Photo: Reds' Doneil Henry battled Chad Barrett on his last trip to Carson in June of 2011.
It has been reported that fatigue has engulfed LA Galaxy, that their 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake at the weekend is evidence of that very fact. Make of it what you will, but one thing is certain, there is nothing tired about Toronto FC.
The players are competitive as ever, while maintaining a jovial mood on their travel to California.
TFC trained in a closed session at LA Galaxy’s practice facility outside Home Depot Center on Monday in the early hours of the evening. The Reds will repeat that routine on Tuesday ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal second leg match on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET on Sportsnet One).
After arriving late Sunday night, players had a lot of idle time on their hands on Monday. Strolling about a nearby shopping mall to pass the hours between breakfast and lunch soon gave way to a short, but intense training session.
Toronto FC TV caught up with recently called Canada Under-23 players Doneil Henry and Matt Stinson, and their English teammate, Richard Eckersley, who was drying off from a team birthday bath endured alongside fellow defender Ty Harden.
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Video: Richard Eckersley & Ty Harden get the birthday bath.
On the topic of conceding late and finishing 2-2 in the first leg last week, Henry was defiant.
“Yes, we are disappointed with the way we finished the game,” the Canadian admitted, “but we can definitely come here with high hopes and high spirits to get (the win).”
“We showed that we are a good team, we can battle, we can compete, we can play soccer.”
Stinson echoed his fellow TFC Academy graduate.
“We proved to ourselves and the fans that we can beat this team,” Stinson said of LA. “MLS champs, it’s not easy to do.”
“All the guys think we can come here and get the points we need to move on.”
The birthday boy was on the same page as his Canadian mates.
“I think training has been good,” Eckersley exclaimed, “we’ve traveled well and I think rest up now, have a good training session (Tuesday) and take it to them Wednesday.”
About his birthday celebration - on Toronto FC TV & YouTube - and players giving him a hard time during his interview, the Salford star summed up the mood of the camp.
“We are always playing jokes, it’s good for teamwork and team spirit.”
There were no signs of fatigue to be found.
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