Archive | Match Advances

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TFC to host Puerto Rico Islanders in CCL prelim

Posted on 27 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

After the disappointment of Saturday, Toronto FC are back at BMO Field Wednesday to face the Puerto Rico Islanders in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League qualifier.

TFC will be without defender Nana Attakora again, while Amado Guevara and Adrian Serioux are questionable after picking up knocks in the Columbus game.

On a more positive note for TFC, young midfielder Sam Cronin will be available for selection after returning from the Gold Cup.

As hosts of the first leg, Toronto will want to get a win–preferably by a goal or more, and ideally by a shutout. After this match, Toronto will head to New England to face the Revs on Saturday for their next MLS game.

Predictions and notes:

  • The injuries to both Adrian Serioux and Nana Attakora could see Marco Velez start.
  • With Amado Guevara also questionable with an injury, the return of Sam Cronin could see him starting the match.
  • TFC will have to shake off the psychological hurdle of a very disappointing previous match.
  • ASN puts the chances of a TFC win at 70%. A draw: 80%
  • Final score prediction: Toronto 2, Puerto Rico 1

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TFC head to Columbus for Trillium Cup

Posted on 23 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Having played Columbus home and away already this season the two teams are tied 2-2 on aggregate total in their Trillium Cup match-up. Toronto FC will now head to Columbus for the rubber game, with a win or a scoring draw securing the team silverware. But TFC has plenty of reasons to regret the other results this season against Columbus.

Toronto has struggled against teams sitting at the top three spots of either conference table; with the only win coming against Chivas USA back on April 22. They will be disappointed from last week’s draw at home against Houston, knowing that they need better results to keep their playoff hopes alive.

With a heavy schedule in the next few weeks Toronto has much to aim for.

At Crew Stadium, Toronto will be without Sam Cronin and Nana Attakora. Cronin is still away on international duty with the U.S. National Team in the Gold Cup, while Nana Attakora suffered an injury Wednesday during the friendly against River Plate. Adrian Serioux remains questionable after his injury from Saturday against Houston.

This match is critical for Toronto FC as they are one point behind third place team Columbus Crew and second-placed D.C. United. A win will not only give TFC the cup, but put the team in a good position in the standings going into their next game.

Previous three MLS results for each team:

Columbus Crew (6-3-9):
vs. Real Salt Lake (Home)= 3-1 Win
vs. Chicago Fire (Away)= 0-0 Draw
vs. D.C. United (Home)= 1-1 Draw

Toronto FC (7-6-5):
vs. Houston Dynamo (Home)= 1-1 Draw
vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Away)= 3-1 Win
vs. Real Salt Lake (Away)= 3-0 Loss

Predictions for the upcoming game:

  • The line up could be anyone’s guess after the performance Wednesday against River Plate.  There will be plenty of changes guaranteed.
  • With the injuries of both Adrian Serioux and Nana Attakora, either Marco Velez or Emmanuel Gomez could see a start.
  • TFC will come strong and will want everything from the game.
  • An 80% chance of TFC taking all 3 points from this game or a 60% chance of at least 1 point.
  • A score of 1-0 for TFC.

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DeRo, TFC aim for payback against Houston

Posted on 15 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

More than a month ago, Toronto FC went down 3-0 to Houston away from home. A result that was devastating to Dwayne De Rosario as he took on his old club for the first time. With the return game coming up, Dwayne aims for revenge and a crucial win–this time at BMO Field.

Toronto has struggled against teams sitting at the top three spots of either conference table; with the only win coming against Chivas USA back on April 22. To keep their playoff hopes alive, TFC must win their remaining home games and improve their road results.

There is much to aim for, with a heavy schedule in the next few weeks filled with friendly, league and CONCACAF Champions League matches.

Additionally, the Toronto squad is still missing Sam Cronin, O’Brian White and Ali Gerba.

What comes as a surprises is DeRo’s decision to miss the MLS All-Star game due to Toronto FC’s CONCACAF Champions League match on the same night.

This match is vital for Toronto FC as they are now tied for first place in the Eastern Conference on 25 points with a game ahead. But Houston has a lot to play for as well. The Dynamo are closely chased by the Seattle Sounders who are three points behind them at the top of the Western Conference.  

Previous 3 MLS game results for each team:
Houston Dynamo (9-4-4):

vs. Seattle Sounders FC(Away)= 2-1 Loss
vs. Kansas City Wizards(Away)= 1-0 Win
vs. Los Angeles Galaxy(Away)= 1-0 Loss

Toronto FC (7-6-4):
vs. San Jose Earthquakes(Away)= 3-1 Win
vs. Real Salt Lake(Away)= 3-0 Loss
vs. New York Red Bulls(Home)= 2-0 Win

Predictions for the upcoming game:

  • A Similar line up to the last game against San Jose, with a possibility of a position change between Marvel Wynne and Jim Brennan.
  • A strong approach toward the game from TFC will help them get something out it. The fan support, and confidence will help!
  • A 60% chance of TFC taking all 3 points from this game or an 80% chance of at least 1 point.
  • A score of 2-1 for TFC.

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TFC look for revenge against Vancouver

Posted on 06 May 2009 by Scott Ferguson

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On Canada day last year, Toronto FC were humbled 1-0 at home to USL side Vancouver Whitecaps, proving a wake-up call for John Carver’s men and signalling the beginning of the end of Toronto’s Canadian Championship dream. Montreal Impact went on the win the inaugural tournament and the Voyageurs Cup, with TFC missing out on both the CONCACAF Champions League berth that went with it and the MLS playoffs in 2008.

On Wednesday night, Vancouver travel to BMO Field to open the 2009 edition of Canada’s nascent “FA Cup”-style tournament riding a wave of momentum of their own. The 2008 USL Champions were recently granted a spot in MLS and will begin play in 2011. First, they’ll look to spoil Toronto’s party at home yet again, with the Reds still the overall favourites.

Complacency was a factor in last season’s Canadian Championship collapse for Toronto, but with recent Canadian additions like Adrian Serioux and Dwayne De Rosario rounding out the line-up, the Reds’ local boys will need little motivation against former club and international teammates like Martin Nash and Charles Gbeke. Former Red Marco Reda and young Canadian talent Marcus Haber round out an impressive Whitecaps roster.

The 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship will kick off at 8 PM EST on Sportsnet Wednesday.

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Return to Canada for Yallop

Posted on 18 July 2008 by Scott Ferguson

Frank Yallop will bring his San Jose Earthquakes side to Toronto on Saturday as the only Canadian manager in Major League Soccer, with Yallop hoping that his knowledge of players like Jim Brennan and Greg Sutton can help him break the club’s undefeated home streak in league action.

Toronto’s only blemish on their record at BMO Field was a Canadian Championship loss to Vancouver Whitecaps, as the Reds have enjoyed the comforts of home during league play with five wins and three draws.

In matches this year in the United States Toronto have won just one game, a 3-2 decision over Los Angeles Galaxy back in April. Carver’s men fell 2-1 in Chicago last week on a stoppage time goal by the Fire’s John Thorrington, the Reds’ sixth road loss in 2008. Such a dismal run away from home has meant that Toronto’s games at BMO Field take on even more significance for the club’s playoff hopes.

Yallop is familiar with Canadian soccer, having coached the national team from in the last World Cup qualifying cycle. His last trip to BMO Field came even more recently when his LA Galaxy side drew TFC last season He’ll have to watch from afar and relay messages to the club’s staff this time around, however. Yallop is suspended from the bench having received five cautions already this year.


It’s been stressful for San Jose, winless in six games going into Toronto. One player already used to such expansion woes is Ronnie O’Brien, the midfielder who was a part of Toronto’s inaugual campaign in 2007 but was restricted to just 13 appearances, emerging as a fan favourite nonetheless. A recurring knee injury meant that O’Brien sought greener pastures than the artificial turf at BMO Field in the off-season.

That chance came with the Quakes, who had already recruited Yallop to return to the Bay area for the team’s second coming. The Canadian boss had a highly successful spell at the former incarnation of the Quakes from 2001 to 2003.

O’Brien’s is questionable for the Toronto clash with a hamstring strain, with Gavin Glinton and Kelly Gray also likely to miss out. Nick Garcia is suspended along with Toronto midfielder Maurice Edu, whose teammates Todd Dunivant and Danny Dichio are on the injured list.

