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Ricketts Pledges Consistency in ’09
February 4, 2009, 10:20 PM
Filed under: Rohan Ricketts, Toronto FC

Consistency.

Every Major League Soccer player strives to achieve it, but few actually succeed, including Rohan Ricketts.

In his first season with Toronto FC in 2008, Ricketts dazzled opposing defenders with his speed, mazy dribbling skills and knack for making things happen in the attacking third of the field.

Weigh those qualities against the Englishman’s tendency to float in and out of games and his lack of finishing in front of net, and you’ll find a player who left many Toronto FC fans frustrated.

Ricketts made 27 appearances during the 2008 MLS season (26 as a starter), scoring four goals and setting up four others — paltry statistics when you consider his natural talent and the amount of playing time he saw.

Ricketts, 26, admits he under-performed somewhat last season and is determined to make amends by being more consistent in the upcoming MLS campaign.

How does he plan do that? Simple. Score more goals.

“I’m an attacking midfield player, so I’m judged on the goals I create and the goals I scored,” Ricketts said. “I have to improve on my tally from last season, when I scored four goals. It could have been more, so I’m looking to score more and create more than last season.”

Concentration, fitness

Ricketts, who joined the Canadian club last April, said the key to being more consistent is to concentrate at the task at hand and overcome whatever obstacles stand in his way on gameday.

“All I can do is go into the games with the right frame of mind and try to be the best I can be. Sometimes it’s down to fitness, sometimes it has to do with how the team is playing overall, so that it definitely one of my goals, is to be more consistent.”

There was speculation that the Englishman would not be brought back this season, because Toronto wanted to dump his salary (he earned $212,000 US in 2008). But Ricketts believed all along he would return to the Canadian team.

“There was never any doubt in my mind, because I know where I want to be,” Ricketts said. “I know the manager wants me here. It’s all about sorting out the [contract terms] to make sure it’s all right for everyone.”

He also has high hopes for the 2008 season and believes Toronto can clinch a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history.

“Toronto FC is going places, so to be part of a club that’s going places, you can only be grateful for that .… I’m very optimistic about the year ahead.”

Source: Click Here

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