Toronto FC midfielder Jacob Peterson says that MLS fans should not underestimate what the Reds are capable of in 2011.
“Do I think we’re the most talented team in the league?” he said during a phone interview with MLSsoccer.com. “No, but it’s a crazy league. Look at New York last year. A team can turn it around quickly.”
Peterson scored his first goal of the preseason Thursday at the Disney Pro Soccer Challenge in the Reds' 3-2 loss to the Houston Dynamo. TFC now play USL-Pro side Orlando for third place on Saturday (6 pm ET).
Peterson said that Toronto fans shouldn’t take too much away from the loss to Houston, and he's excited about the club's potential.
“I heard [head coach Aron] Winter say that the playoffs are a reasonable goal and I agree,” he said. “And, I think we have a team that can go on a little run if we get there.”
It’s the involvement of Winter and his assistant Bob de Klerk that gives Peterson that confidence. He says their approach in preseason has been refreshing for all the players.
“The biggest difference is we are having fun again,” he said. “Last year it was all about conditioning in preseason, we weren’t really trying to do anything. There is a place for that, but [the coaching staff] are giving us confidence.”
There has been a lot of teaching in the camp, Peterson said. Learning the new 4-3-3 system Winter is trying to install will take time, but it’s been enjoyable.
“We’re not just being yelled at,” he said. “There is a lot of coaching going on. [Winter and de Klerk] are very encouraging, they are always praising what we do well, while helping to correct the things we need to work on.”