After spending the last three weeks getting to know his teammates, now Toronto FC's new central defender Ty Harden is able to settle into his new surroundings for the first time, with the squad returning to train at home this week after spending 20 days in Florida.
Ty Harden speaks to the media about his new surroundings.
Harden was signed from Colorado on February 9 in exchange for a third round MLS SuperDraft pick in 2011. The 25-year-old linked up with the Reds in Bradenton. "It has been great so far," he told Toronto FC TV. "There is a lot more media attention than other places in MLS. It's nice to feel like part of the community and that people are behind us."
Harden scored one goal in seven appearances for the Rapids in 2009 and was named Los Angeles Galaxy's Rookie of the Year in 2007. He returned to MLS last season after taking a year out of the game. "I went back to school and travelled a little bit," he explained. "I did some mission type work in Africa for a few months, but my love for the game came back and I realized that this is definitely part of my life and I really missed it. That is what brought me back and why I am here."
The Oregon native is pleased with his fitness level at this stage of preseason, and is determined to fight for a place in Preki's starting line-up for the opening match in Columbus on March 27.
"This is the time to earn our spots. I don't think too many people are penciled in at this point, but I am definitely working to earn the spot. I think my fitness levels are pretty similar to how they were in Colorado. I had a full year last year. I went through preseason and had a couple of injuries maybe due to the time off, but this is my second preseason back."
Harden has been impressed with the Reds' coaching staff during the first few weeks of preseason and is enjoying working with Preki. "He's really good and his record speaks very well for him. He is serious and demanding on the field but when you step away he's a guy that you can approach very easily."