TORONTO—The injury bug continues to hit Toronto FC.
Starting right fullback Steven Beitashour is questionable for Saturday’s road game vs. the Houston Dynamo due to a hip injury he picked up in the Reds’ 4-1 win over the New England Revolution last weekend. Beitashour did not participate in practice with his teammates on Thursday. Instead, he worked out on his own before leaving the training session early.
The Reds will train in Toronto on Friday morning before boarding a flight to Houston later in the day. Coach Greg Vanney explained that whether Beitashour makes the trip to Texas will depend on how he recovers ahead of that last practice before leaving town.
“He’s felt better every single day, so now that he’s on the right side of it we’ll see tomorrow how he comes out. If he can train with the group, then he’ll be available for the weekend,” Vanney said.
Vanney cautioned, though, that he won’t rush Beitashour back into action or take a chance unless he’s fully fit, especially with the team still dealing with injuries to key starters.
“Our goal is to get guys back and not to lose guys, so we’re not in a position where we feel we need to push anyone that is questionable. If he’s able to go in tomorrow in training and go 100 percent then he’ll be in consideration,” Vanney stated.
If Beitashour is unavailable for Toronto, look for either Mark Bloom to start in his place on the right side of defence, or for Vanney to use a 3-5-2 formation with three centre backs.
Beitashour, 29, has been one of TFC’s best off-season pickups, as he’s firmly established himself as one of the club’s most reliable defenders. He’s appeared in 21 of the Reds’ 23 regular season games—all as a starter—while accumulating 1860 minutes of playing time.
Starting goalkeeper Clint Irwin (quadriceps strain) and Canadian midfielder Will Johnson (bone fracture) remain out with long-term injuries. Irwin has been out since June 25; Johnson has been sidelined since June 30.
Johnson took part in full training on Thursday but is questionable for the Houston contest. Vanney said it’s more likely that the Canadian international will be available for the Reds’ game next week. Irwin is roughly 10-14 days away from returning to action, Vanney revealed.
Midfielder Benoit Cheyrou is still injured and is out for the Houston trip. The Frenchman has missed TFC’s last three contests with a hamstring problem. The hope is that he’ll return for the Reds’ next match.
Houston (4-10-8) sits in last place in the Western Conference, and is winless in its previous five league games, including a 1-0 loss away to the Montreal Impact last Saturday.
TFC is 4-6-9 all-time against Houston in MLS action. The previous meeting between the Reds and the Dynamo was May 10, 2015 when Houston earned a 2-1 win. This is the only game between the clubs this season.
After the Reds visit Texas, they’ll face Philadelphia (Aug. 20) and Orlando (Aug. 24) on the road before returning home to host Montreal (Aug. 27).
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