TORONTO – Toronto FC boss Ryan Nelsen revealed on Thursday that midfielder Jonathan Osorio is set to play in Saturday’s match against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE), while Michael Bradley will travel with the squad.
Bradley remains day-to-day with a quad injury but did practice with the squad on Thursday. Jermain Defoe, Alvaro Rey, Dwayne De Rosario and Doneil Henry remain unavailable. Midfielder Jeremy Hall joins the list of injured players ruled out of Saturday’s encounter, too.
Down a handful of key players, Nelsen is still confident that his team can come away with a result.
“It’s arguably one of our toughest challenges so far this season,” Nelsen told reporters at training. “The guys are really looking forward to it. It’s exciting for us. It’s a real good challenge for us to see where we are. Whatever happens in Dallas, whether we win or get a result, we know we’ve got a nice little foundation now.
“They’ve got a lot of speed out wide and experience in that central midfield,” Nelsen added. “They’ve got a lot of experience. At home, they’re a very tough team to play against.”
TFC captain Steven Caldwell understands the threat that Dallas’ speedy forward line poses to his side.
“We play against fast strikers most weeks, so we’re aware of that,” Caldwell told MLSsoccer.com. “We know that they’re very good players and we have to try to limit their space, limit the quality balls that come into them.
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“It’s very difficult to stop their guys if they keep getting quality possession in good areas,” he continued. “They’re playing at their home stadium, which is notoriously a difficult place to go. It’s up to us to go, puff our chests out, play the game that suits us and come away with a result.”
Former FCD midfielder Jackson is looking forward to playing against his old side, too.
“I’m happy to go back and play against my old team,” Jackson told reporters via an interpreter. “I’m excited to go there and play the game, but I’m with Toronto now and I want to go there and do my best. I spent three years at [FC Dallas] but I didn’t feel like I was growing any more at that club, so I had a conversation with my wife and thought it was time for a new opportunity to come to Toronto.”