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Toronto Attackers Make Long-Awaited Debuts
MLSnet.com, July 23rd, 2009 3:30PM

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Toronto FC came up short on the scoreboard on Wednesday night, losing the Carlsberg Cup on penalty kicks in a friendly against Argentine River Plate after scoreless regulation play. But the exhibition match allowed several reserves to see field, and it gave two new members of the TFC strike force to show what they could do. Ali Gerba and O'Brian White each made their long-awaited debuts.

For Gerba, who officially signed with TFC last month but wasn't allowed to play until July 15 due to MLS transfer rules, the game was a good opportunity to get used to his new home playing surface. "We kept it 0-0 so it was a good result for us, but when you go to the PKs, anybody can win. It's Russian roulette," Gerba said. "It's a bit difficult trying to get right on the [artificial] turf. ... I need as many games as possible to get used to the turf. I just hope it'll get better and better." Gerba, who scored twice for Canada in the Concacaf Gold Cup, was partnered with one of his former Canadian international teammates (Dwayne De Rosario) up front. While the two couldn't connect on a goal, Gerba said it helped to be teamed with a player with whom he already had some chemistry. "I can read him, he can read me, so hopefully we can keep on going like that," Gerba said.

White saw his first action since suffering a torn left ACL while finishing his senior year with the University of Connecticut last October. In spite of the injury, TFC still drafted the 23-year-old with the fourth overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, and White was pleased to finally be able to play. "I wasn't worried about my knee. I was just focused on the game and focused on playing rather than on my knee," White said. "Today was a bit different but it was good since the coaches just wanted me to go and get a feel for it, get a few touches and stuff like that. It was good to get the first game out of the way, and now I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."

 

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