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DeRo in, Dichio out at TFC training
May 1, 2009, 7:57 AM
Filed under: Danny Dichio, Dwayne DeRosario, Toronto FC

Toronto FC midfielder Dwayne De Rosario returned to training Thursday while veteran striker Danny Dichio left early.

Dichio, who scored in Toronto’s 1-0 win over Kansas City on Sunday, seemed to hurt a leg during a scrimmage.

“I think Danny just got landed on during the game so we just pulled him out as a precaution,” interim head coach Chris Cummins told reporters. “He’s obviously seeing the medics this afternoon and we’ll see how he is again in the morning.”

De Rosario, however, was back in action after missing two games with an injured hamstring.

“He’s done a full session. He’s got through that. We’ll see how he is in the morning with regards to playing on the weekend,” Cummins said.

Toronto (3-2-2) hosts the Columbus Crew (0-2-4) on Saturday.

NOTES — Chicago Fire forward Brian McBride was voted MLS Player of the Month for April after scoring four goals in four games.

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One final kick for Dichio
March 18, 2009, 7:30 AM
Filed under: Danny Dichio, Toronto FC

This is Danny Dichio’s 19th spring with a professional soccer team and he has all the aches, bumps and bruises to prove it.

“This will be my final year,” Dichio said yesterday, emerging from the trainers’ room.

At 6-foot-5, Dichio is an imposing presence but he freely acknowledged that all the body parts don’t move quite as well as they once did.

ACHES

“The ache seems to hang around a lot longer than it used to,” he said, grinning.

This is a watershed season for Toronto FC, and for its first hero. The third-year expansion club is expected to reach the playoffs for the first time. And, as the team prepares for its season opener Saturday in Kansas City, Dichio is expecting to be a spare part instead of a main part.

“I’m realistic,” Dichio said. “I won’t play or start every game. (Coach John Carver) spoke to me and I can give my knowledge and fit into games at times or when players are injured. I can thrive on that — helping guys out in the changing room when they’re having a bad time, giving encouragement when they’re going through a sticky patch. I’ve been there. I know what it feels like when you haven’t scored in a few games.”

Dichio is to soccer fans in Toronto what Doug Gilmour is to Leafs’ fans or, perhaps, what Doug Ault was to the Jays. When Dichio scored the franchise’s first goal on May 12, 2007, it was the birth of an icon. He has forever since been a fan favourite — two years ago voted Toronto’s most-loved athlete in a fan vote.

It was an adulation Dichio, now 34, never expected when he arrived after a modest career in England.

“I always had a good rapport with fans in other clubs but never the kind of status I had here as the first goal scorer,” Dichio said. “I was the face of Toronto FC wherever we went. It was good but I’m kind of glad there’s other star players now to take that off me.”

He never has been entirely comfortable in the limelight.

“I’m not naturally an out-going guy with the media. I wasn’t embarrassed but I’d never had the attention or the fan adulation before in my career,” Dichio said. “I was willing to take it on because we were a new club, someone had to do it … and the fans seemed to take to me.”

He is serenaded every game. The love is not unrequited. Many imports come to the MLS to bury careers; Dichio used it to build a new life. He intends to stay in Toronto to coach after this season. He, his wife, Claire, and their three children Luca, 10, Franco, 7, and Alessia, 3, have permanent residence papers.

“I’ve only been back to England once,” Dichio said. “I’ve got my whole family here now and they’re all becoming very Canadian.”

Dichio even bought a winter coat last fall and his oldest son, Dichio said with a laugh, “is very interested in baseball. He’s only been playing for two years but he’s playing AA. In Etobicoke. He’s done very well since they got him out of the cricket stance. He loves it.”

Dichio said a concussion last year ended any idea of prolonging his playing career.

“It’s probably the worst injury I’ve had,” Dichio said.

“I didn’t know when the dizzy spells would stop. I was oblivious to everything … I play a position where I’m going up for high balls and playing against big ugly defenders (he laughs) who want to elbow you. I’m just one hit away from getting that again.”

So he hopes for one last hurrah — then it will be done.

“You come to a stage in your life where you don’t want to keep dragging the old horse out,” Dichio said.

NEW LIFE

“I’ve seen a lot of players in England who keep putting their bodies through this strain and don’t realize they have a life after football. I want to have a life after the game. I’ve got three kids who want a daddy to play with in the garden and take for walks. I’m not going to be able to do that if I’ve got a walking stick or really bad arthritis.

“It’s time for the young blood to take over.”

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TFC win 3-0 against FAU
February 22, 2009, 12:40 AM
Filed under: Danny Dichio, MLS Preseason, Sam Cronin, Toronto FC

Toronto FC got their week in Sunrise, Florida off to a good start by beating Florida Atlantic University 3-0 on Saturday. SuperDraft pick Sam Cronin got a goal for the Reds and Danny Dichio scored twice. A number of first team players were not included in the line-up.

Toronto FC will take on Swedish Premier Division side Hacken on Monday, Feb. 23.



Shep Messing: TFC not happy with Dichio
February 19, 2009, 5:34 PM
Filed under: Danny Dichio, Pablo Vitti, Toronto FC

It’s unclear whether he’s out to lunch or not, but MLS pundit and former New York Cosmo (’cause who doesn’t love a former Cosmo?) Shep Messing dropped a flip one-liner about Danny Dichio in the latest edition of MLS Extra Time.

He said that Toronto was not happy with the big man because they didn’t like his “attitude.”

It doesn’t seem to fit — at all– but I put it out there for you to consider on its own merits. He does like the addition of Pablo Vitti, however. Gave him a four out of five.

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Dichio: Frei & Vitti look impressive
February 13, 2009, 9:42 AM
Filed under: Danny Dichio, MLS Preseason, Pablo Vitti, Stefan Frei, Toronto FC

From Dichio’s blog

After a hard afternoon yesterday where we practiced only once , we were back to our normal double session today. Yesterday was the dreaded 3 on 3’s in a tight area working at an intense pace and pressuring the person in control of the ball. We do numerous reps of these at selected time periods with rest time in between the 3 minute games. But no matter how hard these 3 on 3’s are, i know that all of the players would much rather do this hard work with the ball and goals than run stupidly for long periods around a track, pitch or forest!!  Back to today where this morning we broke up into 4 teams of 6 and played a mini tournament against eachother. 3 times through and the guys were spent after putting in lots of effort, even on the training ground there is lots of hustling and arguing between the lads as no-one wants to be on the losing team. Also adding to the fire is the dubious refereeing of some of our coaches, there response is that we should be used to it now while playing in the MLS!!!   Our new young goalkeeper Stefan Frei has impressed me alot already, and being on my team today i got an even closer look at him. He was superb today and really makes himself big on 1 on 1 situations, earning the nickname ‘Spider-Man’ already. Another guy that looks the business even though his only been with us a couple of days now is ‘Pablo Vitti’. He does not speak much english , but you can tell he’s a class act. He has great feet and movement and can turn on sixpence sharply. I look forward to seeing him in game action tomorrow against New York. It was also good to see my old mate Marv come and join us today after his exploits with the US national team. They got a great win against Mexico last night, so he was a pretty happy guy today.

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