One player looking to benefit from Dichio’s absence is 16-year-old Abdus Ibrahim, the former FC Dallas starlet who recently joined the Reds and scored off the bench on his debut last Saturday. With English striker Paul Dickov still in talks with Toronto FC and English clubs in the second and third tier, Carver is short on firepower up front and may turn to Jeff Cunningham and Ibrahim over misfiring Kiwi striker Jarrod Smith.

Toronto are bracing for a big week and may be forced to rotate their squad ahead of Tuesday’s must-win Canadian Championship tie against Montreal Impact. There promises to be a cup final atmosphere ahead of the game, with TFC needing a win to lift the Voyageurs Cup in front of their home fans.

Jim Brennan will star for the MLS All-Star Team against West Ham United in his home ground two days later, making it three in five days if he features in both of the Reds’ matches this week.

TFC fell at home in friendly action on Tuesday night, dropping a 1-0 decision to Argentina’s Independiente. Toronto also had talented youngsters Marvell Wynne and Maurice Edu called up to the United States’ Olympic side for the tournament in Beijing this summer.

Check the Quakes page for our correspondent Evan White’s take on the upcoming game. Saturday’s encounter can be viewed on CBC in Canada.

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Toronto look to cause Houston problems

Posted on 06 June 2008 by Scott Ferguson

Toronto FC will take on Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on Sunday night, hoping to keep up an unbeaten record against Dominic Kinnear’s men.

Before TFC brought Major League Soccer north of the border, the Dynamo were the team of choice for many Canadian soccer fans.

National team members Dwayne De Rosario, Pat Onstad and Adrian Serioux were all part of the club’s 2006 MLS Cup-winning squad, with DeRo and Onstad still on Houston’s 2008 roster. Both were a part of Frank Yallop’s San Jose Earthquakes squad prior to their relocation to the Lone Star state.

Jim Brennan and Toronto goalkeeper Greg Sutton will bring insider knowledge of their national teammates to the Robertson Stadium showdown. Brennan will be familiar with De Rosario from Canada duty, while Sutton has emerged as Onstad’s heir-apparent between the posts for the CMNT.

The Houston contingent both played in Canada’s narrow 3-2 defeat to Brazil in Seattle last week before joining up with the Dynamo for Wednesday’s trip to D.C., a match that was ultimately postponed due to heavy rain. After last week’s home win over Los Angeles Galaxy, Toronto’s Canadian duo joined up with the national squad for the midweek clash with Panama in Florida.

International duty has affected Toronto’s roster in recent weeks, with John Carver’s men looking to welcome back defenders Tyrone Marshall and Marco Vélez, the Puerto Rico captain who received a late red card in his side’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Amado Guevara’s Honduras.

French winger Laurent Robert was suspended for last week’s game against LA and is likely to take up a starting role against Houston. Robert will resume the wing-swapping with midfielder Rohan Ricketts that has been a trademark of the club’s play so far this season.

For the Dynamo, defender Eddie Robinson is suspended for Sunday’s encounter. Ricardo Clark, returning from international duty of his own with the United States, was one of the stars of last week’s 1-0 home win over Red Bull New York.

“I think our young guys really worked hard… the average age of our midfield was something like 23,” Kinnear told the club’s website after the match. You had Corey (Ashe), Geoff (Cameron), Stuart (Holden) and then Rico (Clark) was the elder statesmen of the group at 25. Just the effort we got from them tonight was great.”

There have been a number of changes at BMO Field since last year, but one thing Toronto will look to carry over is their form against the Dynamo. 2007 saw TFC steal four points against the Men in Orange, recording a 1-0 home win (their first ever league shutout) and a 0-0 draw at Robertson.

While results across the league on Friday and Saturday would have to go their way, Toronto could conceivably finish the weekend atop the Eastern Conference. TFC’s fans won’t be booking their playoff tickets just yet, but the situation in the East represents a far cry from last year’s injury-racked start to life in Major League Soccer, where the Reds finished dead last in the league standings.

Match time: Sunday, June 8th, 8:30 PM

TV: RSN, DK,, The Score (delayed 9:30 pm).

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