April 11, 2007 Toronto FC vs New England Revolutions pre-game story (from TorontoFC.ca)

04/11/2007 8:54PM
Toronto FC ready to bounce back
By Mike Ulmer / TorontoFC.ca

Marrying the various components of Toronto FC won't happen overnight. But, insists coach Mo Johnston, it won't be as long as you might think. "It takes a while. If you look at the last expansion teams, they haven't done that well," he said. "I don't see this team being like that."

FC will play their second Major League Soccer game Saturday on the road against the New England Revolution (0-1-0). FC dropped their first game, 2-0, to Chivas USA and Johnston said he expects to see immediate progress.

"We had six or seven guys who had not been playing with each other and had not been on the field for two and three weeks, but there's a lot more to come with this group," Johnston said. "Maurice Edu is one of them and so is Ronnie O'Brien."

Edu, the club's first overall draft choice is a questionable starter Saturday because of the lingering effects of a pelvic strain. O'Brien, an Irish midfielder, is nursing a knee injury.

FC players and coaches insist they weren't as bad as the 2-0 score against Chivas might indicate.

"We created a lot of chances in the first half," said Johnston. "This team's been together only for two months and then you throw them into a situation where you're playing a quality team. We opened them up quite a lot in the first half but we gave away an easy goal and we were on our heels for the second half."

"We're going to bounce back," added defender Jim Brennan. "It's tough when you're building a new team. We have a lot of character. Slowly but surely we're growing together. We have a good side. It's going to take us a while to jell."

One player who figures to be ready is Welsh midfielder Carl Robinson.

"I think I've played just over 50 games this season since July 4, games with Norwich City (in England) and 10 international games, so I'm as fit as I'm going to be."

Johnston is counting on it, as well as improved contributions from defender Marco Reda, midfielder Miquel Canizalez and midfielder Richard Mulrooney.

FC plays one more road game, April 25, before their first-ever home game at BMO Field on April 28.

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