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Monday, April 16, 2007

Ex-QPR's Danny Dichio Moves to North America, MLS Toronto FC

UPDATE: See Also: QPR America and QPR USA

Preston Official Site - Dichio Moves To US

Danny Dichio has moved to MLS side Toronto FC with immediate effect after he was given permission to leave Preston North End.

The 32-year-old striker is expected to link up with the Canadian outfit later this week as they player their very first season in the United States' Major League Soccer.

Dichio has played an important role in North End success so far this season grabbing some crucial goals in the wins over Sunderland, Hull City, Leeds and more recently the winner against Norwich City.

The striker had made it clear that he intended to continue his football career on the other side of the pond due to his wife having a US passport and he was expected to depart Deepdale in the summer. But Toronto FC, managed by former Rangers and Celtic player Mo Johnston, are in their first season in MLS and have been allocated extra funding which had to be spent by a Sunday evening deadline and after discussions with his PNE manager Paul Simpson he was given permission to sign for the Canadian side.

Danny has proven to be a popular player both on and off the pitch at Deepdale since signing for Preston at the start of the 2005/06 season, despite not scoring a league goal in his first season with the Lilywhites he gained cult status for his cup goals against Barnsley and Crystal Palace. A popular player in the dressing room, Dichio's presence will be missed by all.

Danny joins Toronto FC with the best wishes of everyone connected with Preston North End FC.

We will have interviews and reaction from North End boss Paul Simpson and Danny Dichio later on Monday.- PrestoN Official Site

Meanwhile ex-QPR defender, Steve Morrow, manager of FC Dallas talks about the team's defeat

Morrow: 'Soft defeat' for FCD vs. NY

Hoops return to Texas for home opener April 22
By Dylan Butler / MLSnet.com Staff

E. RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The excuses are there: three games in eight days, including a cross-country flight, terrible weather conditions and another first-half injury. FC Dallas had their choice of reasons why they lost 3-0 Sunday to the New York Red Bulls at a rain-soaked Giants Stadium.

But they didn't use any of them.

"It was a very frustrating day and a very soft defeat for us, as well," FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow said. "I thought the goals we gave up were very soft, could have been prevented. We just lacked that extra passion, desire and commitment we needed today."

The Hoops end their treacherous stretch with four points away from home, pretty good considering they played at the home opener of Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles Galaxy and the Red Bulls. But they fly home from New York knowing they let points slip away.

"It's positive, it started off well in the first two games," Morrow said. "We wanted to finish it off good here in New York and we felt we could have come in and got a good result. I'm bitterly disappointed."

Before the game was 20 minutes old, FC Dallas was down a defender as David Wagenfuhr left with a concussion, his third in two years. It came three days after midfielder Marcelo Saragosa injured his right MCL in the first half against the Galaxy.

And then there were the conditions, a drenching downpour with temperatures in the 40s that resulted in players from both teams - FCD defender Clarence Goodson and Red Bulls goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus - leaving the game with hypothermia.

"The weather and conditions are all part of soccer," Kenny Cooper said. "Sometimes you might play on fields that might not be the best or the weather might not be the best, but it's part of the job, it comes with the territory and it's a credit to them, they did well and got a good win."

Added Carlos Ruiz: "It was very tough but I think we didn't play good. It's true the conditions were tough for both teams, but we didn't play our soccer and that's why we lost 3-0."

The Red Bulls midfield controlled the game from the outset and by the time the teams scurried for the warmth of their locker rooms at the half, New York already had a 2-0 lead on goals by Jozy Altidore and Clint Mathis. No matter what uniform Mathis wears, he somehow finds a way to kill Dallas. With his goal Sunday, Mathis has 19 goals and seven assists in 30 career games, including five goals and two assists in eight playoff games.

"He knows when he wants the ball and be involved with everything," center back Alex Yi said. "If you look at the tape today, they had the most success when Clint was getting on the ball, putting through balls in or getting shots from long range. As defenders, he keeps us on our toes. We either have to close him down or drop. He gives that dynamic for their attack and he's a very good player."

According to Morrow, the Dallas defenders perhaps gave Mathis too much respect.

"I think we give him too much space and room to play," Morrow said. "He was dropping off and getting in good positions and I think we weren't quite getting inside enough."

The Hoops played better in the second half, especially possessing the ball, but they produced just six shots, forcing substitute goalkeeper Jon Conway to make three saves.

"I thought we possessed the ball a bit better in the second half, but again it's just very frustrating," Morrow said. "Passes weren't quite getting there, the ball was bouncing all over the place and we couldn't get it down, didn't do enough in the last third of the field and didn't create enough chances really."

The positive, though, is that FC Dallas finally gets to go home and play in front of its home fans at Pizza Hut Park next Sunday night against the Colorado Rapids.

"It's going to be good for us, our first game at home against Colorado," Ruiz said. "We need to talk about the mistakes we made in these three games away and try to fix them and play good this weekend for our fans."

Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs. MLS

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