TORONTO – Center back Adrian Cann will finally have a chance to play alongside midfielder Torsten Frings on Saturday.
The pair is vital for Toronto FC's defense but because of injuries Saturday's match against the Chicago Fire at BMO Field (3:30 pm ET, NBC Sports Network) will be the first time they have played together in a game.
“We had a couple of training sessions,” Cann told MLSsoccer.com Thursday at at BMO Field. “[Frings] is calm on the ball. He’s very experienced. When he plays the ball, you know he’s going to do something wise with it.”
Against the Fire, Cann will be playing his second game since May 22, 2011. He is returning from surgery to repair an ACL tear in his right knee. Frings did not join TFC until July, when Cann was already out for the season.
Frings has been out since a strained hamstring forced him from the league opener in the first half of a 3-1 loss at Seattle on March 17. He has been training with a view toward returning on Saturday.
After playing parts of two reserve games, Cann made his return to the first team last Saturday, showing well in the 1-0 loss to Chivas USA and logging 90 minutes.
“I feel more confident going into the second game,” the 31-year-old Canadian international said. “I only think of my knee after the game. I know I need to ice it.”
It has not been revealed which formation Toronto will use; head coach Aron Winter has shown a penchant for both 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 setups.
If Toronto goes with 3-4-3, Frings would drop back between the two center backs as a sweeper. Cann said he has never played in that formation but has had part of a training session with it.
Whatever the formation Winter chooses, though, Cann is looking forward to playing with the former German international.
“He makes the rest of the players around him play more at ease, more confident,” Cann said. “Playing alongside him, it feels nice knowing that he has the experience and knows what to do with the ball once he receives it.
“You put him in a hard situation with two guys around him, he’s still very calm on the ball and that’s what gets him out of it. Usually the majority of the players out there would receive a ball in a kind of tight space and they would kind of fumble and hit it out, be sporadic.
“With him he keeps a level head, keeps nice and calm and then he plays it out easy and he gets out of that kind of predicament.”
Toronto FC can only hope that the presence of both Frings and Cann can help get them out of their current predicament: a 0-5-0 record.