OAKVILLE - If anyone thought coach Preki was going to cut his team a break after its better-than expected start to the Major League Soccer season, guess again.
“It’s not like we’ve accomplished anything yet ... we’ve only played 11 games,” Preki said following Monday’s practice in Oakville. “We’ve still got a long way to go.”
So, the player changes continue.
While Preki can’t yet confirm that Toronto FC has traded midfielder Sam Cronin — reportedly to the San Jose Earthquakes — only the details need to be ironed out.
Cronin, the second overall pick in the 2009 SuperDraft, was not being used much this season, and if you’re not playing, Preki would prefer you get out of the way.
“You’re always trying to do things to get better,” Preki said when asked about the timing of the pending Cronin deal. “We’re not looking to do anything crazy.”
Toronto FC is in the midst of a three-week break resulting from the World Cup tournament in South Africa. They are undefeated in their past eight, five of those games involving MLS teams, though they were disappointed with their last effort, a 0-0 home draw against the struggling Kansas City Wizards.
“I think we were a bit over-confident,” said star midfielder Julian de Guzman, who aggravated a hamstring injury against the Wizards.
He had an MRI last week, which didn’t show any tears. So, he expects to resume full workouts in a few days.
“I think we’ve done well for ourselves,” de Guzman continued. “There were some practices during the pre-season when we only had 12 guys out there. We didn’t know where we were going. A lot of people wrote us off.
“Now, we’re third in our conference, we advanced to the next round of CONCACAF ...”
Unfortunately for Toronto FC, any momentum they’d gained will mostly have evaporated by the time they resume play, June 26, against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“It’s almost like starting from ground zero now,” de Guzman said. “It feels like we’re in a mini-training camp.”
De Guzman is cheering for Spain to win the World Cup. “I’ve always like the way they play soccer,” he said.
The Canadian international also thinks our time will come, eventually. Canada only has appeared in one World Cup — in 1986 in Mexico.
“Seeing teams like Slovenia, Algeria and North Korea there — teams you could almost categorize as being on the same level we are — I think shows we aren’t that far away,” said de Guzman, who wasn’t entirely surprised by the United States’ 1-1 draw against heavily favoured England on Saturday.