May 4, 2009 MLS Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps pregame opinions of Carl Robinson (from

Robinson ready for cup battle
Reds face Vancouver at BMO Field on Wednesday
05/04/2009 04:01 PM

Toronto FC midfielder Carl Robinson believes the hurt of failing to win the Nutrilite Canadian Championship last year will spur the team on in the tournament this season. The Reds open against Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

"It means a great deal to us," said Robinson. "This is a massive tournament for us and we've got to put a few things right after last year when we should have won the tournament and everyone expected us to win but we didn't. We've got to make sure that we go into this game full of confidence and in a lively manner to make sure we get off to a good start."

Robinson knows Montreal Impact set the standard last year when they won the Nutrilite Canadian Championship and then went all the way to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals before losing to Santos of Mexico. "All of the lads took notice of how far Montreal went last year and it hurt us really badly, but that is the incentive we need," explained Robinson. "We need to get as far as they did last year, but first of all we need to make sure we win the Canadian Championship to take us into the next stage. It's going to be difficult because we know we are going up against two very good teams but we will be up for the fight."

"We need to win this tournament because people say we are the biggest team in Canada, but it means nothing unless we prove that on the pitch. Last year, the defeat at home to Vancouver ultimately cost us because Montreal went on to win the tournament and we didn't lose to them. Tournament football is different to league football because we know we have to pick up three positive results out of just four games to make sure we qualify. Obviously there is pride on the line and it can be more physical, but we have to put our authority on the game and make sure that we get the ball down and play."

Kick off at BMO Field on Wednesday is 8:00 p.m. live on Rogers Sportsnet. The match is included in the Season Seat Holder ticket package.

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