Toronto FC coach John Carver put his future on the line Tuesday, and challenged his players to do the same over the course of the regular season's final five matches, writes Dean McNulty. Carver said he wouldn't blame the club for sacking him if the team doesn't make the playoffs.
The English coach was still grieving about the team's weekend performance at the Kansas City Wizards, a 2-0 loss. "So much was at stake and so little was given," Carver said. "If we can't play any better than that over the final five games, I don't deserve to be kept on. I wouldn't blame the fellows upstairs [the team's owner, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd.] if they replaced me under those circumstances."
With 15 points still at stake, Carver told his players he doesn't want anyone on the team "who thinks the season is over. If anyone thinks that they should leave now. My head is on the block and every player in that room has his head on the block as well."
Carver also complained that he had been unaware of striker Carlos Ruiz's knee injury when he joined the team on a trade from the L.A. Galaxy last month. "That was the first I heard of it," Carver said of the injury, which flared up during the Kansas City game. "[Carlos] told me he reported the injury to Galaxy officials but they insisted he play on."