TORONTO – A hamstring injury kept midfielder Luis Silva from playing in Toronto FC’s official home opener at the Rogers Centre last month, but the technically gifted attacker showed little rust in making an immediate impression in Toronto’s de facto second home opener at their regular stomping ground of BMO Field last Saturday against the LA Galaxy.
Making his first appearance of his sophomore MLS season, Silva came on against the Galaxy in the 72nd minute and immediately brought the BMO Field faithful to their feet with a couple of nice step overs and a laser-guided ball through the box that set up teammate Jonathan Osorio for his first MLS goal.
With several more days of training now under his belt following Toronto’s 2-2 draw last weekend, Silva is primed to play more and to make an even bigger impact.
“Obviously I missed three games and it feels good [to be back playing]," Silva told MLSsoccer.com "I was happy with my performance. Obviously the result could have been better. For the minutes I got, it was a positive and a step forward. I’m hoping to get more minutes and to do better for the team.”
Toronto head coach Ryan Nelsen was full of praise for the manner in which both Silva and Osorio came off the bench and made an immediate difference against the Galaxy. One of the interesting stories heading into Saturday’s home fixture against FC Dallas (4 pm ET, RSN in Canada, MLS Live in US) will center on the makeup of Toronto’s starting 11 and whether Nelsen might choose to switch things up and give Silva his first start of the season.
Silva admitted that he is raring to go, but also cautioned that his manager might continue to elect to manage his minutes given that he is coming off an injury that can often recur when a player is not 100 percent match fit.
“The coach knows my potential and he knows what kind of player I am. It is just a matter of getting back on track and hopefully producing more for the team,” Silva added. “I’ve been doing a lot of training but I would have to see. It was my first game back and I felt good. I know I can go longer. I just have to take it one step at a time.”
Regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench against Dallas, the 24-year-old Los Angeles native is looking forward to now getting his chance to link up with talented TFC newcomers such as Robert Earnshaw, John Bostock and Hogan Ephraim.
“We have a number of new good players. They are really talented and technical and those are the kinds of players I like to play with,” Silva said. “I’m definitely anxious to play with them.”