De Guzman took full responsibility for the “bone-headed error” that led to a key Colorado goal.

On a set piece, de Guzman found himself in the wall — even though he, by his own admission, was supposed to be outside of it — and inexplicably jumped out of the way of the ball, allowing it to sail past a shocked Frei.

Miscommunication

“It was a miscommunication, but a lack of leadership on my part,” de Guzman said.

Frei said the standings don’t reflect the squad’s effort level or overall performance.

“It’s very frustrating for me because the goals are very stupid,” Frei said. “It’s preventable. Mental mistakes, all the way down to me.

“The work rate is there (but) we’ve got to be cool, level-headed and play smart.”


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