Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Toronto shows its comeback character
by Ridge Mahoney, June 23rd, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] "After a week off to complete its obligations in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, Toronto FC resumes its MLS schedule Wednesday against New York at BMO Field." That bland, generic followup to last week's match at Stade Saputo in Montreal would have sufficed, except that TFC didn't go gentle into the good night of heroic yet futile performance. It blasted the Impact, 6-1, overturning a hefty advantage held by Vancouver in goal difference to nudge past the Whitecaps into the 2009-10 Concacaf Champions' League as the Canadian representative.

Missing the playoffs for the second straight year in 2008 surely infuriated the players, coaches, executives and fans, but losing out to the Impact in the Canadian preliminary round burned nearly as much. Two days before the 2008 MLS All-Star Game at BMO Field, Montreal held out for a 1-1 tie that clinched its Concacaf berth, so thrashing the Impact in its stadium carried a double measure of pleasure.

This has been a tumultuous season so far for Toronto with the departure of head coach John Carver, and to his former assistant Chris Cummins falls not only the task of matching Montreal's achievement last year of advancing to the CCL quarterfinals, but riding out a rough stretch of international absences during the Gold Cup to stay afloat in the playoff chase.

One player who may have revived his season Thursday against Montreal is Chad Barrett, the former Fire striker whose agonizing misses this year have triggered an unprecedented number of irate postings on TFC message boards. "He may look like [Wayne] Rooney but the resemblance ends there," was among the mildest entries. In league play this year, he's tallied just two goals on 31 shots.

Dwayne De Rosario hit a hat trick and Amado Guevara scored two, including the last goal, as Toronto stormed back after falling behind. A stunned band of Whitecaps, on hand to receive the Voyageurs Trophy as winners of the competition, watched in disbelief as the rain poured down and the goals flowed in from a Canadian, a Honduran, and an American.

The deciding goal came from Barrett with eight minutes to play. He'd come on for the second half as a substitute and almost immediately drove a pass that wasn't cleared, and De Rosario banged it in for a 3-1 lead. In the 69th minute, Guevara curled home a free kick (4-1), and then hit the corner kick that Barrett headed into the net.

"That shows the caliber of player he is," De Rosario said of Barrett. "He had a couple of good chances and the keeper makes some good saves and then he gets the biggest goal for the club."

Toronto must clear one more hurdle to reach the group phase. It meets another pesky USL-1 team, Puerto Rico Islanders, in a two-leg series July 28 and Aug. 4. In the 2008-09 competition, Puerto Rico advanced out of Group D, upset Honduran club Marathon in the quarterfinals, and after a pair of incredible matches finished tied on aggregate, 3-3 in the semifinals with Mexican club Cruz Azul before losing on penalties (4-2).

Thanks to the goals of De Rosario, Guevara and Barrett, and a couple of key saves from rookie Stefan Frei, TFC pulled off a feat much like that of the U.S. team beating Egypt, 3-0, to reach the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.

"I thought we thoroughly deserved it on the night," said Cummins. "We've gone for broke. People say we can't take our chances but tonight we've taken our chances. The club's going in the right direction. It's the first bit of silverware for Toronto and I can assure you it won't be the last."

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Trade Central: Friday's deals    
After two disastrous years in England, Brek Shea is back in MLS, signing with expansion club ...
MLS lines up exciting tripleheader for first Sunday    
MLS will open its 2015 season on March 6 when the defending champion LA Galaxy hosts ...
Video Pick: Alex Meier on Fire     
The leading scorer in the Europe's highest scoring league is a player you may not have ...
What They're Saying: Chris Wondolowski    
"I'm not over it. I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. [Pause] I actually think ...
U.S. U-20s win at San Pedro Sula    
San Pedro Sula is no easy place to play as the USA (2-1 loser in the ...
Press and Lloyd combine for all seven in U.S. win    
After a tie and loss in its first two games at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
What They're Saying: Juergen Klopp    
"He took a wrong turn at some point. But everything is back to normal now. He ...
TV Report: MLS expansion teams ink local deals    
As expected, New York City FC has entered into a multi-year agreement with YES Network, while ...
Timbers land Wake's Vidovich to run T2    
The Portland Timbers, who dipped into the college ranks to get head coach Caleb Porter, have ...
Veterans in demand as Re-Entry Draft concludes    
Stage 2 of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft offered up fair doses of everything, as did ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives