MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)

 

The Sports Network

Toronto FC (0-0-0) at Seattle (1-0-0), 4:30 p.m.

Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - New-look Toronto FC will head to CenturyLink Field on Saturday for a marquee clash with Seattle Sounders FC.

Toronto, long-time doormat in MLS, strengthened its squad considerably in the offseason, adding the likes of Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe, Dwayne De Rosario, Justin Morrow, Julio Cesar and Jackson.

With such major acquisitions come added pressure, but Tim Bezbatchenko, Toronto's General Manager, welcomes the challenge.

"I think everyone is just motivated to win and do better," Bezbatchenko told reporters at TFC's media day. "Last year and the last few years have been unacceptable to the organization and to our board. You can see the passion of the players with what they have done over the offseason and the way they have come back fit and ready to go. They know it is a new ball game here.

"I'm very comfortable with the high expectations. Everyone is shooting for us and that is one of the reasons that I wanted to come to TFC in the first place, to do something different with the situation, where instead of being at the bottom, we're at the top and everybody else is trying to catch up to us. Now we haven't done anything yet, but in terms of what we have done over the offseason, we have set it up and hopefully we take advantage of all the moves."

The Sounders, meanwhile, are flying high after stealing three points from their opening fixture of the season. Seattle's contest with Sporting Kansas City was scoreless until the dying minutes when newcomer Chad Barrett capitalized on a scramble in the box to poke home the winner from close range.

Normally, Barrett's heroics would lead to some increased attention heading into the next match. But the big story Saturday's contest figures to be the five World Cup stars from three different countries that potentially could start the match.

Bradley, Toronto's midfield stalwart, is a surefire starter for the United States, as is Clint Dempsey, assuming the Sounders attacker maintains his form. Add Toronto's Julio Cesar of Brazil and Defoe of England, as well as Seattle's Brad Evans, into the mix and it's easy to see the growth of MLS.

"The league has grown considerably," Dempsey told the club's official website. "It makes it more exciting for the fans and also for the players because that's what you want. You want this to be the best league possible because this is where you're from."

Read more Major League Soccer stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category