Toronto FC down 7 starters vs. Chivas - CBCsports.ca
Carver will be down nine players, including seven starters, when Toronto hosts Chivas USA on Saturday (CBC, CBC Bold, CBCSports.ca, 4 p.m. ET).
Three of Toronto's starting four defenders — captain Jim Brennan (Canada), Marvell Wynne (United States) and Tyrone Marshall (Jamaica) — will miss Saturday's Major League Soccer regular-season contest because they will be away on international duty with their respective national teams.
The Canadian club will also be without starting goalkeeper Greg Sutton (Canada), defender Julius James (Trinidad and Tobago), midfielders Carl Robinson (Wales) and Amado Guevara (Honduras), and forwards Carlos Ruiz (Honduras) and Jarrod Smith (New Zealand).
On top of that, defenders Todd Dunivant (ankle) and Nana Attakora-Gyan (knee) remain sidelined with injuries.
And if that wasn't bad enough, Canadian midfielder Tyler Hemming left the team Tuesday after asking to be released.
All of which leads to some serious problems for Carver.
"I've had some challenges in my life, but I've never had anything like this," Carver told reporters earlier this week.
"We have played games with six or seven players missing, like when we beat L.A. earlier this season, but this time, Julius James and Marvell Wynne got call-ups, and Jarrod Smith is also away with New Zealand.
"Whatever team we put out there, we need the fans to get right behind the players, support them, and give them the best possible opportunity to get something out of the game. We will all be fighting for the cause."
Carver is also concerned that some of the players available for Saturday won't be able to play the entire game, most notably forwards Chad Barrett and Danny Dichio.
"Chad has not lasted a full game yet. Dichio hasn't played a full game since suffering from [a] concussion and [midfielder] Kevin Harmse has a problem with his knees," explained Carver.
Kambere on loan for Saturday game
Toronto took steps to address some of its defensive concerns by signing Vancouver Whitecaps defender Diaz Kambere to a one-match loan deal.
Kambere, 22, will be available to play for Toronto Saturday and will return to Vancouver following the match and will be available for the Whitecaps' USL First Division home game against the Minnesota Thunder Sunday evening.
Even though the club is severely short-handed, Carver won't use that as an excuse and expects his players to rise to the challenge.
"I've been in situations like this where my team has been up against it, and sometimes, people come out fighting. I'm certainly one of those guys, and hopefully, the players respond that way as well," said Carver.
"We have to approach the game in a positive manner. Whatever team I put on the pitch, I'm sure they won't let us down."
Carver's team dropped a 2-1 decision to Chivas in Los Angeles last Saturday when Atiba Harris scored the winning goal in injury time.
Sporting a 7-10-5 record with 26 points, Toronto is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, six points out of a playoff spot with eight games left in the season.
Toronto's next game is at home on Sept. 13 against the Columbus Crew (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 3:30 p.m. ET).