May 15, 2014
NO BRADLEY, BUT STILL DIFFICULT
Petke expects a tough Toronto team
By Kristian R. Dyer
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
HANOVER, N.J. – Star-studded Toronto FC hosts the Red Bulls this Saturday and though the team will be without U.S. national team midfielder Michael Bradley, the squad still will be nearly at full strength.
While Bradley is off with the national side preparing for the World Cup, Toronto still boats a side that, on paper, is among the strongest in MLS. Both English international Jermaine Defoe as well as Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Caesar will available for selection. So to will Brazilian striker Gilberto, a designated player signing this past off-season.
On Wednesday night, Toronto went into penalty kicks to advance in the Canada Championship.
“Defoe is going to be there, Julio Caesar will be there. So they'll all be there. We're preparing for their best. It's a good team,” Petke told BigAppleSoccer.com after practice at the Red Bull training facility on Thursday.
As for facing a team that played 120 minutes on Wednesday night at Vancouver, Petke said they still have pieced together a solid idea of what Toronto's Starting XI could look like.
“We have a decent idea. Jermaine Defoe didn't play last night. [Doniel] Henry played last night, went 120 minutes so it could be him or another guy,” Petke said. “We have to prepare whether it is him or if it is another guy, maybe if it is them, then they will maybe be a little bit tired.”
Gilberto started and went 83 minutes in the penalty-kick win.