Koef-Less Toronto Hosts Rapids

Asif Hossain - TorontoFC.ca
Irreplaceable Koevermans

Toronto FC will aim for its third straight win Wednesday night when Colorado Rapids visit BMO Field for a midweek encounter (SNET Ontario & One at 7 p.m. ET).

Reds will be shorthanded with top goal scorer Danny Koevermans sidelined for the rest of the 2012 season with a torn-ACL. While his leadership and nine-goal start to the season are irreplaceable, head coach Paul Mariner will be counting on Koef's teammates to step in and pick up the team. "It's the same old story in football," Mariner said to reporters on Tuesday. "Somebody goes down, somebody else has an opportunity ... somebody else will step in and somebody else will do a great job." Toronto beat New England 1-0 on Saturday, on a goal where Koevermans put Luis Silva through before leaving injured later in the half. "He was doing everything he possibly could to get the team up the table," Mariner said of the injured Dutchman.

Second Striker Silva

Mariner confirmed that Silva will partner Ryan Johnson in Toronto's attack in Koevermans' absence on Wednesday. The first-year player has scored in the last two games, including a MLS Goal of the Week contender against New England.

"I think I'll play as a forward, tucking in, coming back as an attacking midfielder defensively," Silva mused about carrying the torch on the TFC front line that Mariner admits is a little thin at the moment. The coach will look to address this by making acquisitions, though in the meantime it's up to the rookie to undertake some of the offensive burden alongside Johnson. "With Ryan, I'm going to have to adjust to the way he plays," Silva admits. "He is a big guy, he is strong, he can play the ball on the (ground) too. I don't see any reason why we can't be successful."

Into The Fire

When Koevermans went out on Saturday, Andrew Wiedeman was thrust into the action less than 36 hours after his trade to Toronto had been finalized. Having only played small roles in Dallas, Wiedeman may be asked to become a quick understudy to Johnson and Silva with few offensive options available on the bench for Mariner at present.

His versatility allowed Wiedeman to play both sides of the ball against the Revolution, as was required of him, though the new Toronto forward would love the chance to prove what he can do in front of goal. "(I'm) a finisher, that's always been my strong suit," the 22-year old, who scored 30 goals in 59 games for the University of California, told Toronto FC TV. "If I get a half chance, I'm hoping to take it and tuck it away." Should Wiedeman manage to capitalize Wednesday, it will be his first MLS goal.

End Of A Stretch

Wednesday against Colorado will mark Toronto's 10th MLS match in 32 days - including six away dates - to start Mariner's reign as the Toronto boss. During this stretch the Reds have accumulated three wins, four draws and two losses for 13 points in nine games.

When asked about the fatigue factor, defender Richard Eckersley brushed off the idea though at times heavy legs have gotten the better of Toronto, especially in the Philadelphia defeat on July 8. "I think the lads are feeling alright," Eckersley assured the media. "We had a day off (Monday) and had a light session (Tuesday). We should be used to it now, it's been four weeks, it's been constant."

Toronto will not play in a competitive match again until July 28 against Houston at BMO Field. A friendly against Liverpool awaits them Saturday at Rogers Centre after Colorado - a team Reds have beaten five times in as many years at BMO Field.

The Opposition