ORLANDO, Fla. – Soreness is part of preseason training, and Toronto FC striker Danny Koevermans was feeling it last Saturday as he warmed up before what became a 2-2 draw with Orlando City in the Disney Pro Classic.
Once the game started he still didn’t feel right, eventually coming out after 32 minutes as a precaution after feeling some stiffness in his hamstring.
“Always in preseason, you have some soreness everywhere, in the Achilles, in the hamstring, everywhere,” Koevermans (pictured above, left) told MLSsoccer.com after a gym and pool session at the club’s hotel on Wednesday. “[Saturday] wasn’t a good day for me. I didn’t feel too good.”
By Tuesday, the tightness was gone.
The big Dutchman started in Toronto’s 3-1 win over BK Hacken of Sweden, and this time lasted well into the second half until being replaced around the 60th minute.
“I felt so much better [on Tuesday],” Koevermans said. “That’s a good sign. That’s the way I want to be in preseason and when the season starts everything will get better.”
The season starts for Toronto on March 7, when they host the LA Galaxy in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
Koevermans has been an important cog in the Reds’ attack since joining the team last July as a Designated Player. At 6-foot-3, the veteran provides a big target in the box and knows what to do in front of goal, scoring eight times in 10 league games last year. He also scored two goals in seven CCL games, including the first goal in Toronto’s convincing 3-0 victory over FC Dallas that put them through to the quarterfinals.
“He sees the field well, he’s not just a pure goal scorer,” TFC director of player development Paul Mariner said of Koevermans.
Koevermans is not one to shy away from pain; last week, he suffered a broken finger on his right hand when it caught in a bib during training. That isn’t the type of injury to stop him, but a leg injury could and thus the caution in the tournament opener.
”It’s a long season and maybe if I would have stayed on [Saturday], maybe I would have torn my hamstring,” Koevermans said. “That’s a thing for sure I don’t want. That’s the reason I got off. I played an hour [on Tuesday]. I felt 20 times better than last Saturday ... so I think it was a good call for me to get off the pitch last Saturday.”