By DAN KARELL
At least one Designated Player has been ruled out of Saturday’s highly anticipated match between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders.
According to reports in Toronto, TFC will be without Brazilian forward Gilberto as he continues to recover from a hip flexor injury suffered in preseason. Gilberto reportedly didn’t even make the trip with the team to the Pacific Northwest.
It’s unknown yet whether Gilberto will be fit in time for TFC’s home opener against D.C. United on March 22.
While Gilberto will miss out, Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley are both in full training and are expected to be in the squad at CenturyLink Field. Earlier in the week, TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen raised doubts about bringing his stars to Seattle due to the FieldTurf surface.
Gilberto signed with TFC in December as the first of three Designated Player signings this offseason for the Canadian club. Last season, while on loan at Portuguesa from SC Internacional in Brazil, the 24-year-old forward scored 14 goals in 24 league games.
Sounders Designated Players Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, and Osvaldo Alonso are all available for Saturday.
What do you think of this news? Disappointed that Gilberto won’t be playing? Are you excited to see Bradley and Defoe go up against Dempsey, Martins, and Alonso?
Share your thoughts below.