TFC's ticked and ready to play

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:50 PM ET

Knocked back into reality by a loss last week, Toronto FC is poised to show what it is made of.

At least that is the hope of its head coach, Preki.

“Last week’s (2-1 road loss to the expansion Philadelphia Union) was maybe a good warning for us at this point of the year that we can’t take teams for granted,” Preki said after Friday’s training session at Cherry Beach.

“You should have a sense of urgency every game and be ready to play every game. The best teams in the world, they don’t take their foot off the gas pedal.”

Dan Gargan echoed those thoughts.

“Everyone is pissed off,” Gargan said.

“It was 11 or 10 games, whatever it was, where we hadn’t felt that disappointment walking back to the locker room. To have that and reassert yourself and reassert your work rate, it’s a good thing for everybody.”

TFC has lost only once in its past nine MLS contests, but did not play exceptionally well during the latter portion of that streak.

Preki believes the break for the World Cup was detrimental to his side, 1-1-2 since resuming the season.

“We have to get back to the mentality we had before the break, because I think the break set us back a little bit,” he said. “Sometimes it does you good, sometimes it doesn’t. We came back and we haven’t been the same.”

Offence has been a particular sore spot, but the team believes recent additions Maicon Santos and Mista, finally set to make his league debut for Toronto, can come in and help.

Mista’s transfer papers from Spain were delayed, causing him to miss the loss to Philadelphia, but he looked strong in 45 minutes Wednesday in a friendly versus Bolton, setting up Santos on a pretty play.

TFC captain Dwayne De Rosario said Mista and Santos are excellent positionally and that will make them easy to play with.

“They will add to our attack in terms of creating chances,” De Rosario said, lauding their abilities to control the ball.

Preki does not believe that the new-look team needs time to gel.

“The game speaks only one language,” he said.

“I would like to think that after 10 days of work you get familiar with how everyone plays. We have had quite some time with the group, I think we’ll be fine.”

Toronto will miss its best defender, Nana Attakora, if, as expected, a toe injury keeps him out.

Attakora sat out training Friday and Preki said he will decide in the morning if Attakora is ready to go.

Midfielder Martin Saric and defender Ty Harden are definitely out.

TFC will be in tough if Attakora sits, since Dallas is a balanced team that can hit the back of the net in a variety of ways.

Not concerned

This is an important game for the Reds. Dallas sits three points clear in the standings, but the team also has its opening Champions League match Tuesday against Motagua to worry about.

Not that Preki is concerned about that. Yet.

“First of all we think about Saturday, Tuesday is not going to be in my mind at all,” he said.

“We’ve got to make sure that we do the job properly and five minutes after that, we’ll think about the next challenge.”

ryan.wolstat@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos