– Toronto FC Transfers, Trades, Signings & Rumors

TFC Interest in Trini Striker
February 2, 2010, 1:18 PM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC, Trial

Trinidadian trialist Kerry Baptiste is being targeted by MLS sides FC Dallas and Toronto FC. Baptiste, 28, is due for a trial at Portman Road next week after his initial spell was cancelled due to the recent bad weather.

The two MLS clubs have also invited striker or winger Baptiste for trials, however the player says he is currently concentrating on his chance to impress the Blues: “I know a few clubs are hoping to have me, but I’m focused on the Ipswich trial at hand. I will do my best at the club to impress the coaches.”

Baptiste, who is currently with Joe Public FC in his home country, is due to starts his trial on February 10th before returning to Trinidad on February 19th. Baptiste scored 48 goals in the last domestic season in Trinidad.

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FC Dallas hand TFC first road loss
April 19, 2009, 10:24 PM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

Kenny Cooper scored two goals, including a game-winning penalty kick in the 84th minute, as FC Dallas finally broke through with their first win of 2009, a 3-2 decision against Toronto FC on Sunday evening at Pizza Hut Park.

In their first five games of 2009, FC Dallas had gotten few breaks en route to a 0-3-1 record. But after jumping out to a two-goal lead through Drew Moor and Cooper, FCD saw TFC come back with two goals of their own by Adrian Serioux and Chad Barrett.

But with six minutes left, Cooper converted a penalty kick when referee Tim Weyland ruled Marvell Wynne handled the ball after David Ferreira popped it up in the air while tyring to cut back on the TFC defender in the penalty area.

The late penalty provided an interesting twist, considering that on two occasions in 2009, FCD has surrendered game-winning goals from the spot. In a 3-1 season-opening loss to Chicago on March 21, it was Brian McBride who converted a spot kick in the 51st minute. And in a 2-1 loss at New England on April 4, Steve Ralston nailed a PK with about 10 minutes left.

While TFC head coach John Carver went with the same first XI that he employed a week ago when the teams played to a 1-1 draw at BMO Field, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman made one change. Marcelo Saragosa came on at right back to make his ’09 debut after missing part of preseason and tt he first five games of the regular season with a knee injury.

The home side drew first blood in the 25th minute when Moor headed one in off a set piece. Dax McCarty took the free kick about five yards from the left sideline. McCarty’s well-placed service found Moor just inside the six-yard box, and the Dallas native headed it into the right side of the net to put the home side in front.

About four minutes before Moor scored the game’s first goal, he also figured in a goal-saving play at the Reds’ expense. After TFC rookie Sam Cronin hit a nice cross from the right flank that traveled across the field to Fuad Ibrahim, the second-year player sent a ball towards goal. Chad Barrett hit it squarely but Moor was right there on the line to block Barrett’s shot with his chest and keep things scoreless.

Cooper gave FCD a two-goal cushion in the 44th with his third goal of the season. The sequence started when TFC rookie goalkeeper Stefan Frei threw the ball out to Dwayne De Rosario on the right wing. De Rosario quickly lost possession to FCD’s David Ferreira, who had the presence of mind to quickly feed Cooper, who was making a run in the middle of the pitch.

The big FCD striker then took a shot that Frei had little chance of stopping as the ball settled in the far side of the net. The home team had a 2-0 advantage and was feeling pretty good about their chances of getting their first win of the ’09 campaign.

However, that momentum was stopped cold just before the break when Serioux drew one back for the visitors. Amado Guevara started things off with a corner from the left flag. His booming ball was corralled by TFC’s Carl Robinson beyond the far post, who was inexplicably left unmarked.

Robinson had ample time to send the ball into the fray in front of the FCD goal. His cross found Serioux, who got enough on his shot that it hit the right arm of FCD goalkeeper Ray Burse, the post and then went over the end line.

Serioux’s goal came in his first appearance for TFC in Frisco since FCD traded him to the Reds on Feb. 24. The Canadian international was with FCD for both the 2007 and 2008 seasons before the trade.

Not only did his tally continue a disturbing FCD trend of surrendering goals right after scoring themselves, but it also marked the fifth time this season that the club has allowed a goal courtesy of a set piece.

Last week it was a long Serioux throw-in that led to DeRosario’s goal in the draw in Toronto. FCD has allowed one goal off a free kick, two off penalty kicks, one from a throw in and another from a corner so far in 2009. Five of the nine goals they have surrendered have come in such fashion.

At the break, TFC had a slight edge in shots, 8-7. Both clubs had five attempts go on frame and each ‘keeper was forced to make three saves in the opening 45 minutes of play.

Neither Carver nor Hyndman made any changes to start the second half. FCD made their first change in the 64th minute when Eric Avila came on for Andre Rocha, who had a relatively quiet performance.

Barrett pulled TFC level after a great sequence of play. Ibrahim lit the fuse with a pinpoint cross from the left flank. Guevara got his head on that cross, sending it toward the FCD box and a streaking Barrett. George John gave a valiant effort to stop Barrett but was just a second too late as the Reds’ striker beat Burse far post for the equalizer.

Hyndman went back to his bench in the 71st, subbing out McCarty for Jeff Cunningham, who spent parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons in Toronto. FCD’s first shot of the second half didn’t come until the 74th minute when Dave van den Bergh sent one wide left.

Other than the Barrett goal, FCD only had three shots for much of the second half. However, that all changed in the 83rd minute.

A van den Bergh cross to Ferreira came up off the FCD forward’s foot and struck Wynne on the right hand. Referee Tim Weyland quickly signaled a penalty kick, which Cooper stepped up to take. After a stutter step, his shot went into the left side of the net for his second goal of the night and fourth of the year.

Both clubs have little time off before their next matches. TFC return to the field on Wednesday night against Chivas USA and will then turn around and face Kansas City on Sunday afternoon. Both matches are at BMO Field.

FCD, on the other hand, will face D.C. United in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. Then comes a cross-country trek for a Saturday night game with Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center.

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Watch FC Dallas vs TFC – LIVE!
April 19, 2009, 1:53 PM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

CLICK HERE to watch FC Dallas vs Toronto FC – LIVE @ 7:30pm E.T.

FCD, TFC ready to clash once again
April 17, 2009, 7:25 AM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

PIZZA HUT PARK, Frisco, Texas
April 19, 2009 (WEEK 5) / MLS Game #36
6 p.m. CT (GolTV Can.; FSN-SW)

FC Dallas and Toronto FC play the back end of their home-and-home series over two weekends at Pizza Hut Park, after FCD came back to snatch a late 1-1 draw with TFC last Saturday at BMO Field. For FC Dallas, it was their first point of the season after three losses to open the campaign. Toronto FC are still looking for a second win on the season, with a loss and two draws in their last three matches.

REFEREE: Tim Weyland. SAR (bench): Bill Dittmar; JAR (opposite): Greg Boles; 4th: Abbey Okulaja
MLS Career: 92 games; FC/gm: 30.1; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 29; pens: 21

INJURY REPORT: FC DALLAS — DOUBTFUL: GK Dario Sala (L knee); QUESTIONABLE: MF Marcelo Saragosa (R knee); DF Steve Purdy (R hamstring) … TORONTO FC – OUT: FW O’Brian White (knee); QUESTIONABLE: MF Dwayne De Rosario (hamstring)


ALL-TIME (5 meetings): FC Dallas 2 wins, 7 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 7 goals … Ties 2
AT DALLAS (2 meetings): FC Dallas 1 win, 4 goals … Toronto FC 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 1

• After a 4-0 win in the first meeting between the teams, Toronto FC have gone winless against FC Dallas, the Texas side winning two of the last four with two draws.

• FCD has never lost to TFC at Pizza Hut Park, winning the first meeting there with a draw in the second last year. The teams have split their three matches at BMO Field, each winning once with one draw.

• The teams will conclude their season series this year over an eight-day stretch, with the first meeting played at BMO Field last weekend.

• Coaches record: Schellas Hyndman vs. TOR: P3 W1 L0 T2 … John Carver v DAL: P3 W0 L1 T2

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The Positive Side Of Disappointment
April 12, 2009, 10:37 AM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

Saturday’s match represented the positive side of disappointment for Toronto FC, if such a thing exists. Whereas last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Seattle was an all-around letdown for the team, Saturday’s 1-1 draw against FC Dallas represented at least a step in the right direction, albeit with its own unique brand of unpleasantness.

In this case, it was an 87th-minute goal from FCD captain Pablo Ricchetti that tied the game and erased the lead that the Reds had held for most of the game. Ricchetti’s goal deflated the supporters at BMO Field, all of whom were hoping to see TFC hang on for its first home victory of the season.

The last-minute concession brought back some uncomfortable memories from 2008, when TFC cost themselves a number of points by allowing a league-worst 13 goals in the final 15 minutes of games. Toronto head coach John Carver didn’t have an answer for why his team suddenly relented in the face of the Dallas attack.

“Maybe it’s a little bit of anxiety crept in, certainly in the last 10-15 minutes,” Carver said. “They stayed with it, they made a few changes, they changed tactically as well, and I could see a little bit of anxiety creeping in amongst our guys. As a coach I don’t think there’s a great deal you can do about that since it’s down to individuals.”

Defender Adrian Serioux wasn’t with the Reds last season, but the veteran is hopeful that this late-game goal was just an aberration and not the beginning of another year-long trend.

“I hope it’s not going to be one of those years when it comes down to the last two minutes or so and teams are able to capitalize on us,” Serioux said. “That’s one of the things we’ve got to focus on and make sure we can put an end to.”

In spite of being outshot 19-10 overall and 8-3 in shots on goal, Toronto held firm with their one-goal lead thanks to the strong play of first-year goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Returning to the lineup after leaving the March 28 game in Columbus with a back injury, Frei was outstanding in making six saves, several of which were difficult. His first save was arguably his most impressive — a leaping stop in the 13th minute that kept a shot from FCD’s Andre Rocha from curving into the top left corner of the net.

In spite of his impressive outing, Frei still took the burden for the draw on himself and didn’t even agree with the notion that his performance had earned him the full-time starting job ahead of Greg Sutton and Brian Edwards.

“I was trying to keep the team in it and give us a 1-0 win and I came up short by three minutes,” Frei said. “It’s disappointing, very disappointing. … I look at it as week-by-week, you have to earn your spot. So I’ll be coming out Monday to earn my spot for next Sunday again.”

Carver praised his rookie ‘keeper’s first outing in front of the BMO Field fans.

“I’ve been talking about Stefan since we picked him in the draft,” Carver said. “The fans have seen what we’ve got now and they can see why I was quite excited when we picked him up. He had a super game. I feel for him because goalkeepers pride themselves on clean sheets and if anybody deserved a clean sheet, it was Stefan today.”

Dwayne De Rosario put the Reds up in the 17th minute when he converted a long throw-in from Serioux that sailed all the way from the corner into the penalty area. De Rosario managed to head in Serioux’s toss to give TFC the lead that nearly stood over the rest of the match.

It was a rare attacking collaboration between the two Toronto natives, who Serioux jokingly referred to as “the Scarborough Connection.” The defender said that his throw-ins can sometimes be more effective than a corner in dealing with the swirling winds at BMO Field, and they provide another added wrinkle for opponents to worry about.

“If [hitting the first man] is not an option for me, I usually just try to whip it into the box and cause a scatter and hopefully someone gets on the end of it like DeRo did,” Serioux said. “My throw-ins can go pretty far. It’s almost like a corner kick. So if I can use that as a threat against other teams, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

TFC will get a quick opportunity to avenge the draw against FCD as the teams will face each other again on Sunday, this time in Frisco, Texas at Pizza Hut Park. The concept of a home-and-home series is somewhat unusual in regular-season MLS play, but Frei thinks the short turnaround time between games will help his team’s preparation.

“We know what their habits are, their strengths are,” Frei said. “We looked at footage before but now we have first-hand experience against them.”

Ironically, TFC’s last trip to Frisco ended with another late-game disappointment. Last Oct. 11, Marvell Wynne scored an 88th-minute goal to give the Reds a 2-1 lead, but the lead was short-lived as Kenny Cooper equalized in the 90th minute to end the game in a 2-2 draw.

Toronto is hoping to get maximum points and break this string of deadlocks against FCD, but Carver is just hoping that his team can deliver another showing that fully erases the spectre of the Seattle match.

“It’s really disappointing to concede a goal with two or three minutes to go since I thought there was a vast improvement after last week’s performance,” Carver said. “It’s disappointing coming away with a point, but a point is better than none at all. At one stage we could’ve lost all three, so I’ll take the point, it might be valuable down the line.”

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Too many missed chances for TFC
April 12, 2009, 10:28 AM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, Dwayne DeRosario, FC Dallas, Toronto FC

On Saturday night when Toronto FC reflects on its 1-1 draw with FC Dallas it will undoubtedly be kept awake by the missed opportunities.

