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Tchani still learning the ropes with Toronto FC

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After a successful rookie season with the New York Red Bulls, Cameroonian midfielder Tony Tchani knows how to adapt to change – whether it’s on the pitch or living in the bright lights of New York City.

Tchani finds himself adapting to change once again as he joined Toronto FC along with teammate Danleigh Borman this past weekend. Both were part of the deal that sent former TFC captain Dwayne De Rosario to the Red Bulls.

Arriving on short notice, Tchani and Borman were thrust into the starting lineup on Saturday afternoon. After a shaky start, both settled into their new roles admirably in aiding the Reds to a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA. They will travel with the Reds to California this weekend, where they will face ex-TFC midfielder Sam Cronin and the San Jose Earthquakes.

“It wasn’t that bad because I got in pretty late and got ninety minutes and only slept five hours,” said Tchani about his first game in the central midfield. “It wasn’t that bad but I need to get to know them (teammates) very well.”

Once the grass settled, Tchani also had time to reflect on the trade.

“I know it happens because my teammate got traded the year before and I was ready,” said Tchani about the business side of soccer. “I was ready for whatever happens. I’d be ready to move on.”

The 21-year old Tchani was born in Douala, Cameroon and moved to the United States as a teenager. He attended the University of Virginia where he was part of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Division I soccer championship team. Tchani was then selected second overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Red Bulls.

Last season, as a 2010 Generation Adidas player, he played in 27 matches, starting in 17, and tallied one goal and three assists. Tchani hopes to build on his first year and will not change his approach to playing the game he loves.

“I’m just going to try and bring my hard work — try to give the ball to the forwards and make things happen.”

Tchani will also miss a lot about New York — especially French striker Thierry Henry — however, he is looking forward to playing with Toronto.

“He’s (Henry) a great player, I learned a lot from him,” said Tchani. “We were pretty much getting closer and closer everyday because we talk a lot — tell me what to do, what not to do and stuff like that. And I think I’m going to miss him, but it’s life and I just got to be here and focus on my new team.”

Tchani will have to wait until Toronto visits New York on July 6 to play against his former club.

Is it a date the midfielder will circle on his calendar?

“For sure, but I’m not thinking about it, I’m just thinking day-by-day. The day we play, if I’m on the field, I’m just going to do my best,” said Tchani. “I guess I just have to keep working hard, show to the coaches that they made a mistake.”

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