FC Tucson News Release -- www.fctucson.com
Saturday, February 2, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. — It’s not the first time Donny Toia has worn an MLS kit, but when he trotted on to the pitch at Kino North Field 5 with the San Jose Earthquakes, it was the first time Toia played for an MLS squad since he was cut from Real Salt Lake early in 2012.
“It’s exciting, it’s fun,” said Toia following the Earthquakes’ 1-0 loss to Colorado. “Its always an adrenaline rush. It just feels good to be out in the field, honestly.”
Toia came into the match as a halftime sub and played the full 45 minutes of the second half. He did get a shot off, but just missed over the crossbar. It was the only stat Toia contributed to the final match sheet, but throughout the match Toia looked comfortable and rarely found himself out of place.
The fact he didn’t collapse after 20 minutes is impressive. Toia hadn’t played in a single soccer match since the final game of FC Tucson’s PDL season, a 2-1 loss to Sounders U23s on July 21.
“It was a little tiring but that’s just trying to get back in shape again,” Toia said. “I’m not as fit as I used to be but I’m working on it.”
There is no guarantee about Toia’s future. Even in the best-case scenario, Toia would travel with San Jose back to their home base for more training. His future with the team, positive or negative, may not be known for another couple of weeks.
But for now Toia is happy to be back on the field and excited to do it in front of a hometown that has watched him grow from a local club legend, to a high school star to a PDL franchise face.
“It’s always a great feeling [playing in Tucson],” Toia said. “When you see a bunch of people going out and calling your name, it’s even better."