TORONTO —Toronto coach Paul Mariner had feared the worst, and thats what he
got Monday. Brooks Reed Jersey . An MRI revealed that key
striker Danny Koevermans, injured in a collision Saturday with New England
defender A.J. Soares, has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The 33-year-old Dutchman will be out the rest of the season and could miss a
chunk of the next one given the normal lengthy recovery time for ACL surgery.
Toronto FC said there was no date for the surgery yet. And in a brief statement
Monday, the club didnt provide a timetable for Koevermans return. The team had
the day off Monday and Mariner declined an interview request. The Koevermans
injury adds another hole for Mariner, in his role as director of soccer
operations, and Earl Cochrane, director of team and player operations, to fill.
While Toronto (4-11-4) lacks depth on all fronts, their focus had been on
strengthening the backline. Now the attack needs help. The injury leaves
Jamaican international Ryan Johnson as the teams main striker. With the recent
release of Nick Soolsma and sending out on loan of Joao Plata, Mariner has few
attacking options other than newly acquired Andrew Wiedeman and rookie Luis
Silva, although Reggie Lambe and Eric Avila can both push up from midfield. The
situation is complicated somewhat in that Mariner has shifted the team to a
4-4-2 formation, using two strikers. Under former coach Aron Winter, TFC played
a 4-3-3 which allowed greater use of attacking midfielders. Koevermans was hurt
as he chased a through ball on the right side of the penalty area in the 37th
minute. As he pulled up to cross the ball, he collided with Soares who was
rushing back into the box to catch him. Soares appeared to accidentally step on
Koevermans left foot as they made contact, seemingly jamming it into the
artificial turf. The six-foot-three Dutchman, who was cut from taking a cleat to
the forehead in the collision, was stretchered off and left Gillette Stadium on
crutches. “I fear the worst for Danny,” Mariner said after the game. “Ive got my
fingers crossed, but I spoke to the doctor from New England, who I have the
highest regard for, and it doesnt sound too good.” Koevermans is tied for fifth
in league goal-scoring with nine this season and his rich vein of form in recent
weeks has helped the teams turnaround under Mariner. His goal total is all the
more impressive given that he missed a chunk of the first half of the season
through injury and was slow to find the goal upon his return. Then he hit a
purple patch, scoring goals with his head, and almost every other part of his
body, including a creative flick of the leg. That last goal, in a 1-1 tie with
FC Dallas on July 4, was his sixth goal in five games. The Dutchman has 17 goals
in 26 MLS games since joining the team with fellow designated player Torsten
Frings midway through last season. He has 19 goals in all competitions for TFC.
Toronto hosts the Colorado Rapids (7-11-1) at BMO Field on Wednesday.