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Communication the key to improving Toronto's defense

Aron Winter

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

TORONTO — Toronto FC head coach Aron Winter says there is a simple solution to fixing the problems in the Reds' back line: Talk more.

A lack of communication is front and center to the club leaking goals at times this year, including a horrible 3-0 loss to Seattle last Saturday.

“We have to help each other more,” the coach said following training on Friday. “We need more communication ... to make it easier for each other.”

Winter acknowledges that one of the difficulties TFC may be having with communication stems from the lack of consistence with his starting lineups. However, all the players are professionals and that can’t be an excuse. Sickness and injury — and the need to find better players — make a predictable lineup a long way off, Winter says. Until then, the players must adapt.

“You’re always trying things,” Winter said. “[You’re] practicing, watching for the [right] balance [of players] and looking for the right solution ... and we are still working on it.”

He added that it would “be a while” before everything starts to click in the rebuild, but that he always remains confident the club will get there.

Long-term outlooks aside, the Reds have to play a game on Saturday against a good Houston side (7 pm ET, Watch Free Online). Winter says TFC’s game against the Dynamo in the preseason Disney Classic gave him a good idea of how to combat the physical nature of Houston.

Unfortunately, he’ll have to do so without the services of Alan Gordon, who tweaked his groin on Wednesday against FC Edmonton in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, an injury the striker says has been plaguing him for a few weeks. He is listed as out with an adductor strain.

The injury to Gordon was not isolated. Also going down Wednesday were midfielders Julian de Guzman and Tony Tchani. Those losses were compounded by an illness that took Nana Attakora and Dan Gargan out of the mix.

Winter insists that all but Gordon will be available Saturday.

“All of the other players are fit,” he said. “The most important thing is that we put on a good performance and get the three points — it doesn’t matter what players are out there.”