Toronto FC ran through a short practice this morning ahead of tomorrow night's game against the New England Revolution, but they did it without brand new striker Carlos Ruiz.
As of Friday afternoon the Guatemalan forward -- who for reasons that still aren't clear bears the nickname "El Pescadito" (the little fish) -- was still en route from Guatemala City, where he played 90 minutes for the home team in their 1-0 loss to the U.S. Wednesday night.
Right now head coach John Carver's not sure if Ruiz will play, but says Ruiz he will dress if he arrives by Saturday morning. Whether or not he'll play depends on how he feels. Carver said the 90 minutes Ruiz logged against the U.S. shows he's in shape, but Carver's not sure how fresh Ruiz will be after a full game and two days of travel. But Carver says if Ruiz feels good he'll probably play.
Mo Johnston said Johann Smith was fast when TFC signed him, and the 21-year-old proved it Sunday with several scintillating runs in his debut against New York.
And that 10.5-second 100-metre time listed on his Wikipedia bio? Smith says he actually did run that time as a senior in high school.
As he finished high school Smith knew he'd have to choose between soccer and track eventually, but says deciding really wasn't that tough.
He grew up near Hartford, Conn., in the heart of Jamaican-American community that surrounded him with both sports.
Unless you've spent the last two weeks in a world without television, Internet, newspapers or gossip, then you know that Jamaica's just a little above average at track and field.
And if you saw the sea of Jamaican flags at BMO Field during Wednesday's World Cup qualifier, then you know soccer's also sort of important in the Jamaican community.
Smith's father ran track before moving to the U.S., but Smith says the more he played soccer, the more it appealed to him.
Late in his last year of high school, Smith qualified for the state championship in the 100 metres, but the final race was scheduled for the same time as a big game with his soccer club.
Do I even have to tell you which one he chose?
I'll give you a hint: he's never had to compete against Usain Bolt.
"Soccer's not just about being fast," Smith said. "In track you're fast or you're not. Soccer's about skill. That was a challenge."
LEST WE FORGET
Maurice Edu is officially, officially on his way to Rangers after securing his work permit earlier today. Like Ruiz, Edu spent Wednesday playing in Guatemala City, except his team won.
And like Ruiz, Edu plans to be at BMO for tomorrow night's game.
TFC has scheduled a farewell news conference for 7 p.m. Saturday.
-- Morgan Campbell