TFC's Emory champing at the bit for chance at redemption
TORONTO – The double blow of suspension and a subsequent benching means Toronto FC's Logan Emory has had to wait patiently for a chance at redemption. It finally looks like he will get that chance on Saturday's trip to Real Salt Lake (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
During Thursday’s training at BMO Field, he was teamed with Adrian Cann in looks likely to be the central defensive tandem at Rio Tinto Stadium as TFC try to avoid equalling a league record seven losses to open a season.
“In soccer, you don’t always get a second chance,” Emory told reporters after training. “It’s definitely something I have to take advantage of.”
The 24-year-old from Boise, Idaho, has not played since April 7, a 2-1 loss to the to the Montreal Impact. He picked up a red card in the 65th minute. He played the full 90 minutes in the taem's 1-0 loss to Columbus on March 31 and his failed clearance attempt led to the lone goal of the game.
He was suspended for the 1-0 loss against Chivas USA on April 14 and went as an unused substitute in the 3-2 loss to Chicago on April 21 as Toronto equalled D.C. United (2001) for the second-most losses to open a season, moving to 0-6-0. Kansas City set the record in 1999.
“Obviously, the losses build up and more than get to you,” Emory said. “But the end goal is to get in the playoffs. Really if we set the mark for the most losses and then go on to reach the playoffs, then no one really cares, I guess.”
Emory – who played for two seasons with the second-division Puerto Rico Islanders – was signed in March after a preseason trial in Orlando.
He started at left back in the league opener, a 3-1 loss at Seattle. But center back is where he has played most, though he is not against trying left back again.
“I’ve played more center back so I’m a little more comfortable there,” Emory said. “But obviously, I have a left foot and I have a little bit of pace and I’d like to get forward a little bit more, so left back is something I’d definitely like to explore a little bit more.
“But as of now, I feel a little more comfortable at center back and I think the coaches see that as well. For now I’m just happy to play wherever I can.”
With Emory and Cann as center backs, Torsten Frings was at his familiar midfield role on Thursday and likely will play there on Saturday.
“He can play in the back or in the midfield, but his strength is more in the midfield,” head coach and technical director Aron Winter said.