TFC to play CONCACAF bout against Motagua

STEVEN SANDOR, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:06 PM ET

Its a victory lap. A chance to watch 90 minutes of soccer with no stress.

Theres nothing on the line.

Toronto FC coach Preki can sit back and enjoy Wednesdays Nutrilite Canadian Championship curtain-closer with the Vancouver Whitecaps. With the national title already in the bag, he can rest his regular starters. Seven players from the TFC Academy squad have been called up for the game.

It might be a nice opportunity to show what theyve got, said Preki at a press conference Tuesday at BMO Field. While the Voyageurs Cup which TFC has earned but wont receive until tomorrow sat on a table next to him, Preki didnt pose with it.

Preki didnt make any promises about the seven call-ups; whether hed start all seven, use some as subs or just have some on the bench as insurance. But he said the game allows the Reds to have a chance to see how far they have come along as an organization, if the teenagers at the Academy are indeed ready to graduate from the Canadian Soccer League into prime time.

Its a game that will show just how healthy the scouting and youth arms of the franchise are.

Its a good moment, if the moment comes, to see where we are, Preki said. Hopefully, we present the club in the right way.

As Canadian champs, TFC has earned a home-and-away qualifying series to earn entry into the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League. They will face Motagua, the Honduran team thats home to former Red Amado Guevara.

That means TFC will have to travel to Honduras in August, a country where former president Manuel Zelaya was overthrown a year ago.

Its not a pleasant itinerary.

I am not so sure were looking forward to the trip, but we are looking forward to the game, Preki said.

The first leg of that series with Motagua is scheduled for BMO Field in the the July 27-29 window.

So, just like last season, Toronto FC players who would be selected as MLS all-stars likely cant participate in the July 28 game that pits MLS best against Manchester United in Houston.


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