March 25, 2007 Mulrooney makes Toronto FC debut (from Staff)

03/25/2007 12:54AM
Mulrooney makes Toronto FC debut
By Andrew Mosier / Staff

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- At least Toronto FC's colors are similar: red and gray. That is one less thing the newly acquired Richard Mulrooney will have to get used to north of the border.

The former FC Dallas midfielder joined his new side on Friday. Less than 24 hours later he was starting for the expansion side in Toronto's first game of the Carolina Challenge Cup playing a familiar foe, Houston Dynamo.

Mulrooney went the distance for Toronto, playing alongside former Dallas teammate Ronnie O'Brien in the midfield in the club's 2-0 loss to Houston.

"I'm still learning everyone's names," Mulrooney said. "But I think it was a pretty good start."

For Toronto coach Mo Johnston, the trade only bolsters what looks to be -- on paper at least -- a strong midfield.

"He's an exceptional player," Johnston said of his latest acquisition. "When they called and asked if I was interested I jumped on the chance to add someone with his experience to the team."

Mulrooney said despite his limited exposure to his new club, he expects the expansion side to be competitive from the start, much like the Chicago Fire were in 1988.

"Toronto has a solid foundation, some really good players coming in," he said. "Even though tonight's performance was not the greatest, I expect we will do very well this season."

Mulrooney said he could not help but be disappointed with the 2-0 loss in Saturday night's game.

"You always want to win, even in preseason when you know the result is not always the most important thing," he said. "As things went, I though the second half was better than the first. But we have some time to work things out before the season begins."

Johnston said Mulrooney's role with the club will be the same as it was in Dallas.

"I'm not asking anything of him that he hasn't done his entire career. He's a good player, a good leader. It's those qualities that brought him here, and it's those qualities I expect of him."

"That's really all I can do," Mulrooney said of Johnston's expectations of him. "I'll do what I have always done -- win the ball, hold, distribute.

"I'm lucky," he added. "There are a lot of players here I have played with before. I know them and they know me. It always takes a few days to begin to mesh with a new team. But I think it will come quickly. Mo is a good coach. I look forward to seeing what this team can do."

Mulrooney and his Toronto FC teammates are in action again Wednesday when they face the New York Red Bulls in the second game of round-robin tournament at the Battery's Blackbaud Stadium at 6 p.m. ET.

Andrew Mosier is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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