On Saturday, after most TFC fans had already headed away from BMO and moved on with their lives following Toronto FC's 1-0 defeat against the Columbus Crew a reserve game took place. The reserve game ended up with the same scoreline but the real talking point of the late afternoon game was the fact that Adrian Cann was back and playing for the first time in nearly 10 months.
Cann was involved for a little over half of the reserve match and showed that he is not far off from being ready to be reintroduced to the senior team. In the fist half he was doing a great job marshaling a very young back line and shouting directions at a team that showed some issues in holding their shape.
That leadership from someone who ticks both boxes of being a veteran and a fluent English speaker, with no disprespect intended to Miguel Aceval or Ty Harden, has been sorely lacking in the defensive unit. The problem was really compounded by the lose of captain Torsten Frings so having Cann back should really help with provide more leadership and a sense of calm in the back four.
The match itself was your typical reserve game. Lots of high energy and effort from the players and the open play meant that Cann was often forced into action. He showed some signs of rust which is to be expected after such a long layoff but from what I saw there was no hesitation in his game. Often times after suffering such a major injury to the knee a player will be cautious in their tackles and try to protect themselves while they get used to playing again. That was not the case with Cann on Saturday though. He was willing to make the tackles that were needed and looked comfortable marking his man.
The sharpness will only come back for Cann by playing matches and getting his fitness levels up. Being involved in Wednesday would be rushing things a bit for me but with another week of training and assuming he came through the reserve game with no issues, I see no reason why he could not be involved on the weekend against the Montreal Impact, though a game on artificial turf might not be the best re-introduction.
For more of the reserve game and the other players that impressed (I had to leave at half time) check out the latest on West Stand Girl