“Sometimes you are just all over a team and you can’t put them away,” Jim Brennan said. “It’s frustrating.”

Dallas arrived in Toronto on a three-game losing streak to begin the year and the draw on Saturday is its first point to date. Although the final statistics will not show Toronto as the better team on the day — they were outshot 19-10 — its final tally of three shots on target included a pair of open-net opportunities.

The first came just 25 seconds into the match when a Dwayne De Rosario volley was cleared off the line by FCD defender George John. The second opportunity came in the 29th minute when striker Chad Barrett was alone in front of the Dallas goal after an Amado Guevara shot struck the crossbar and fell to the striker. The follow-up attempt by Barrett flew to the left of Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse.

Barrett’s miss may have finished off Dallas as Toronto (1-1-2) was a goal to the good at the time thanks to De Rosario’s first goal in a Reds uniform. The Scarborough, Ont., native got on the end of a long throw-in from fellow Canadian Adrian Serioux to open his account at BMO Field.

“Getting the first goal is always the toughest and I am glad to get it in front of the home fans,” De Rosario said of the goal. “But we let ourselves down. If you don’t finish off teams they will come back and punish you.”

Coach John Carver was disappointed in losing the three points, but took solace in the fact his team improved from its home-opening 2-0 loss to Seattle and created several chances in improving its overall record to one win, two draws and a loss. Carver was not about to put any criticism on Barrett for misfiring on what was the best opportunity of the day.

“(Barrett) in the last two games had no chances. But he was in position today and worked hard,” Carver said. “He had one or two chances and just didn’t put them away.”

As for why his team was unable to finish off an opponent that didn’t threaten very often, Carver had his own theories.

“I think some anxiety crept in,” Carver said. “As a coach there is not a great deal you can do about that. It comes down to individuals.”

In 2008 Toronto FC was victimized by late winners or equalizing goals five times, including a similar 2-2 draw with Dallas at BMO Field that saw striker Kenny Cooper convert a stoppage-time penalty.

Serioux, who was a member of Dallas in that match, hopes the trend will not continue throughout the summer.

“I hope it will not turn into one of those years where it comes down to the last two minutes and teams capitalize late on us,” Serioux said. “We allowed them to play. You look at the defence to stop those goals but at the same time the attacking players missed chances and it turned out to be costly.”

Toronto’s next game is on the road in Dallas as the back end of the home-and-home on Saturday, April 11.

NOTES: Guevara had an ice-pack on his right ankle after the game … De Rosario explained that his late-game substitution was brought on by pain he felt in his hamstring. The first-year TFC player asked for the sub to avoid injury … The attendance was 20, 272 … Former TFC striker Jeff Cunningham was serenaded with a “BMO Reject” chant after he collided with and was cautioned for a foul on TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

TFC LINEUP: Stefan Frei; Marvell Wynne, Adrian Serioux, Jim Brennan (C), Kevin Harmse; Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Sam Cronin; Dwayne De Rosario (Pablo Vitti, 89), Chad Barrett (Danny Dichio, 69), Faud Ibrahim (Rohan Ricketts, 75).

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Late FC Dallas Goal Forces Draw At BMO
April 12, 2009, 8:25 AM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

A late goal from Pablo Ricchetti forced Toronto FC to settle for a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas on Saturday at BMO Field.

Dwayne De Rosario’s 17th-minute header looked like it might stand up for the Reds, who were kept in the game due to a tremendous performance from rookie goalkeeper Stefan Frei. But, in the end, the Reds finished with their second draw of the season as they are still searching for their first home victory of 2009. Dallas, meanwhile, picked up its first point of the season after an 0-3 start.

Toronto head coach John Carver promised some changes in the wake of TFC’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Seattle last week, and indeed the starting XI against FCD had a different look. Frei was back between the posts, while Dwayne De Rosario was moved up front since Sam Cronin and Fuad Ibrahim started in place of Rohan Ricketts and Pablo Vitti. Dallas, meanwhile, made no changes from the lineup that dropped a 2-1 result to New England last Saturday.

The changes almost paid off within the very first minute, as Ibrahim sent a cross in that De Rosario just barely got a piece of on the right side of the net. De Rosario’s tap was enough to send the ball slowly dribbling towards the open Dallas net, but FCD defender George John managed to beat a charging Chad Barrett and slid to clear the ball with just an inch to spare.

Six minutes later, Barrett was able to get a shot off of an Amado Guevara free kick, but this time it was Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse who was able to make a close-range save and thwart the TFC striker.

