TORONTO – Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei suffered a left leg injury during training on Friday that will keep him out of the team’s game against San Jose this weekend, and could be another blow to the Reds’ early-season prospects.
Frei, 25, appeared to injure his leg trying to kick the ball during a scrimmage, and was promptly attended to by TFC medical staff. He was fitted with an air cast and went to the dressing room on crutches, and was then taken to hospital for evaluation.
Toronto officials are awaiting the results of that evaluation and did not comment on the severity of Frei’s injury, but it appears clear that the Swiss veteran will miss the team’s home opener against the Earthquakes on Saturday (4 pm ET, TSN/RDS in Canada, watch LIVE online in US).
"He went to take the ball and make a step to the other side and then he felt something," head coach and technical director Aron Winter told reporters. "It's a little bit unlucky at this moment. Stefan is a good guy, of course and also one of the older guys on the team."
Frei is the second TFC star to suffer an injury in the past week, after defender and Designated Player Torsten Frings suffered a hamstring injury last weekend that will keep him out at least four weeks.
"It's unlucky," Winter said. "Those things can happen in soccer. That's why it's always important to have a big roster so that you can replace those players temporarily so that you can go further on. Stefan is a very good goalkeeper. We've got two goalkeepers and now we've got only one."
Backup Milos Kocic is no stranger to playing in net for the Reds. He appeared in eight league games while Frei battled injuries last year and has already appeared twice this season. He backstopped the Reds to a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series earlier this month, and started TFC’s 3-1 loss last weekend in Seattle that opened their MLS schedule.
“It's a little bit disturbing, right?" Kocic said on Friday. "But I want to think about the game, I don't want to think about the injuries of Torsten and Stef now. We just want to move forward as a team and as individuals as well. It's just unfortunate these things happen in the game.”
Striker Danny Koevermans said Frei's injury will not change Toronto's approach to Saturday's game.
"No, because you have a big roster and in soccer this can happen, you can get an injury," he said. "So tomorrow we just focus on the game and get the three points. In soccer it can happen, I feel sorry for Stefan, what can I say about it? I hope for him it's not too bad."