May 6, 2009 MLS Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps (from

Cummins will field strongest side
Reds coach determined to succeed in cup.

Toronto FC interim head coach Chris Cummins knows the importance of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship and will field as strong a team as possible when the Reds open the competition against Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field on Wednesday (kick off 8:00 p.m. live on Rogers Sportsnet).

Toronto play seven games this month with five in Major League Soccer and two at home in the Canadian Championship against the Whitecaps and defending champions Montreal Impact. "Whatever league you are in you have to play a lot of games," said Cummins. "We're going out there to win the game. I'm not going to leave players out of the side just to rest them for the weekend. If there are players that aren't ready for the game then I won't play them but I will manage all of them individually and if they are fit and ready to go they will play."

"We want to win every single match we play in whether it is in the league, the cup or a friendly. We're taking it seriously and it is a competition that we want to win because the fans deserve it. We are well aware of the rewards if we can win the Canadian Championship and then go on to represent the country in the Champions League," said Cummins.

Cummins expects Vancouver to present a tough test for his side and will look to attack from the start. "It's important that we win our home games and we will be going out there with an attacking formation to give us the best possible chance to do that. Vancouver will be very organized. They are good athletes and they get the ball down and play in the right areas. They have players up front who are capable of causing teams problems, so we are well aware that it will be a tough game."

The Whitecaps are the reigning United Soccer League champions and are building towards 2011 when they will join Major League Soccer. "It's great for Canadian soccer that they will be joining the league and the more teams that we can get into MLS the better it will be. They are a very good team and they showed that last year in the games that we played against them," said Cummins. The Whitecaps won 1-0 against Toronto at BMO Field last season with a goal from Martin Nash. "We must compete from the start and earn the right to play. We will definitely compete a lot better than we did in the first half of the game against Columbus last weekend and then hopefully we can get the ball down and play some good football and cause them some problems," said the TFC coach.

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