TORONTO – Milos Kocic, the proud father of newborn triplets, will likely get the start in goal against the Chicago Fire at BMO Field Wednesday (7 pm ET; TSN2 in Canada, MLS Live in the US).
But head coach Paul Mariner said he will take into consideration the circumstances before he makes a final decision about what would be Kocic’s first game since Aug. 18.
“It depends,” Mariner said after training at Downsview Park on Tuesday. “I don’t know what kind of a night he’s going to have with the newborns. ... There’s a lot to go through. Twenty-four hours is a long, long time with three brand spanking-new children. So we’ll wait and see. But at the present time he’s playing.”
Bermuda international Freddy Hall has played the past three league games and one CONCACAF Champions League game as Mariner wanted to see him have a run of games.
He also felt that Kocic needed a break because his wife, Evelyn, was expecting the triplets and the fact that he had played all but one game in all competitions until Hall was given his chance.
“So there was a lot going on in his mind,” Mariner said. “I’ve known Freddy, brought Freddy in and I thought he did terrifically well. He hasn’t played many games, he needs games and a game is the greatest teacher.”
Hall and Reggie Lambe had been with the Bermudan national team, but Toronto had an agreement that the players would be returned in time for Wednesday’s game and both were at training on Tuesday.
Kocic said the triplets, born Sunday, will be in hospital for about two weeks so it has not affected him yet.
“I guess when they come home it’s going to be a different story,” said veteran, who was present for the births. “It’s a great experience, I was just waiting to hear the babies cry, it’s the biggest gift ever. Everything is good. They’re healthy.”
He said there were no triplets in either his or his wife’s family until now.
“It’s a happy event,” Mariner said. “Congratulations to him, it’s a massive change in his lifestyle.”
Toronto FC (5-16-6) will be trying for their first win of the season against the Fire (13-8-5) who beat the Reds 3-2 at BMO Field and 2-1 at Toyota Park. Toronto have not won in the league since July 18 when they defeated Colorado 2-1.