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TFC fall in CCL debut

Posted on 30 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Toronto FC entered Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League qualification match with the Puerto Rico Islanders missing several key players due to injuries. In the end it was doubtful these absences would have made much of a difference, as the Ontario side went down 1-0 to the Islanders and will face an extremely difficult task in the return leg.

As a result of the injuries, TFC’s starting lineup was different than it had been in previous matches.

Keeper: Stefan Frei
Defenders: Marvell Wynne, Emmanuel Gomez, Nick Garcia, Jim Brennan
Midfielders: Dwayne De Rosario, Sam Cronin, Carl Robinson, Pablo Vitti
Forwards: Chad Barrett, Ali Gerba

The first half began dull and lacking excitement and opportunities. Puerto Rico started strong and fast, winning a few set pieces in dangerous areas that kept the TFC defense on its toes. Toronto was able to take at least a modicum of control later in the half, ending with the better chances and more possession of the ball.

The second half continued to favor Toronto who maintained possession and kept their chances coming. But luck was not on their side, as the scoring opportunities finished short. The only chance that culminated in a goal was disallowed for offside. The Puerto Rico Islanders took advantage of Toronto FC on a set piece to get the only goal of the match.

The most memorable quote of the night came from TFC head coach Chris Cummins on Emmanuel Gomez’s performance: “I thought he was the best player on the field,” Cummins said of the 18-year old defender. Cummins was indeed outstanding in his first start in a competitive match. The young player will give Cummins options in the heavy packed weeks to come.

The game was one sided for the most part with only two shots on target against Toronto–one being the goal.

Final score: Toronto FC 0, Puerto Rico Islanders 1

Toronto will now head to face the New England Revolution on Saturday before the return leg in Puerto Rico Tuesday. TFC will then return home for their friendly against Real Madrid.

Ratings for players from 1 (low) to 10 (high), ranked by position:

Toronto FC

Stefan Frei: 6
He had little to do and was not tested greatly. When called upon he committed himself to the ball which led to the open net and the goal.

Marvell Wynne: 7
He had decent game, sometimes looked out of position but did well to be there when needed.

Emmanuel Gomez: 8
He got the start over Velez, and as noted did very well in his position. He was very calm with the ball and cleared it effectively. By far the best player on the field.

Nick Garcia: 7
Slow compared to the Puerto Rico Islanders players but did well to keep them away from the net.

Jim Brennan: 6.5
An average game on his behalf, his crosses lacked danger and accuracy.

Carl Robinson: 6.5
A few sloppy passes in the middle of the park gave Toronto a scare.

Sam Cronin: 7
His first game for Toronto in a while, but did well and created some chances.

Pablo Vitti: 6.5
Back to his old disappointing performances, he could have done better and reacted faster with the ball.

Dwayne De Rosario: 7.5
Seemed off to start the match but then became more involved. Would probably love to have the chance he had in the first half again. Over all well played game creating some plays and chances.

Chad Barrett: 6.5
He seems nervous playing, takes too much time with the ball, but did create some danger and chances.

Ali Gerba: 6.5
Was unable to break the defense in dangerous spaces. Unfortunate to be slightly offside on his best chance of the night.

Subs Used:
Danny Dichio: 7.5
Came on for Robinson, and did very well in the short period of time on. He had a few chances that were denied by the keeper but did create plenty of danger.

O’Brian White: N/A
Came on for Barrett, but did not create much danger. Still seems scared to hurt his knee again.

2 Comments For This Post

  1. soccer goals Says:

    Gerba should make a difference this season.

  2. Mahmoud Shoblaq Says:

    Sooner than later hopefully!

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