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Toronto FC to change up squad for Amway Canadian Championship game in Montreal

05/04/2015 01:29 EDT | Updated 05/04/2016 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Having emerged from a seven-game road trip, Toronto FC can finally look forward to playing its MLS home opener.

But not before another away game. Toronto has to head to Montreal for Wednesday's semifinal first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship.

It's part of a busy May that features eight games: five league outings, two Canadian Championship contests and a friendly against Manchester City.

The month started well with a 1-0 win Saturday in Philadelphia, Toronto's second victory by shutout in a row. After Montreal, Toronto (3-4-0) returns to face the Houston Dynamo in league play at newly renovated BMO Field.

Given the busy schedule, Toronto coach Greg Vanney is looking to rest some of his stars Wednesday against the Impact while giving others in his squad a chance to play.

He says one or at most two of his trio of designated players — captain and midfielder Michael Bradley and strikers Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore — will make the Montreal trip.

"We'll mix it up," Vanney said Monday of the roster. "We'll take a look at the guys coming off the weekend (win in Philadelphia), knowing we have a big match at home coming these weekend as well.

"We'll look at the health of the guys but there's definitely guys on our roster that deserve time and need the opportunity to get out there and we want to keep everybody sharp. So it will be a mixed group at some level."

Vanney still has some injury concerns.

Goalie Joe Bendik (foot) and defenders Steven Caldwell (Achilles) and Mark Bloom (quad) remain unavailable for Wednesday's game, although Vanney says Bendik is day-to-day and Bloom should resume training this week.

Caldwell sat out 11 games last season with a leg injury and has missed the last 5 1/2 games this season with an injury involving a calf strain and minor tears as well as an Achilles problem.

The 34-year-old defender is undergoing further evaluation, to avoid another setback during his return.

"We're trying to figure out exactly where the calf strain came from, whether it was a source of another issue or not," Vanney said.

Backup goalie Chris Konpka started for Bendik in Philadelphia, with Canadian Quillan Roberts on the bench.

Jay Chapman, Warren Creavalle, Jordan Hamilton, Daniel Lovitz, Luke Moore, Jonathan Osorio, Collen Warner and Eriq Zavaleta would all seem to be in the mix to see action Wednesday.

The winner of the Canadian Championship will represent Canada in next year's CONCACAF Champions League. Montreal (0-2-2) is coming off a 5-3 aggregate loss to Mexico's Club America in the final of that competition.

NOTES: Vanney said Polish international defender Damien Perquis, who had a fine game in Philadelphia, was sick most of last week and barely trained.

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