O'Dea Debut On Hold

Toronto faces backline challenges Wednesday due to international duty, suspension & injury.

Photo: Toronto will have to wait for a Darren O'Dea debut.

When Toronto takes on Portland Wednesday night at BMO Field (TSN at 7:30 p.m. ET), the Reds could give a few players a chance to stake their claim to the TFC backline.   

International duty, discipline and injuries have Toronto depleted on defence heading into the match.

Newly signed Ireland international Darren O’Dea will be in Serbia for a friendly. Also expected to be absent are Dicoy Williams (Jamaica) and Doneil Henry (Canada), representing their respective nations.

The postponement of last Saturday’s match in Columbus means Logan Emory will serve a suspension Wednesday, punishment for a red card received in Chicago. During the same match Jeremy Hall picked up an ankle injury that will have him sidelined for Portland.

This leaves only two regular first team defenders in camp for the midweek match, Richard Eckersley and Ashtone Morgan. They are joined in Toronto by Adrian Cann, Ty Harden – both former starters – and rookie Aaron Maund. Two of these players could find their way to the starting lineup.

The defence isn’t the only area where Toronto will be missing regulars. Other players expected to be out of the lineup due to international duty are midfielder Terry Dunfield (Canada) and forward Ryan Johnson (Jamaica).

This means BMO Field will have to wait to see the pairing of Johnson and Eric Hassli on attack.

TorontoFC.ca will be at the Kia Training Ground on Tuesday with latest player & coach interviews on Toronto FC TV, looking ahead to Wednesday's match.

#TFC12

Monday marks the start of TFC Twelve, a series promoting good initiatives in our community that was started in the 2011 season. Named after the 12th man - the TFC supporter - TorontoFC.ca will highlight some leaders in and around Toronto over the next 12 days.

The project received a boost from team captain Torsten Frings, as he helped to drive home the idea that our daily routine often keeps us from noticing what surrounds us.