TORONTO – The fitness race continues for two crucial pieces of the TFC puzzle, as Drew Moor and Victor Vazquez continue to progress ahead of Sunday afternoon’s return leg.
Moor and Vazquez sustained ankle and pelvic injuries, respectively, in the 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. While both players made positive strides towards a return to the pitch on Sunday, head coach Greg Vanney remained noncommittal on their inclusion on the match day roster come Sunday.
“They were able to get through the sections of training that we had hoped. Now we’ll see how they respond,” he said following Friday’s training session. “With these injuries, it’s not just about the day of training, but the response afterwards so we know if they can turn around and go. Tomorrow’s another day, so we’ll see where they’re at physically. Those injuries can get irritated quickly, but the hope is that they come back tomorrow feeling good.”
Heading into the second leg at BMO Field, the Reds know it won’t be an easy task facing a Red Bulls team with “nothing to lose,” as New York head coach Jesse Marsch has stated.
“They’re going to fight for their lives,” defender Justin Morrow said. “They’re a tough team; they’re not going to roll over for us, but if we can jump on them early, get a goal, that’ll go a long way.”
Playing at home, the game will have a different look and feel as compared to the series opener in Harrison. And with just 90 minutes to save their season, Morrow knows the Red Bulls may have a trick or two up their sleeves.
“I’m sure they’ll be looking to throw something new at us, which means we could have to adjust mid-game,” Morrow continued. “There will be a time where they look to try something different, something we haven’t seen, so we just need to be ready for it.”