Stinson Shows Progress

Toronto FC Academy graduate continues to figure in head coach Aron Winter's plans.

TORONTO – Since fracturing his third metacarpal in a 4-2 win over the Columbus Crew on Sept. 10, Toronto FC midfielder Matt Stinson has been playing with a cast to protect his right hand.

It’s nothing new for the TFC Academy graduate.

“When I went to college [at Winthrop University], I played with the cast basically the whole season on my left arm,” he said. “Before, with the Academy I played with one on the right arm. Maybe the first practice it’s a little different. But it’s not that heavy. It’s not that big a deal.”

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VIDEO: Matt Stinson following the Pumas draw.

Stinson picked up the injury after coming on for Nick Soolsma in the 80th minute against the Crew. The match was played the night after his 19th birthday.

“I let the ball go through my legs in the box and when I turned around I lost my footing,” the Toronto native said. “I think I either fell on it wrong or maybe a guy kind of hit it, I don’t know.”

Whatever caused the fracture, it’s clear that it hasn’t stopped the Canadian U-20 international. Stinson played the full 90 in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Pumas UNAM in the CONCACAF Champions League Group C match at BMO Field.

“I’m getting more comfortable,” he said. “I’m not as hesitant to try and play, try different things and take some risks. Maybe at the beginning I wouldn’t have taken the shot I took three games ago at home.”

Stinson made his first appearance for the Reds on June 25, and has since featured in another nine MLS games. Combined with his six CCL appearances, it seems clear that Stinson will get plenty of opportunities going forward. And for a player who gets more comfortable with more games, fans can only hope that they’ve yet to see the best of the young Canadian.