TFC must douse Fire

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:22 PM ET

It falls early in the season, but thanks to a looming travel schedule from hell, Saturday’s Toronto FC match against the Chicago Fire has become a must-win for the Reds.

The exhausting stretch starts Wednesday in Montreal, followed by a match in L.A. Saturday and a date in Vancouver a week Wednesday.

“(Saturday) is a crucial game,” said captain Dwayne De Rosario. “We have a tough road swing ahead of us and it’s an in-conference team. We need to win.”

Added midfielder Julian de Guzman: “It’s a good chance for us to get back into the mix for the race for the top (of the league).”

Chicago is 1-1-1 on the road this season, while TFC has won both of its MLS matches at BMO Field.

De Rosario is hoping the high winds forecasted for game time help the home side.

“You keep the ball on the ground and you can’t let the ball be played in the air. I think it suits our style a lot,” De Rosario said. “Chicago has a lot of big guys. Hopefully it works in our favour.”

Chicago looked awful last week in a 1-1 home draw with Chivas USA, but to keep rolling at home, TFC must shore up its Achilles heel, surrendering set pieces.

“We do give up a lot of set pieces and at some point you’re going to break down and allow one and we did early in the (2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Saturday) and got ourselves in trouble and never recovered from it,” Preki said at training earlier in the week.

O’Brian White and Nana Attakora agreed with their coach and said allowing too many set pieces has come about because of mental mistakes.

“I think when you give the ball away cheaply ... a lot of that is being mentally sharper, keeping possession of the ball,” Attakora said.


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