Toronto backline to get a boost with Cann's return

Adrian Cann

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TORONTO – Help is on the way for Toronto FC’s beleaguered defense.

 Center back Adrian Cann is expected to start Saturday against Chivas USA at BMO Field (4:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), and midfielder/sweeper Torsten Frings said that he should be ready to play at home April 21 against the Chicago Fire.

With a 0-4-0 record and a -7 goal differential, the Reds need all the help they can get.

“To be honest with you I thought [the return] would be a lot sooner,” Cann said. “But listening to the trainers I think this was the right decision. They didn’t want any setbacks so once I step back on the field that’s pretty much it.”

Cann needed surgery to repair an ACL that was torn in training last May. He has not played in a league game since last May 22.

Cann worked with the starting 11 on Friday, as did fellow center back Miguel Aceval. Cann has played in two reserve games in recent weeks, with his longest stint 63 minutes on Wednesday against the Montreal Impact.

Frings, meanwhile, hasn’t been seen since the league opener, when he limped off after 25 minutes in a 3-1 loss at Seattle.

“I feel good but it’s not my decision, it’s the doctor’s decision,” Frings told reporters in English on Friday after training at BMO Field. “He said the risk is too high for me to play [Saturday]. I think next week against Chicago I’m ready.”

Whether in the midfield or at sweeper, Frings has been TFC’s defensive coordinator on the field. He was with the team when they defeated the LA Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals in March. Since then, it’s been all downhill for the Reds.

“I know the guys are a little bit down with the poor start because we started well against LA,” the 35-year-old former German international said. “Okay, but now we start at zero again. We have to win some games, get points. I hope we start [Saturday] with points.

“I spoke with the guys. Team spirit is an important thing for me. If the spirit is good we can win the game. Last week I had a bad feeling about the spirit. If you lose some games the spirits go down.”

Frings is not about to give up on the season. “I believe in this team and I trust the team and I’m sure we’re going to get points [Saturday],” he said. “We’ve played not that bad but we made too many easy mistakes. Every time there was a goal against us we made easy mistakes. I think we played well, we have had a lot of chances.”

For the Reds, now is the time to turn those chances into wins.