Down Frings, TFC not reaching for panic button just yet
TORONTO — No one’s pushing the panic button at Toronto FC.
In just a span of a few days, the club has experienced the high of qualification to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals and the low of a 3-1 league loss in Seattle that proved costly because of the long-term hamstring injury suffered by influential Designated Player Torsten Frings.
“It’s a blow for sure, there’s no hiding from that,” Toronto veteran midfielder Terry Dunfield told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday about the Frings injury. “He’s a very important player for Toronto FC, but we also have some very talented footballers as well who can play.”
Head coach and technical director Aron Winter did not reveal to the media on Tuesday his plans to cope with the loss of Frings for the team’s 2012 home opener against San Jose on Saturday (1 pm ET, TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS Live in US).
TFC will be able to make use of Salvadoran international midfielder Efrain Burgos Jr., the club's 2011 SuperDraft selection whose signing was officially announced on Wednesday.
As Toronto prepare for the visit by the Earthquakes, followed by the first leg of the CCL against Santos Laguna on March 28, Dunfield is not discouraged in the least by the loss against the Sounders.
“I would say on Saturday [vs. Seattle] we were competitive,” he said, “but unfortunately, we couldn’t get that little bit of luck we needed in our own penalty area, where a ball dropped for their player, or we toe-poked it away and it landed on their player’s foot. Ryan [Johnson] hit the crossbar and it also was so disappointing to concede that third goal after going to 2-1 so early [on Johnson’s goal].
“It’s important that we keep level-headed,” Dunfield continued, “and not let the LA game go to our head and also on the other hand not get too discouraged by what happened in Seattle.”
WATCH: Winter on challenges facing TFC without Frings