Moor relishes leadership role as Toronto FC begins tough summer stretch
Vancouver Whitecaps' Lucas Venuto, right, runs with the ball as Toronto FC's Drew Moor attempts to stop him during the first half of an MLS soccer game in Vancouver on May 31, 2019. It's a role he has held in the past with the Colorado Rapids, but it was a special night for Toronto FC veteran Drew Moor when he donned the captain's armband in their last game on June 7."I always love wearing the armband," Moore said following a training session earlier in the week. "I'll never turn it away, that's for sure." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
David Alter, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, June 21, 2019 12:09PM EDT
TORONTO -- It was a special night for Toronto FC veteran Drew Moor when he donned the captain's armband for the team's last game.
"I always love wearing the armband," the defender said following a training session earlier in the week. "I'll never turn it away, that's for sure."
Moor, a former Colorado Rapids captain, is filling the role in Toronto while Michael Bradley is off on assignment with the United States at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. With Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez representing the U.S., and Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan and Noble Okello representing Canada, Toronto FC is missing six regulars as it begins a difficult stretch of four matches in 13 days on the road against FC Dallas on Saturday.
With many regulars out for at least the next week, Moor doesn't anticipate he will change much about his approach. But he will take on some responsibilities that come with being the captain.
"You do have to be a bit more vocal and I do try to do that," he said. "You just have to go out there and take care of your own play, and try to play beyond yourself as well. Speak a bit more. Obviously, a pre-game speech doesn't hurt. Just go be a good example and be a good leader. That's what guys respond to the best."
The 35-year-old Dallas native gets a chance to be captain in his hometown. Moor was at the team's inaugural match in 1996 when the then-Dallas Burn played at the Cotton Bowl. Family and friends will be in attendance to watch Moor lead a team against a squad missing five regulars.
"They've protected themselves and they've really been able to break out in transitions," TFC head coach Greg Vanney said when asked what Dallas has done against his team. "That seems to be their formula that has worked against us. So we'll have to not make silly mistakes, but also make sure that we're organized and can manage the transition."
Dallas swept the two-game season series against Toronto FC last year.
"They've got guys like (midfielder Michael) Barrios and (striker Jesus) Ferreira who can really break out in transition," Vanney said.
After winning the MLS Cup in 2017 and playing their way to the CONCACAF Champions League final in 2018, Toronto struggled to manage its MLS schedule last year.
But with the pressure of being champions lifted, combined with a recently reformed Canadian Championship that sees them play fewer games early in that tournament, Toronto FC has had a chance to rest heading into a busy period.
"For us, over the years, we've learned to create a bit more versatility in our group. We have a lot of things that we talk about (that) are principles of the game, not necessarily just systems," Vanney said. "So we have to adapt here or there (and) the guys are pretty comfortable doing that. They don't get too locked up. We try to put in guys as much as possible without changing style or identity."