TORONTO — Toronto FC’s Alan Gordon doesn’t hide the fact that he’s looking forward to playing his former team. The big striker grew up in Southern California and spent the better part of seven years with the LA Galaxy before being traded to Chivas USA last August.
On Wednesday, he’ll get his chance to show his old mates what they’re missing.
“Absolutely,” he said when asked by MLSsoccer.com about the match against the Galaxy at BMO Field (8 pm ET/5 pm PT, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live). “You know that I have that game circled on my calendar – along with Chivas USA – every year.”
Having already notched a bit of revenge by scoring against the Goats earlier this season, Gordon says he hopes to repeat the performance against the Galaxy. Of course it might be a bit more personal Wednesday. After all Gordon made 99 appearances for the Galaxy and was famously the modestly compensated Yin to David Beckham’s Designated Player Yang in Grant Wahl’s book The Beckham Experiment.
When pushed on how badly he wanted to win Wednesday, Gordon was somewhat reticent – he refused to disclose whether he had made any side bets with his former teammates – but it was clear that a positive result was important to him from both a team and personal perspective.
“I have a lot of friends on that team,” he said simply. “I’d like to win.”
Getting three points against the Galaxy is never an easy task, but it’s complicated for the Reds in that they are going into the game on just three days rest. Although LA also played Saturday, the game was on the East Coast, whereas TFC made a 2,700-mile trip back from San Jose.
The ironic travel advantage for the Galaxy could be a factor, but it’s just something that Toronto need to deal with.
“It’s tough,” Gordon said. “You just have to take care of your body and take treatments [from the club’s training staff] when you can.”
As Gordon sees it, there is no justifiable excuse, as every team in MLS faces travel issues. An ability to effectively deal with it is one thing that separates the good teams from those that struggle.
“You’re never 100 percent,” Gordon said, “but that’s just what you have to deal with as an athlete. You just need to be professional about it.”