TORONTO — It’s a game fullback Justin Morrow always circles on his calendar.
Toronto FC will look for a second consecutive home victory when they play host to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at BMO Field.
The 27-year-old was selected by San Jose in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft in 2010 and spent parts of three seasons with the Earthquakes prior to joining the Reds last season.
“I always have fun beating on my former club,” joked Morrow following Friday’s training session. “It’s the first time I start against them, last year I came off the bench against them so I’m excited to play a full game against them.”
Toronto (4-5-1) enters the game against San Jose not entirely thrilled with its performance in a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers last Saturday.
Following the win, captain Michael Bradley felt it wasn’t his club’s “best day” adding the Reds were “just scratching the surface” in terms of their capabilities.
On Friday, coach Greg Vanney agreed with the defender’s assessment.
“We need to finish a couple of the chances that we had, that would’ve made things a little bit different,” said Vanney. “At times, we get into a real rush to try to attack, when a lot of our chances come when we actually string together a few passes and bring numbers into the attack.
“We have guys that can play in tight spaces. For us, when we’re managing games, we don’t need to be in such a rush to try to counter and finish the attack.”
Jozy Altidore, who has been sidelined since May 16 with a hamstring strain, is progressing well. According to Vanney, the 25-year-old forward is ahead of schedule.
“Jozy was on the field running today,” said Vanney. “Will probably a little bit tight, if we were to try to throw him out there tomorrow.”
The club announced on May 19 that Altidore was expected to miss 4-5 weeks.
Robbie Findley, who missed last weekend’s game due to a foot injury is expected to be “available on some level” according to Vanney.
After early season injuries to their defence, the Earthquakes (5-4-3) enter this weekend’s contest finally healthy with the foursome of Jordan Stewart, Clarence Goodson, Victor Bernardez and Marvell Wynne all in tact.
San Jose comes to Toronto following a 1-1 draw at home against Orlando City on Sunday and have picked up points in all five contests this month.
“It’s a good team,” said Bradley. “A lot of guys that have been in the league a long time. We know that they’ll come in and be organized, willing to work hard and compete for every ball.
“We know the onus will be on us to be sharp and to play in a way that right away puts the game on our terms.”
Toronto won the lone meeting between the two clubs last season.
Dhiren Mahiban , The Canadian Press