FCD generated some attack of their own that required some effort from Frei. The rookie ‘keeper was making his first appearance since suffering a back injury against Columbus on March 28 and having to be substituted at the half. Frei was tested in the 13th minute, when Dallas midfielder Andre Rocha curved a well-aimed volley towards the upper-left corner of the net that required Frei to leap for his first save of the match.

It was the Reds who drew first blood, however, thanks to an all-Scarborough, Ontario scoring connection. Adrian Serioux, playing his first game against FCD since being dealt last February, had a mighty throw-in in the 17th minute that sailed into the penalty area. The toss was met by Serioux’s fellow Torontonian De Rosario, who headed the ball into the net for his first goal as a member of Toronto FC.

Both teams roughly split the possession time in the first half, but the difference was that FCD made the most of its opportunities by generating a scoring chance almost every time they had the ball deep in the Toronto end. Frei showed good poise on collecting a tricky bouncing shot from Rocha just after the De Rosario goal for the second of four saves made by the ‘keeper in the first half-hour of the game.

TFC, meanwhile, weren’t quite as efficient with their possession, though they did threaten to add to their lead. Ibrahim had a shot sail wide in the 21st minute, Carl Robinson ran a step too far past a centering pass in the 29th and after a deflected Guevara kick caught the crossbar and bounced directly back to Barrett in the penalty area, the striker’s follow-up shot flew to the left of the net.

The half that began with a close call ended with another, this time at the TFC end. Dave van den Bergh sent in a cross that Dax McCarty headed off of the crossbar and bounced directly downwards. The ball landed outside of the goal line by a fraction of an inch and bounced out into Frei’s arms. A few Dallas players even raised their arms thinking that the ball had landed a few millimeters in the other direction.

The game’s exciting, back-and-forth pace continued into the second half. Dallas just missed the equalizer in the 47th minute when Andre Rocha fired a hard shot within the penalty area that just barely went wide. On the counterattack, Toronto fullback Marvell Wynne made some nifty moves to create space on the left side, but his cross attempt was cut off by a diving Burse.

Toronto’s back line was hard-pressed to keep Dallas from finding space, as the shot total stood at 11-6 for the visitors after 53 minutes. But Frei stood his ground as TFC’s last line of defense. He stopped a hard strike from Dallas star forward Kenny Cooper in the 53rd minute, and then made another save in the 67th off of a shot from van den Bergh created after a nice flick pass from Cooper down the left side.

The second half saw both sides begin to play the substitution game. Danny Dichio and Rohan Ricketts came into the game for Barrett and Ibrahim, while Dallas replaced Rocha and Michael Dello-Russo with Eric Avila and Jeff Cunningham, with the latter playing his first game at BMO Field after being traded to FCD last August.

The new players led to some excitement for the dormant Toronto attack, as Dichio had a shot in the 75th minute following a corner. But it was FCD which kept up the pressure as well a minute later, as only a last-second Wynne clearance prevented Cunningham from a quick goal in his return game.

In the 88th minute, the Reds were finally broken down. A McCarty corner kick sailed to the right of the net and was collected by Avila, who centered the ball in front of the net. Amidst the bodies gathered in the goalmouth, it was Dallas captain Pablo Ricchetti who managed to get a back-heel kick that found the back of the net. It was the first goal of the season for Ricchetti and the first for any Dallas player besides Cooper in 2009.

The Reds and the Hoops won’t have to wait long for a rematch, as the two teams will meet again next Sunday at Pizza Hut Park.

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Watch Live: FC Dallas vs TFC
April 11, 2009, 9:29 AM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

CLICK HERE to watch FC Dallas vs Toronto FC live @ 4pm E.T.

Match Preview: FC Dallas vs TFC
April 11, 2009, 9:25 AM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
April 11, 2009 (WEEK 4) / MLS Game #23
4 p.m. ET (CBC; KFWD-52)

Toronto FC and FC Dallas kick off the first leg of their two-game, home-and-home series over the next two weekends when they meet Saturday afternoon at BMO Field – with both teams desperate for a victory. TFC followed a season-opening win with a draw and a loss, the defeat coming last weekend in their home debut. FCD has lost all three of its matches thus far, the first time in club history the Dallas organization has opened with three losses to start a season.

