Here are some news and notes from today’s practice.
Giovinco, Altidore day-to-day
TFC top scorer Sebastian Giovinco was subbed out at the start of the second half of Saturday’s 4-0 home win over the San Jose Earthquakes as a precautionary move due to quad tightness. Jozy Altidore also came out later in the second half with a lower-body injury.
Neither took part in full training on Tuesday morning and coach Greg Vanney confirmed both players are day-to-day, as the team is taking a cautious approach with their two best forwards ahead of the trip to California.
“Jozy was feeling tight [in Saturday’s game], and wasn’t as loose as he wanted to be. … Right now, he’s day-to-day,” Vanney told reporters.
“Seba had a scan [on Monday]. The doctor will be in [on Wednesday] to give us an update; as of right now he’s day-to-day until we get a final notice from the scan.”
If either or both are still feeling the ill-effects of their injury issues, don’t be surprised if they don’t travel to L.A. for Saturday’s contest.
Altidore scored two goals against San Jose, and was recognized for his efforts on Tuesday when he was named MLS player of the week.
ROTATION, ROTATION, ROTATION
Toronto is coming up on a busy stretch of the schedule, with three games in a seven-day period: away to L.A. (Sept. 16), home to Montreal (Sept. 20) and away to New England (Sept. 23).
Add in the fact that these games will take place across two time zones and on two different types of surfaces (New England plays on artificial turf) and the long flight to and from Los Angeles, and it’s fair to say this is going to be a stern test of the Reds’ durability and endurance.
Is Vanney considering leaving any players at home this weekend, allowing them to rest up for the next two games?
TFC’s coach didn’t quite tip his hand, but hinted that he’s going to rotate his squad somewhat over the course of these next three games.
“We have laid out a plan for this week. Hopefully, things can go according to plan that will allow us to look at everybody and have some sort of [long-term plan] to prepare everybody for down the stretch,” Vanney stated.
“Yes, we’ve looked at this week, but we’re still going to play this one game at time, and go from there.”
OTHER INJURY UPDATES
Defender Nick Hagglund and midfielder Benoit Cheyrou are both on the mend and continue to make good progress from long-term injuries.
Club president Bill Manning told Sportsnet on Tuesday morning that the team expects Hagglund to return by late September and Cheyrou to be back in early October. TFC’s regular season ends on Oct. 22, so both players could potentially be in the mix for the playoffs.
Cheyrou suffered a calf tear during a 1-1 draw at home against the Colorado Rapids on July 22 and was originally ruled out for at least eight weeks. Hagglund was ruled out for six to eight weeks with a left knee sprain he suffered in a game versus the Portland Timbers on Aug. 12.
LOOKING AHEAD TO L.A.
Saturday’s match at StubHub Center is the only match of the season between Toronto and L.A.
Their previous meeting came last June when TFC earned a 1-0 win at home courtesy of Drew Moor’s goal in the 76th minute.
While Toronto (17-3-8, 59 points) is cruising and sits comfortably atop the overall league standings, L.A. (7-14-6, 27 points) sits ninth in the Western Conference, 10 points and three spots out of a playoff berth. The Galaxy are coming off a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders and have just one win in their last 12 matches, with nine losses.
Vanney believes the Galaxy have shown a bit more fight since Sigi Schmid took over as coach in late July.
“They look like a team that is feistier than they were before. They look more accountable, and I think that’s what Sigi will bring to that group,” Vanney said.
“I don’t know how much [of a chance] they have of making the playoffs, but they will be playing for a lot of pride, and guys will be playing for their jobs next year. They’re going to be competitive and make it difficult on us, and we need to be sharp.”