Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Toronto shows its comeback character
by Ridge Mahoney, June 23rd, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



[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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
USL Final: Red Bulls II favored, but Rangers are ready    
The USL season concludes Sunday at Red Bull Arena, where the home team, New York Red ...
CCL: Seedings give MLS chance of two teams in semis    
Concacaf pairs the teams for the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League by seeding them ...
U.S. U-18 women lose to England, beat France     
The U.S. U-18 women's national team, coached by April Heinrichs, opened the 2016 Women's International Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives