Tag Archive | "Dominic Kinnear"

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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, MLSLIVE.tv, The Score (delayed 9:30 pm).

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Triallists run rampant in Houston loss

Posted on 07 March 2008 by Scott Ferguson

With a number of guest internationals making up the Toronto FC roster in MLS pre-season, head coach John Carver was given lots to think about ahead of the squad registration deadline. In the club’s first match of the Texas Pro Soccer Bowl, attacking football was the theme of the day as Houston Dynamo defeated TFC 4-3 on March 5th in Cibolo, Texas.

Chris Wondolowski’s headed goal had given the Men in Orange an early lead at Steele Stadium. Also in the first half, Jim Brennan crossed for triallist Kiki Musampa to send his own thumping header past Canadian keeper Pat Onstad in the Dynamo net. Houston went on to romp to a 4-1 lead on two first half goals from Brian Ching and an Erik Ustruck strike after an interval rife with substitutions.

TFC managed to make a game of it with 2 late goals, as former Newcastle midfielder Martin Brittain converted a penalty after a foul by Dynamo forward Wondolowski and fellow triallist Tony Vairelles bagged a goal with eight minutes left. Despite the late fightback, Dominic Kinnear’s men — who also beat their Canadian opponents last year in their first game of the 2007 Carolina Challenge Cup — held on for another pre-season victory, this time in the first edition of the Pro Soccer Festival on home-state soil.

Brittain and one time-Manchester City midfielder Musampa fit the mould of British-based attacking players that TFC Director of Football Mo Johnston has sought in the past, but Vairelles represents a departure from such a recruitment strategy. The 34-year-old, who played for France in the 1996 Olympics, has spent his club career in his home country and Belgium, where he scored 18 goals in 57 games during two different spells at SC Bastia on the French island of Corsica.

All three of the visiting players have helped their chances of earning a permanent contract in Toronto, with salary cap space available since the departure of Ronnie O’Brien to San Jose. Canadian under-23 international Tyler Rosenlund looks set to join the side, pending league approval, and will join compatriot Kevin Harmse at BMO Field; the midfield hardman having joined from Los Angeles Galaxy last week.

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