TORONTO – Toronto FC will be able to count on at least one of their Designated Players for the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship against the Vancouver Whitecaps (10 pm ET, Sportsnet).
Forward Danny Koevermans, who galvanized TFC with eight goals in 10 games last season, was back at full training on Monday and traveled with the team to Vancouver after being sidelined by a groin injury since mid-April.
When the injury first happened he felt that he would be out two weeks at maximum. He twice tried coming back, but realized he was returning too early and he needed more time.
“I could do everything,” he said. “But the only thing I couldn’t so was shoot and that’s quite important in soccer. The last 10 days I didn’t touch a ball and [Monday] I started again and this training went fine.”
Now he hopes that when the scoring chances come, so will the goals. He has just one goal in his first five league matches in 2012.
WATCH: Koevermans after practice
“I’ve been close in the first five games,” the 33-year-old striker said. “It could easily have been four or five goals. But you can’t say every time unlucky, so we’ll just have to work hard as a team and me as a player to get those goals in and get some points.”
Not making the trip to Vancouver were midfielder Torsten Frings – who played with a shoulder injury in last Wednesday’s ACC semifinal win over Montreal – and defender Miguel Aceval, who has a hamstring injury. Defender Richard Eckersley is suspended for the game after picking up a red card early in the 2-0 ACC semifinal win over the Impact last Wednesday.
The win over Montreal was the first for Toronto FC since they defeated the LA Galaxy 2-1 in Carson, Calif., on March 14 to move into the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.
However, Koevermans does not feel that the ACC triumph over Montreal eases the pressure on the Reds, who are 0-8-0 in league play.
“Of course not,” he said. “I don’t look at the standings anymore but when you do you still see zero points. And it was fine to finally get a victory and to make it to the final and we’re going to try to win this one, too, to try to get into the Champions League. But I would like to get some points in the league, too. We still feel pressure, of course.”