Paul Mariner and Richard Eckersley (TOR vs. VAN)
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Toronto out to prove themselves against tough 'Caps outfit

TORONTO – Toronto FC know the Vancouver Whitecaps will have revenge on their minds heading into the teams' encounter at BMO Field on Wednesday evening (7 pm ET, TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE in USA).

The last time the two teams met, Toronto tossed aside their underwhelming MLS form to hand Vancouver a stinging 2-1 aggregate loss in the Amway Canadian Championship final, leaving the Whitecaps fuming.

“I think they do [have revenge on their minds], because every time they come to Toronto we obviously get good results against them,” Toronto defender Richard Eckersley said Tuesday after training.

But Toronto FC have some incentive themselves after their 3-0 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday that ended a stretch of five consecutive games without a loss.

“We’ve come off a bad result and we’re trying to prove something as well,” Eckersley said. “We’re trying to prove to the coach that we can do it again and again. So it’s consistency and if we can improve that a little bit then I don’t think we’ll have a problem.”  

The result means Reds are 1-2-4 under Paul Mariner since he took over as head coach in June and Eckersley said Mariner was not happy after Sunday’s game.

“There were definitely harsh words,” Eckersley said. “He’s got pride.”

Offered Mariner: “We had an honest discussion with the players after the game and we had a chat with them today. I just hope that they will be ready to go. I think we’ll make a couple of changes but where it is yet to be determined.”

“We need to defend as a team and it starts at the front,” said Eckersley, usually a right back who has been forced to play center back because of injuries on the back line. “It’s the whole team as a unit and not just the back four. It’s good for us to have a game tomorrow to put it behind us and have a good one.”

But the Reds know it won’t be easy against Vancouver.

“They’re a difficult team to beat and that’s the one thing that we need to be,” Mariner said. “We need to a difficult team to beat. Their setup is very solid. It’s going to be a very, very difficult game.”

Reds trialing backup goalkeeper

Goalkeeper Freddy Hall, 27, a Bermuda international who was released by Northampton in England, is on trial with Toronto. Mariner said he had Hall in for a trial at Plymouth Argyle a couple of years ago.

“We were in administration and we wanted to sign him but we couldn’t bring him in,” Mariner said.

With Stefan Frei sidelined by a long-term injury, Toronto’s current backup to ‘keeper Milos Kocic is 17-year-old Quillan Roberts and Mariner would like more experience in the role.

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