Soccer

TFC goalkeeper Frei nursing knee injury

Toronto FC coach Aron Winter told reporters Friday that goalkeeper Stefan Frei injured his leg in training earlier this week and probably won't play Saturday night when the Reds host Real Salt Lake.

Reds star probably won't play Saturday against Real Salt Lake

Stefan Frei will likely have to wait a little longer to write his name into the Toronto FC record book.

TFC coach Aron Winter told reporters Friday that the Swiss goalkeeper injured his leg in training earlier this week and probably won't play Saturday night when the Reds host Real Salt Lake.

Winter said it's a minor injury, and it shouldn't keep Frei out of action for long. But if he doesn't play against Real Salt Lake, Frei won't break former captain Jim Brennan's club record for appearances — they are currently tied at 93 apiece.

Brennan played three seasons for the Reds before retiring early in the 2010 Major League Soccer campaign. Frei, 25, has been TFC's regular starting goalkeeper ever since the team picked him in the first round of the 2009 MLS draft.

Winter said Frei could return to action on Aug. 18, in a CONCACAF Champions League game against Panama's Tauro FC, or next weekend when the Reds visit the Chicago Fire.

Frei declined to talk to reporters after Friday's practice.

With Frei likely to watch from the stands, second-string goalkeeper Milos Kocic is expected to start against Real Salt Lake. Kocic played two games in 2010, and has made two appearances this season, both against Nicaragua's Real Esteli last month in a CONCACAF Champions League qualifying series.

The Serbian shot stopper is looking forward to testing himself against one of the top MLS clubs on Saturday.

"I'm excited to have my first league start this year. I'm ready to play," Kocic said after Friday's practice.

Frei has been a mainstay between the pipes for Toronto ever since he displaced Canadian Greg Sutton as the team's No. 1 goalkeeper. His potential absence Saturday is a big blow for a struggling TFC side, but Winter believes his team will not miss a beat with Kocic in net.

"Milos is a good [backup] goalkeeper," affirmed the Dutchman. "He's shown what he could do in the two CONCACAF games."

Winter added: "We have all the confidence in Milos."

Kocic, 26, called his relationship with Frei productive, and that the Swiss star has given him as much advice as he can ahead of Saturday's match.

"We always talk. We look at the game [films] together. It's always good to have somebody like Stef, a good young goalkeeper who can be my support as well," Kocic said.

"We help each other.… We've very honest with each other. We're good teammates."

Having played just two games this year, Kocic explained he has tried to stay mentally sharp by pushing himself in training.

And while he is eager to make his first MLS start of the year, he knows he has to temper his excitement when he's on the field because it could lead to mistakes.

"You have to be positive and stay concentrated," the Serb stated. "It's hard to stay concentrated for 90 minutes when you don't play games in a while, but you have to [keep it simple]. You don't want to show off and just let the game come to you."

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