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Barrett works to end slump
April 15, 2009, 6:08 AM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, Toronto FC

Chad Barrett feels the heat.

The Toronto FC striker, who led the team with nine goals last year, has yet to find the back of the net through four games this season.

“This is not one of my good stretches,” Barrett, a 23-year-old in his fifth Major League Soccer season, said yesterday. “It’s going to take a goal to get out of it.

“I’ve got to keep playing as hard as I’ve been playing and I’ll get my chances,” he said.

Getting the chances was not the problem in Toronto’s 1-1 draw with Dallas last Saturday. Finishing was.

Barrett, who led TFC with three shots, was stopped point-blank by Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse from about 12 yards out and was unable to head in a ball rebounding off the crossbar. Those were among a string of opportunities TFC missed in the early going as they failed to widen a one-goal lead, eventually surrendering the tying goal in the 87th minute.

The teams finish the home-and-home in Dallas on Sunday night.

Barrett, an Oregon native who signed a four-year contract extension with TFC after coming over in a trade from Chicago last summer, said he’d feel much worse if he wasn’t getting the scoring chances.

While admitting “it wouldn’t surprise me,” if coach John Carver took him out of the starting lineup if the goal drought continues, Barrett said he felt much better about his effort and the team’s offence on Saturday than in the previous two games, an away tie and a home loss.

“That’ll be my goal going into Dallas – put out the same performance but finish my chances,” he said.

Carver, who on Saturday moved Dwayne De Rosario to striker alongside Barrett for the first time since an opening night 3-2 win in Kansas City, said he’s told the forwards, “I’ve got faith in you.”

“I would be concerned if Chad wasn’t even getting the chances,” Carver said following yesterday’s practice at BMO Field.

“I know what he can do and I know that he is a good goal scorer.”

Carver, who has shown his willingness to shuffle the lineup from one game to the next, said: “I’ll stay with it as long as I need to stay with it and then change it if I have to.”

As for the lack of finishing touch, Carver has had his players working on drills in practice scoring from in and around the penalty area.

“You can talk to them and try and give them confidence, but you also have to practise it,” said Carver, noting he was much more concerned with stretches last season when Toronto wasn’t generating any good scoring opportunities. “Hopefully, by the repetitiveness of the practices, you turn the corner.”

LIMPING STAR: TFC star Dwayne De Rosario, who scored his first goal of the season on Saturday, hasn’t been involved in practice the past couple of days due to a tight hamstring.

Source: Click Here

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