REFEREE: Terry Vaughn. SAR (bench): Joe Fletcher; JAR (opposite): Daniel Belleau; 4th: Steven DePiero
MLS Career: 104 games; FC/gm: 29.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 34; pens: 31

INJURY REPORT: TORONTO FC – OUT: FW O’Brian White (knee); PROBABLE: FW Chad Barrett (adductors) … FC DALLAS — OUT: MF Marcelo Saragosa (R knee); GK Dario Sala (L knee); QUESTIONABLE: DF Steve Purdy (R hamstring); DF Daniel Torres (R hamstring); MF Andre Rocha (R foot)

ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 6 goals … FC Dallas 2 wins, 6 goals … Ties 1
AT TORONTO (2 meetings): Toronto FC 1 win, 4 goals … FC Dallas 1 win, 2 goals … Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 4/19: Toronto FC at FC Dallas, 6 p.m. CT

8/3: TOR 0, DAL 2 (Cooper 81, 90)

10/11: DAL 2, TOR 2 (Cooper 34, 90 – Velez 72, Wynne 88)

• After a 4-0 win in the first meeting between the teams, Toronto FC have gone winless against FC Dallas, the Texas side winning two of the last three with one draw.

• FCD has never lost to TFC at Pizza Hut Park, winning the first meeting there with a draw in the second last year. The teams have split their two matches at BMO Field.

• The teams will conclude their season series this year over an eight-day stretch, with the meeting at Pizza Hut Park to be played next Sunday evening.

• Coaches record: John Carver v DAL: P2 W0 L1 T1 … Schellas Hyndman vs. TOR: P2 W1 L0 T1

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Cooper poses a threat for TFC
April 11, 2009, 9:23 AM
Filed under: FC Dallas, Toronto FC

Kenny Cooper isn’t terribly flashy, but he is a defender’s worst nightmare.

What makes Cooper so dangerous is his ability to conjure goals out of nothing and single-handedly influence the game at a drop of a hat.

After finishing the 2008 Major League Soccer season as the league’s second-best scorer with 18 goals, the FC Dallas striker has picked up where he left off a year ago, scoring twice in his first three games of the current campaign.

Needless to say, stopping Cooper will be high on Toronto FC’s list of priorities when it hosts FC Dallas on Saturday (CBC,, 3:30 p.m. ET).

Toronto knows all about the Dallas forward and what he is capable of doing.

Cooper scored two goals — including one from the penalty spot in injury time — to help Dallas earn a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Toronto late last season, a result that all but eliminated the Canadian club from playoff contention. Toronto defender Jim Brennan said what makes Cooper so dangerous is that he combines physical strength with intelligence.

“He’s a very good striker and he’s a strong player,” Brennan told “He’s clever and he can score goals. Defensively, we have to be on our game and mark him tight and keep him away from our net.”

Stopping Cooper has to be a team effort, and Toronto’s forwards must get involved and act as the first line of defence in trying to contain the Dallas striker, according to Toronto’s captain.

“When you’re defending, you have to start from the front with the forwards, and go all the way to the goalkeeper. Everyone has to defend,” Brennan said.

In last week’s home opener against the Seattle Sounders, Brennan and his teammates struggled to contain another offensive star, Freddie Ljungberg. The Swede made them pay, scoring a goal and terrorizing Toronto’s defence in a 2-0 win for the Sounders.

Trying to nullify Cooper poses another daunting challenge for Toronto.

“We all know about the threat up front for Dallas with Kenny Cooper, and he can score goals from anywhere, as we saw last season,” Toronto coach John Carver said.

“He hasn’t got the same type of movement as a player like Freddie Ljungberg, but he scored against us twice last year, so we know exactly what he can do.”

Carver also stressed that Toronto, sporting a 1-1-1 record, can’t afford to take Dallas (0-3) lightly.

“I don’t think their record is a true reflection of how good they are. I watched their game against New England last week [a 2-1 loss] and in the first half they outplayed the Revolution.… We can’t relax and just think we will automatically win because they haven’t won a game yet,” Carver explained.

Carver lambasted his players in a post-match news conference following last week’s loss to Seattle, calling his team’s overall effort against the expansion franchise “a disgrace.”

The Toronto coach said his players responded with plenty of hard work in training this past week, but he also revealed he planned to re-jig his starting lineup for Saturday’s game after the Seattle debacle.

“One thing is for sure, I am going to be making changes to the side,” Carver said. “I’m not going to say what those changes are, but there will be changes in personnel.”

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