Chad Barrett has something to prove.
When the former Toronto FC player returns to BMO Field on Wednesday, he will do so as a member of the LA Galaxy (8 pm ET, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live in US, GOLTV in Canada). And though Barrett told MLSsoccer.com he indeed is out to prove himself against his former club, his focus is on showing well for his current bosses – not his former employers.
“I’m more to the point where I have to prove myself more in Bruce Arena’s eyes and in my teammates’ eyes than to come back and have some personal vendetta for the game against Toronto,” Barrett said.
As a member of Toronto FC, Barrett logged quite a bit of playing time. In two-plus seasons, Barrett played in 65 games and scored 12 goals in that span. He was jettisoned to the Galaxy before the start of the 2011 preseason, though, as part of Toronto FC’s roster overhaul. With the Galaxy in need of help up top, Barrett’s addition made sense for both club and player.
That Toronto FC are different now than they were at the end of the 2010 season may have taken away something from this encounter.
"When I got traded from Chicago to Toronto [in 2008], I looked forward to going back to Chicago, proving them wrong for trading me,” Barrett said. “It’s not really the same situation. It’s not the coach that traded me away. A new manager came in and for one reason or another wanted to make room on their team for somebody else.”
Still, Barrett said he was upset his time in Toronto did not fare better.
“I wish I could have taken TFC to the playoffs when I was here, but for some reason or another, it didn’t happen,” Barrett said. “I feel like the stability of the team from the top down was always a problem, but we definitely had the players here throughout that should have been able to get the job done and take TFC to their first postseason.
"They are a good club, they have great support, fans who will show up 20,000 strong every game and deserve to see their team in the playoffs.”
All that, however, is firmly in the past. Barrett started the first three games of the season for LA but was benched in favor of Miguel López for the Galaxy’s match against Philadelphia. López, though, has not scored a goal in his two starts and Barrett could get the start, especially given the club’s travel itinerary over the last five days.
Should Barrett get the nod over López, he will be in search of his first goal with his new club. Whether that happens against his former team or not, Barrett’s main interest is securing a win for LA.
“It would be kind of surreal," he said. "I don’t really know how I would act if I did score, but it definitely would be a great way to get my first goal of the season. To get that monkey off my back and being against Toronto, it would be kind of funny. All I really care about doing is leaving with points.”