Nick Dasovic makes his Major League Soccer coaching debut on Saturday night as Toronto FC visits the Houston Dynamo in a crucial match that could put the Reds back in playoff contention.
Dasovic, 41, hopes to get a better result than the 4-1 loss on Wednesday to Real Salt Lake in CONCACAF Champions League play.
Toronto (7-10-7) has not recorded a win in its last six games and is third in the Eastern Conference with 28 points, with Kansas City only one point behind.
However, the new coach says he is ready for the MLS challenge and is not alarmed by the team’s record.
“There’s no point in being scared,” he told the Toronto Star. ”The team’s in a position right now where we’re out of the playoffs. We’re still in the Champions League although it wasn’t a great result [Wednesday] night.”
The Reds are five points away from the wild card with six games left in the calendar.
On the other side of the pitch, Houston (6-12-5), holds the second worst record in the league with 23 points. But the bad news does not stop there for the Dynamo, since the squad just lost midfielder Brian Mullan, one of the best players of the team.
Mullan was traded to Colorado earlier this week and his departure leaves a question mark in the home team’s starting lineup.
Houston was defeated 2-1 by San Jose in its last game and the team, led by coach Dominic Kinnear, has not won a match since Aug. 21.
The Scottish manager, though, has not given up yet and believes a win against Toronto is just what his group needs.
“I’m not saying we’re conceding,” Kinnear told MLSsoccer.com. “Seattle and Colorado are within reaching distance. If we get a win on Saturday, obviously it raises our interests as far as being a player for the postseason.
“We have to win Saturday for us to make somewhat of a serious push here. It’s pretty necessary to win Saturday. Then we’ll see what we’re going to do down the stretch.”
Midfielder Anthony Obodai is out for the home team with a knee injury, while Emmanuel Gomez and Amadou Sanyang are expected to miss the game for Toronto.
Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET from the Robertson Stadium in Houston.