On the list of things to do for a team making its move in MLS: Coming from behind on the road to win against a conference foe? Check. The rabid fans at BMO Field can be intimidating, but they were stunned - as were their heroes - when Juan Pablo Angel scored twice in less than three minutes to overturn a 1-0 Toronto FC lead and take Red Bull New York (6-2-2) back atop the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 victory.
Toronto (3-6-1) led 1-0 at the half on Jeff Cunningham's fourth goal of the season and first north of the border, but the second goal never came, and New York stormed forth in the second half. Angel scored in the 69th minute on a free kick, and in the 71st minute put away a deflected cross from Dave van den Bergh, whose switch to the right flank gave stand-in left back Chris Pozniak a torrid time.
Prior to Angel's first goal, he had glided inside or floated outside as the TFC back line scrambled to cover and midfielders Claudio Reyna and Dema Kovalenko dominated the middle. With the change in momentum, Jozy Altidore - who could have been dubbed "Dozey" for his languid play in the first half - sprang to life. He drew a foul by Andrew Boyens - a hotly disputed call - from which Angel curled his free kick over the wall and past stranded keeper Srdjan Djekanovic.
In the first half, it was the RBNY right back, midfielder Markus Schopp, who was causing problems -- for his own team. Coach Bruce Arena was missing four starters, including Hunter Freeman, and decided to try Schopp in that spot. Andy Welsh glided right past him to center the ball for Cunningham, whose rising shot from close range just ducked under the crossbar in the 23rd minute.
Ten minutes later, Schopp body-slammed Welsh to the FieldTurf and referee Tim Weyland issued a yellow card, the only one he pulled out. TFC coach Mo Johnston believed it should have been a red card. Schopp did leave the game in the 73rd minute, to be replaced by defender Jeff Parke, but by that time NYRB had the lead. Jon Conway preserved the win by getting down quickly to deflect a sizzling low shot from substitute Edson Buddle.
With a minute remaining, Ronnie O'Brien intercepted a Dane Richards back pass and got the ball past Conway but it rolled past the post. The NYRB Road Show - it is on a run of six out of seven games away from home - continues Sunday at RFK Stadium against D.C. United. Another real test.
June 6 in Toronto
Toronto FC 1 New York 2.
Goals: Cunningham (Welsh) 23; Angel 69, Angel 71.
Toronto FC - Djekanovic, Boyens, Brennan, Pozniak, Wynne, Edu, O'Brien, Robinson, Welsh (Buddle, 75), Dichio, Cunningham.
New York - Conway, Schopp (Parke, 73), Graham, Mendes, Stammler, Richards, Kovalenko, Reyna, van den Bergh, Altidore (Wolyniec, 81), Angel.
Yellow Cards: New York - Schopp 33.
Referee: Tim Weyland. Att.: 20,113.