TORONTO – Toronto FC head honcho Tim Leiweke, president and CEO of ownership group MLSE, has not been the least bit shy in recent weeks in expressing his desire to bring in two world-class strikers in the near future.
But current TFC forward Robert Earnshaw isn’t the least bit fazed by such proclamations.
“For me, I want to be part of a good team,” Earnshaw told MLSsoccer.com. “I’ve always thought that if I play with great players, they will bring out the best in me. So when the CEO talks about bringing in some world-class players, I’m happy about that because I want to play with some great players. I’m all for it because if I play with those guys I’m sure I will double my goal tally.”
Though Earnshaw currently leads Toronto with seven goals in his first season in Major League Soccer, Leiweke has been widely quoted as pinpointing Toronto’s struggles this season on a lack of scoring.
According to Earnshaw, that assessment is true to a certain point. However, the former Wales international believes that TFC’s scoring struggles should be looked at in a more holistic manner rather than just taking into account goals scored by their forwards.
“It has been a difficult season for me because we need to create more chances,” Earnshaw said. “The guys at the top are not the ones that create every chance for you. It is the whole team. So if we aren’t scoring goals, then it is the whole team.
“You can talk about goals, but you have to talk about assists as well. Those are as good as goals.”
Earnshaw said defense and not conceding goals is also a factor.
“We just need to get that balance,” he said. “There is no player in the whole world who gets a pass from the ‘keeper and runs it all the way [and scores],” Earnshaw added. “Maybe Messi does that and even then he only does it once every couple of years.”
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With only four games remaining in TFC’s 2013 campaign, Earnshaw was quick to admit that he is happy to be part of a club that has shown significant improvement this year, even if it has not been completely reflected in the standings, and wants to be back next season.
“I’ve really enjoyed it here,” Earnshaw said. “The guys I have played with this year – and there have been a lot of them – have really helped me and I’ve been happy with it. We’ve got some good pieces and good players here and it is just about building on that.
“My stats throughout my career always suggest that I will score goals. I want to score goals here next year. If the team wants me here and if the team wants me to score goals here, that is what is going to happen.”