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Gerry Dobson - Latest from TFC camp


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Latest from TFC camp

February 19, 2008


As of Tuesday at Toronto FC’s training camp in Bradenton, the team has settled into two training sessions a day -- one on the pitch in the morning and an afternoon session, usually in the gym.

It’s happening, by the way, without the highly-touted but aging Portuguese star Joao Pinto. Despite reports he was to show up Tuesday, he did not. At this writing, no deal has been finalized for Pinto. In one way, it makes sense that he wouldn't show up in Bradenton anyway. The team is just about done there and departs Bradenton for Toronto Friday, after which they will be given the weekend off. In fact, no new players showed up at camp Tuesday.

A few days of training under the bubble at BMO Field next week will be followed by a trip to San Antonio for a preseason tournament.

Not all the players will return to Toronto with the team. The college draft choices will likely bypass the flight north to sort out some personal business and then hook up with the team in San Antonio. The same thing probably applies to Carl Robinson, who is back in Wales waiting for his wife to give birth. Texas will probably mark his return to the squad.

There's also more evidence of Mo Johnston's drafting savvy. I saw Toronto's No. 1 pick Julius James for two workouts in Bradenton and he looked like he belonged. I've talked to several people since then who have seen him regularly, and they rave about him. Jim Brennan told me he's a player; says he's smart, listens, takes advice well and should have a solid career. When I chatted with him, he certainly seemed to have the right attitude. Johnston's word to describe him so far was ‘outstanding’.

Toronto's first match in the San Antonio tournament has been changed by the way. Originally it was to be against Chivas USA but a scheduling change now has them playing MLS Cup champions Houston Dynamo -- featuring Canadians Dwayne De Rosario and Pat Onstad -- on March 5th. Should be fun.

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