WFC Preview: Toronto FC host new-look Liverpool at Rogers
You can’t go wrong wearing red to Toronto’s Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon.
It’ll be Reds vs. Reds in the second match of the Herbalife World Football Challenge when reigning Canadian champions Toronto FC host the English Premier League’s Liverpool FC (4 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer and Sportsnet).
But although the colors on the afternoon are not in question, the lineups are.
It’ll mark the seventh match in 17 days for Toronto FC and manger Paul Mariner describes his team as “beat up.” The Englishman was not shy to indicate that he will likely give the younger players a run against the English Premier League side.
WATCH: Pregame report from Rogers
Also, new arrival and designated player Eric Hassli, who was acquired in a trade on Friday with rival Vancouver, will not be available for selection just yet.
But the Rogers Centre has been kind to Toronto FC this year. They played the LA Galaxy in a memorable CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg in front of a raucous 47,658 on March 7.
Toronto FC, which has turned it around in MLS play with three wins on the trot under Mariner, will face a Liverpool side missing several of its most recognizable names after the club revealed the roster that traveled to Canada on Friday. The club’s eight players who participated in the Euro 2012 championship did not make the trip given mandatory FIFA vacation time allotted to them, according to regulations.
So it could make for a nervy start to the Liverpool career of new manager Brendan Rodgers, who’s making his debut for the legendary club in the match. He will still have quality to choose from as he looks to fulfill the promise of a more possession-oriented brand of soccer: international defenders Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger, alongside midfielders Charlie Adam, Joe Cole and Lucas Leiva.
While Toronto next return to league action on July 28 at home against Houston, Liverpool play two more friendlies on US soil against AS Roma (July 25) and Tottenham (July 28).
Liverpool Travel Roster to Toronto:
Goalkeepers (3): Peter Gulacsi, Brad Jones, Daniel Ward
Defenders (11): Daniel Agger, Jamie Carragher, Jon Flanagan, Jack Robinson, Jose Enrique, Martin Skrtel, Danny Wilson, Stephen Sama, Brad Smith, Andre Wisdom, Ryan McLaughlin
Midfielders (7): Charlie Adam, Alberto Aquilani, Joe Cole, Lucas Leiva, Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing, Raheem Sterling
Forwards (6): Daniel Pacheco, Krisztian Adorjan, Nathan Eccleston, Suso, Jordon Ibe, Adam Morgan