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Youngsters lift TFC over DC

Posted on 23 August 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Following a disappointing few weeks with CCL, MLS and friendly matches TFC got themselves a week off to get back on track. There was a serious tone going into this game with only one target, and that being the MLS play-offs. TFC hosted D.C. United at BMO Field for a very important Eastern Conference clash with a much needed victory for either team. Toronto drew DC earlier this season away from home with a score of 3-3 and did well to top that result with a win at home Saturday.

The starting line up saw many changes with more than half of the players being 23 years of age or younger, while 3 players made their official MLS starting debuts. The line up looked as follows:
Stefan Frei.
Defenders: Nana Attakora, Adrian Serioux, Emmanuel Gomez.
Midfielders: Sam Cronin, Amado Sanyang, Carl Robinson, Pablo Vitti, Jim Brennan.
Forwards: Dwayne De Rosario, O’Brian White.

In the first half, TFC had the better of chances early on with O’Brian White’s shot being deflected over the bar. Jim Brennan was also very close with a header following a cross from Vitti which hit the post. DC did not make it easy, but TFC continued to have the better of chances. DeRo opened the scoring in the 30 minute mark, following a great cross from Sam Cronin giving him his ninth goal of the season. Keeper Stefan Frei was not troubled throughout the half except for what almost looked like a break away chance that Frei got to before the striker to deny them a chance on goal.

In the second half, TFC replaced Carl Robinson with Amado Guevara and the play continued to look no different than the first half. DC had a free kick that saw Stefan Frei be forced into making a save that went over the bar for a corner. DC attempted to continue pressure but their chances were not dangerous. Dwayne De Rosario had a great chance on goal but had too much time to think and put it wide.  In the 66th minute following a TFC corner that saw the ball land for Attakora who passed the ball through to the feet of O’Brian White giving him the time to place the ball and shoot it for his first professional goal. DC’s best chance of the match came in the dying minutes off a corner which was cleared by Amado Guevara right off the line.

Final score: Toronto FC 2, D.C. United 0

Toronto FC travel to Los Angeles to play Chivas USA in their next match up to start a 3 game road trip. The final stretch of games are important in terms of winning a playoff spot for all teams. TFC will have plenty of options with plenty of defensive and offensive  players in the roster. This will allow coach Chris Cummins to rotate players without risk.

Some of the rumors that surfaced in the past weeks about new TFC signings and a possible departure of Marco Velez have proven true. Even though only Lesly Fellinga was signed  and not all the rumored names. Fellinga was not on the roster Saturday due to his work permit not being finalized yet. Also match predictions from the pre-game report held very well with the predicted line up only seeing one change; that being Ali Gerba not starting and the score being 2-0 rather than the predicted 2-1.

The many changes with TFC will give them a different feel and help them going into the final stretch of games.

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

Toronto FC
Stefan Frei: 7
He did well when called upon to challenge for the ball and keep the clean sheet. Yet he was not tested greatly throughout the match.

Nana Attakora: 9
Had a great return from injury and played strong giving DC no space in TFC’s box. Assisted in the O’Brian White’s goal and was by far the best player on the field.

Adrian Serioux: 7.5
Did well to stay strong at the back but did not stand out.

Emmanuel Gomez: 7.5
Received his first MLS start stayed calm, cool and collective as usual very professional player for his age.

Jim Brennan: 7.5
Did well in a more midfield role, was unlucky to see his chance hit the post and did well to create the play leading to the first TFC goal. Received a yellow card and will not be available in the next match due to suspension for card accumulation.

Carl Robinson: 7
Received a yellow putting him in danger for future suspension, it was not one of his best performances.

Amadou Sanyang: 8
Received his first MLS start and did well to make some crucial interventions and contribute both defensively and offensively. Received a yellow card for his efforts but possibly saved TFC from what looked like a strong play from DC. He did not start well had a few mistakes but did better through the game to improve; he got plenty of knocks but stuck through the pain for the full match.

Pablo Vitti: 7.5
Had one of his better performances linked well with the players completed his passes and created chances.

Sam Cronin: 7.5
Unlucky to see a card pulled for his challenge, but did well throughout and assisted the first goal.

Dwayne De Rosario: 8
Saw a lot of the ball, had great contribution throughout and took the goal well. Missed a great chance in the second half which he should have done better with to put in the back of the net.

O’Brian White: 8.5
Received his first MLS start and will give the coaches plenty to think about, had a huge influence in the attack. He was very lively throughout the match and took the goal well, unlucky to see an earlier chance deflected.

Subs Used:
Amado Guevara: 7

Came on for Robinson, did well to contribute but was invisible for the most part. The fatigue was obvious following international duty earlier in the week. He did well to keep the clean sheet for TFC late on.

Ali Gerba: N/A
Came on for White, did little to create an impact in the game.

Gabe Gala: N/A
Came on for Brennan late one, did little to create an impact in the game.

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