TORONTO - Ahead of tonight’s clash with the Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC announced three players who were involved in a disturbance outside a Houston night club Monday morning will be suspended following their arrests earlier this week.
As first reported by the Sun early Monday, Miguel Aceval, Nick Soolsma and Luis Silva were booked after police said the trio were “intoxicated, belligerent and refusing to leave the scene” following a dust-up outside Club Escobar in Houston’s south end.
“They are not with the squad,” head coach Paul Mariner said. “Because the investigation is going on, they won’t be available for Wednesday. We’ll wait and see what transpires.”
Although Aceval has fallen well out of favour following multiple poor performances early in the season, with the Reds on short rest, the absence of both Soolsma and Silva will restrict Mariner’s options in Texas.
Worse, Aceval was a potential stand in after Adrian Cann’s early exit in Kansas City last weekend.
“(We’re) working very, very closely with the league office and the players’ union,” Mariner said of the players’ status. “We’re listening to what they say. Until the investigation is complete that’s all I can tell you.”
According to a report issued by police at the scene, it seems Aceval was the first to be taken into custody that forgettable night.
While Aceval exchanged choice words with officers following an altercation outside the club, Silva began cursing and interfering with the Chilean’s arrest, according to officers.
“Silva kept approaching the officer to interfere,” a spokesman confirmed to the Sun Tuesday. “We told Silva to back up and he wouldn’t.”
Although the spokeman couldn’t speak to why charges of attempting to evade arrest weren’t laid, a written report described how Silva attempted to flee before being taken into custody.
Soolsma was booked after he continued to voice his displeasure.
Although the Sun learned Tuesday a breathalyzer wasn’t administered, police reported all three players appeared “highly intoxicated.”
Gwendolyn Goins, a public information officer with the municipal courts in Houston, said the players were processed at 5:48 a.m. on Monday by a “Julian B Guzman,” undoubtedly the club’s designated player and, apparently designated driver, Julian de Guzman.
Unless they manage to settle out of court, Goins said the players will have their day in court Aug. 2.
CANN OUT, DICOY IN?
Adrian Cann will miss tonight’s match after sustaining a first-half knee injury at Livestrong Sporting Park.
“It’s a sprain but we’re not 100% sure (how bad),” head coach Paul Mariner said. “We’ll have a little bit more over the weekend.”
If the club’s diagnosis is correct, a certain degree of tearing occurred to one or more of Cann’s knee ligaments — potentially devastating seeing as he just returned from an ACL injury.
As Dicoy Williams is on the trip, the Jamaican could see his first minutes of 2012 after suffering a knee injury of his own last year.
“He was here just to be a 19th man,” Mariner said of Williams, who has appeared with TFC’s reserves. “If he’s needed, I know he’ll give us a great shift.”
Williams’ last start for Toronto came over a year ago in a now infamous 6-2 loss to the Philadelphia Union at BMO Field.
The Jamaican could become the 11th player to see time across an embattled back line that has conceded an Eastern Conference-worst 23 goals.
“I’m ready and I’m fit,” Williams said. “It has been one of those processes just to fight every day.”
KICKOFF: TFC vs. DYNAMO
Danny Koevermans vs. Geoff Cameron
The Dutchman missed a big chance in K.C. that would put the Reds into position to steal a point. Instead, Koevermans’ finishing woes persist. With U.S. international Cameron anchoring an experienced Houston back line, the TFC target man’s job won’t be easy. Although he scored the winner in Toronto’s only victory this season, a dozen games into 2012, he no longer can ride the near-perfect form he concluded last season with. The fans are beginning to turn.
BETTER START: In Paul Mariner’s first match, TFC could have trailed 3-0 after 15 minutes. Is it that difficult to get motivated on the road?
DEFENSIVE DUO: With Cann out, does Mariner stick with Richard Eckersley next to Doneil Henry? Surely Dicoy Williams isn’t in consideration.
FINISH CHANCES: While K.C. missed a number of chances, Toronto isn’t a team that can afford to waste opportunities. They won’t create much so the club’s front four must be clinical.
NEED TO KNOW
Paul Mariner: “We know (about) the Dynamo … (They) have a very, very effective way of playing …They’ve got a beautiful, well-balanced team and it’s going to be a difficult game.”
DID YOU KNOW?
The Reds are on pace to become the worst team in league history. In 2001, Tampa Bay (4-21-2) earned just 17% of available points. In 2012, TFC (1-10-0) has earned just 9% of possible points.