Toronto FC have been handed a bye on the opening week of the new Major League Soccer season. It means the reds will not start their campaign until March 15 when they will travel to Seattle.
Ryan Nelsen’s side have just returned from their pre-season training camp in Florida. They played five games during their spell in the United States in which they finished with a record of 1-2-2.
The results won’t concern US sports betting fans or the Toronto coach, who goes into his second year in charge of the team, too much. However, he will be worried about the injuries picked up during last few weeks. New signings, Gilberto and Michael Bradley have encountered problems, while Bright Duke was ruled out for the whole season after he underwent tendon surgery in February.
The new $3 million Brazilian striker has a quadriceps problem which may take a couple of weeks before he can return to fill training, while Bradley was forced to miss the United States’ visit to Cyprus earlier this week where he was set to face Ukraine.
Goalkeeper Julio Cesar is currently in South Africa with the Brazil national team as they are preparing for a friendly against Bafana Bafana.
There is some good news for Nelsen though, Jermain Defoe will join his teammates following England’s tie against Denmark at Wembley. The former Spurs forward played alongside the Toronto head coach at White Hart Lane.
Having a bye in the opening game week has turned out to be a fortunate draw for Nelsen as he will have an extra week to work with some of his new signings, and will give the players currently on the treatment table more time to recover.
Following a visit to Seattle, the reds will host D.C United at BMO Field a week later, an event that is already attracting the attention of fans who bet on soccer.