Soccer

Toronto FC's standing deceptive with imbalanced schedule

{eot}
The Canadian Press
5/23/2014 9:19:14 AM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

TORONTO -- It's Week 12 in Major League Soccer and Toronto FC is 4-4-0.

The Philadelphia Union, FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo have played 13 games while New York and Seattle have had 12. Toronto and the Los Angeles Galaxy, with nine games, are the only clubs in the 19-team league not to have played at least 10 matches so far.

"It's very frustrating because we're in a false position," said Toronto captain Steven Caldwell. "A very big if in the MLS, but if we win all our games in hand, we're on top of the league.

"We're not denying we've had a little bit of an up-and-down start but we've shown glimpses of real quality and we've had games we've let ourselves down. If we had played similar games to the rest of the teams, I'm pretty sure we'd be very near the top if not on the top. So it's slightly disappointing but we'll get our chance to address that when we play more games than other teams. We've just got to be ready for that.

"We've had injuries and we're losing Michael (Bradley to the World Cup) for a longish period. It might be a blessing in disguise."

With 12 points, Toronto is currently seventh in the East -- two points and two places out of the playoff picture. But its rate of 1.5 points a game is good for third in the conference (and fifth in the league).

Toronto's weather is part of the reason for the lack of early games. Toronto had a bye the opening weekend, for example.

The Amway Canadian Championship also has not helped the calendar, taking up four midweek games. And television, no doubt, played its part in scheduling with more games saved for later on, when hockey is over.

Including Friday night's game in Kansas City, Toronto has three more league games before MLS takes a two-week break in mid-June during the World Cup. When play resumes, Toronto has 23 league games remaining.

In contrast, Philadelphia will have 18.

For Toronto manager Ryan Nelsen, the schedule has pluses and minuses.

Injured players have had a chance to heal. But a team that brought in a half-dozen starters during the off-season needs time to mesh on the field.

"This team needs more games than anyone other team, to tell you the truth," said Nelsen. "Just because that's how you get to know each other. And a lot of players weren't there in pre-season -- they were injured or hadn't arrived or different kind of stories.

"So we kind of started our pre-season in away during the season. So we started a few steps back. The more games, the better for these guys. ... That's what we're looking forward to."

Steven Caldwell (Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Podcasts

TSN FC with Luke Wileman, Jason deVos & Kristian Jack - August 26

Luke, Jason & KJ recap the start to the EPL season, Crystal Palace's search for a manager, Malky Mackay, plus chat MLS as well.

TSN 690 oranges @ halftime Aug 19

Joined in studio w/Paul Desbaillets co-founder of annual soccer charity event GOAL MTL. We chat w/Susan Bell, Danny Smiles, UM02 Carlos & Heath Pearce

TSN 690 oranges @ halftime Aug 19: Susan Bell

Fund Development Director of Tyndale St-George discusses GOAL MTL's legacy and the impact the funds raised have on her community


More Podcasts

Premier League Shows on TSN.ca

TSN.ca is Canada's exclusive home to highlight and feature programs from the Barclay's Premier League. Check out the latest programs on VOD below.


Net Busters

See all the goals, saves, bloopers and quotes from each week

- Episode 2


BPL Match Pack

Weekly match preview show using interesting facts & figures

- Week 2

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television