Just left a media conference call with MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis. Evidently I wasn't the only reporter with questions about how the league sets its schedule.
The call lasted a long time and might still be going on, but I'll get straight to the part that interests TFC fans and soccer purists:
Gazidis says the league will make a much stronger effort to avoid scheduling games on FIFA match dates in 2009.
As we discussed in the previous post, World Cup qualifying matches in the coming week will squeeze teams across Major League Soccer, but no team will feel it more than TFC, which will lose nine regulars to international duty.
Gazidis said he's aware that scheduling conflicts make things tough on the league, its teams and their fans, and says MLS will try not to let it happen next year.
"We are absolutely...looking at ways...that we could adjust the way we schedule," he said.
He also pointed out that scheduling around FIFA dates would be a lot easier if the whole league were more like Toronto.
Gazidis realizes that TFC games sell out both on weekends and during the week, and says if other fans showed that type of dedication MLS would have more freedom to schedule midweek games, thereby avoiding more FIFA dates.
Counted bodies out at TFC practice today.
Still 13, and that includes both goalkeepers.
If my math is correct that leaves the team with just one non-goalkeeping sub.
And a bad situation that grows even worse for TFC when you consider that striker Chad Barrett is still battling cramping problems and averages about 70 minutes a game, and that Danny Dichio, out of the regular rotation since suffering a concussion in early July, probably isn't in shape to play the full 90.
To complicate things even further, only one of TFC's available players -- Marco Velez -- plays defence.
Earlier this afternoon TFC head coach John Carver confirmed that a little help is on the way.
Nothing had been finalized as of this afternoon, but Carver said the team was trying to get two new bodies into uniforms this weekend.
One of them, Diaz Kambere, is a former member of Canada's under-23 national team and a current member of the Vancouver Whitecaps. True, he's never played at the MLS level before, but he has already shown he can win at BMO Field.
The other short-term sub is Tim Regan.
In real life Regan is TFC's chief scout, but in a past life he was a standout defensive midfielder at Bradley University and a second-round draft pick of the New York Metrostars. In fact, TFC selected him in the expansion draft after the 2006 season, then traded him to New York for Edson Buddle.
The point here is that even though Regan is retired, he can still play a little, and TFC is trying to get him cleared for Saturday's game.
Carver said TFC keeper Greg Sutton has been released from national team duty this weekend, but that doesn't mean he'll be at BMO to face Chivas USA on Saturday. Sutton's wife is due to deliver the couple's baby, and with two other keepers on the roster of the national team did the compassionate thing and allowed Sutton to join his wife and (soon to be) newborn.
-- Morgan Campbell