April 26, 2012
TFC shakeup for Salt LakeWinter likely to move Frings to midfield
By KURTIS LARSON, QMI AGENCY
TORONTO - Head coach Aron Winter will make wholesale changes ahead Toronto FC’s trip to western conference powerhouse Real Salt Lake tomorrow night.
During yesterday’s media availability at BMO Field, the Dutchman confirmed club captain Torsten Frings will “probably” begin Saturday’s match in the middle of the park — a move most were anticipating following Winter’s decision to push the German forward during a 3-2 loss to Chicago last week.
“(Torsten’s) strengths are more in the midfield and we’re going to put him in midfield (Saturday),” said Winter, when asked if Frings’ participation alongside Julian de Guzman and Terry Dunfield during yesterday’s training would carry over to the weekend.
“We know that we’re going (to Rio Tinto) to get a good result — at least a point,” he insisted.
With Adrian Cann locking up a permanent spot in the centre of defence, Logan Emory trained with the first team yesterday and will likely start in place of Frings, who will look to become more involved in the attack on the weekend.
Riding high following a two-goal performance against Chicago, Reggie Lambe trained opposite Eric Avila, as Joao Plata appears to be the odd man out of Toronto’s three-pronged attack ahead of Salt Lake.
Having not started Frings in midfield since last year’s Champions League group stage, along with reinserting Emory into the lineup, Winter will rely on his German lynchpin to change the club’s fortune two months into the season.
League pundits aren’t the only ones adding up the losses.
“We think about it all week,” Richard Eckersley said of Toronto’s six-match losing skid — a run that leaves the club a game away from tying the MLS record for worst start to a season. “We just want to get to the next game and try and change it. We know we’re better than 0-6.”
Sporting Kansas City began 1999 with seven consecutive losses before finishing bottom of the table with eight wins from 32 matches.
“It weighs on your mind,” Ryan Johnson said. “I think about it every day — it pops into my mind. To get this off our backs would be a huge relief for me personally … The longer it goes on the worse it gets.”
And it’s beginning to stretch beyond the stadium gates.
“To be honest, you try and hide your head (in public),” Eckersley said. “I’m just waiting for that three points and then we can obviously get the ball rolling.”
ALONG THE TOUCH LINE
After missing yesterday’s pre-match training with the flu, club staff confirmed Luis Silva will miss tomorrow night’s match … Although Danny Koevermans was in full gear along the touch line yesterday, Winter said the Dutch target won’t travel to Utah, saying he will more than likely be ready for Toronto’s midweek visit to Montreal for the first leg of the Canadian Championship … Nick Soolsma is set to miss his third-straight match with a hamstring injury. Soolsma confirmed yesterday he could be ready in time for next Saturday’s home date with DC United … Dicoy Williams paired with Ty Harden during yesterday’s scrimmage and appears to be inching closer to a return. Similarly, Jeremy Hall was in full training and could be available for selection within two weeks … Miguel Aceval was given a look on the left side of defence yesterday. After struggling in multiple appearances alongside Harden in the heart of defence this season, the Chilean could provide cover for Ashtone Morgan … Nigerian striker John Owoeri is on trial with the club. Owoeri last played with Ismaily SC of the Egyptian Premier League and has experience with the Nigerian national team.