TFC's Morgan fighting off bug, eager to play vs. Montreal

TORONTO – It’s been a long first full season for Toronto FC left back Ashtone Morgan, and he looks to finish strong as shakes off the effects of chest congestion that knocked him out of the 1-0 loss to D.C. United on Oct. 6.

The TFC Academy graduate feels he should be ready to play in Toronto’s final home game of the season at BMO Field on Saturday against the Montreal Impact.

“It’s still kind of lingering, but it’s getting better,” Morgan said after training on Monday. “I think I should be good by Saturday, but it’s been like off and on. It feels good but after a while, my chest still gets clogged up.”

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He’s not sure whether he has had a cold or the flu, but whatever it was, it hit  him so hard before the game against D.C. United that he was not even on the bench.

“I definitely want to play against Montreal, the rivals for us,” said the 21-year-old Toronto native.  

TFC assistant coach Jason Bent, who has coached Morgan since he joined the Academy in 2008, has seen his growth as a player.

“He’s come on with leaps and bounds from that time until now,” Bent said. “I think he’s been a solid player in this league.”

Morgan emerged in the second half of last season and played 14 league games for the Reds, impressing with his runs up the left side.

This season, he has played in 28 of Toronto FC’s 32 league games with 25 starts, has played in the CONCACAF Champions League and the Amway Canadian Championship, and has been recalled to the Canadian national team.

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“It’s a lot of football,” Bent said. “You can start to see signs of fatigue. Not only mental fatigue, but physical fatigue as well.

“There’s not too many players in this league who can get up and down the flank on a regular basis the way he does, putting in some great crosses and getting assists. That does take its toll over a full season.”

But with a couple of days off, Morgan feels he is ready to finish out the season starting with the game against the Impact.

“I’ll be good,” he said. “My battery will be re-charged for Saturday’s game.”