[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Yet another array of international talent wore Toronto FC jerseys Wednesday at BMO Field, but a young American player delivered the only goal.
FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea’s ninth goal of the season moved him into a tie atop the scoring charts in a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC, which fielded five of the seven players recently acquired. Designated players Danny Koevermans (Netherlands) and Torsten Frings (Germany) both went the full 90 minutes and TFC coach Aron Winter gave Ryan Johnson (Jamaica), Andy Iro (England) and Eddy Viator (Guadeloupe) their TFC debuts.
The signing of Viator, an international who played all three games for his country at the Concacaf Gold Cup, was announced Wednesday prior to the game. He had been training with TFC for the past week. He slid into the right back slot vacated by Richard Eckersley's suspension.
Shea scored in the 48th minute after picking off a TFC pass in midfield and racing forward to smash home a left-footed shot. An apparent equalizing goal few minutes later was disallowed for an offside call on Joao Plata.
Iro and keeper Stefan Frei repelled a pair of FCD shots in the 60th minute. Frei smothered Shea from close range and when Marvin Chavez headed the rebound on-frame, Iro got it out of danger.
Frings prompted numerous attacks from his central midfield position but TFC couldn’t get a shot past FCD keeper Kevin Hartman. On one of his best saves he tipped a Frings free kick past the post for a corner kick. In the final minutes, substitute Nick Soolsma chipped a ball to the edge of the goal area that Maicon Santos headed wide.
Winter sent out TFC in a 4-3-3 formation, with Koevermans as a central forward and Plata and Johnson on the wings. Hartman twice saved shots by Koevermans late in the first half. The keeper tipped away a shot headed for the top corner in the 39th minute, and in the final minute of the first half thwarted Koevermans' header from a Danleigh Borman cross. Hartman posted six saves and his league-leading 11th shutout of the season.
Both teams are back in league action Saturday on the road. Dallas (11-5-5) plays at New York and Toronto (3-10-9) heads to Kansas City.