TORONTO – Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe will miss his second consecutive game with a nagging hamstring injury when the Reds host the visiting Colorado Rapids on Saturday (4 pm ET, TSN/MLS Live), and there’s no guarantee that midfielder Michael Bradley will make the gameday squad either.
TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen confirmed to reporters on Friday that the 31-year-old Defoe will miss the matchup after skipping the team’s 2-0 win over Columbus last weekend, but left the door open for Bradley to suit up against the Rapids.
“I don’t think Jermain is going to be ready. Michael, we’re giving him every single chance,” Nelsen said. “ He’s done his [training] stuff this morning and we’ll make a decision tomorrow.”
“Michael just wants to play every single minute of every single game. It’s a measure of the man. It’s these slight things that have caught up to him, but we’ll see tomorrow.”
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Bradley started an logged 73 minutes of the team’s win over Columbus last weekend after playing 90 minutes in the US national team’s 2-2 draw against Mexico on April 2 in Arizona, an effort that Nelsen said “killed him.” He has started every game this season so far for Toronto FC.
Defender Doneil Henry (knee) and midfielder Jonathan Osorio (hamstring) are both out for Saturday’s encounter with the Rapids, while Nelsen said that midfielder Álvaro Rey was “very questionable” after leaving training early.
TFC have won three of their first four games this season and face a Rapids team that has won two of its past three games under new head coach Pablo Mastroeni.
“They’re a very good team and they’ve had a very nice start,” Nelsen said. “Pablo was such a good MLS player, he knows the league inside and out. They’ve got a really nice team that have been around together for a bit and they’re a team that has no real weakness. They’re a lovely, solid MLS team that’s going to be difficult.”