Tag Archive | "Mahmoud Shoblaq"

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TFC Advance to CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage

Posted on 03 August 2011 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Toronto FC ASN is on Twitter @TorontoFCasn! Follow us for live game action, breaking news and headlines covering Toronto FC, Canadian soccer and  MLS.

After a 2-1 win at home, Toronto FC went into Nicaragua forced to put Real Esteli’s away goal  behind them and grind up a result.

A great performance by Ryan Johnson gave him a pair of goals and gave the team another 2-1 win, this time away from home giving them a 4-2 win on aggregate.

A hostile environment and a horrible field was what TFC had to face, but strong character from the young players mixed with experience excelled over the Nicaraguan side. Overall TFC played well vs. Real Esteli, it was evident with some of the mistakes made that the field impacted the play. On this day CONCACAF refereeing did not play a role in deciding the game.

Toronto FC will continue their CCL journey in the group stage versus Tauro, UNAM and FC Dallas or Alianza starting on August 18th.

On a side note, @TorontoFCasn made twitter headlines during the Toronto FC game as many TFC supporters expressed anger and disappointment after Rogers Sportsnet decided to show the game on tape delay. Whether that was the correct decision or not for Rogers, the fans were not happy. Fans rushed to find the best online stream to watch the game live and support their team. It will be interesting to see how Rogers approaches this situation and what they will do for future games.  We did our part in this and provided necessary coverage through twitter and provided live game updates.  Our voice made us trend in Toronto and in all of Canada, thanks to all those who follow us on Twitter and make our time worth while.

TFC continue their road trip as they head to face against D.C. United where former Toronto player De Rosario now plays.


The writer of this post and the person who runs @TorontoFCasn can be found on twitter @MahmoudShoblaq.


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TFC get demolished at home

Posted on 29 May 2011 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Toronto FC ASN is on Twitter! Follow us for live game action, breaking news and headlines covering Toronto FC, Canadian soccer and  MLS.

After the game Wednesday against Vancouver Whitecaps getting called off due to weather, TFC remained at home to take on Philadelphia Union.

The starting line up saw a few changes from the midweek Canadian Championship game. 
Stefan Frei.
Defenders: Richard Eckersley, Dicoy Williams, Ty Harden, Dan Gargan.
Midfielders: Tony Tchani, Julian De Guzman, Mikael Yourassowsky.
Forwards: Nick Soolsma, Maicon Santos, Joao Plata.

This is a very tough game to talk about, it was a very horrible performance by Toronto FC.

In the first half TFC looked like they didn’t show up or were depending on mother nature to save them once again after falling down 2-0 after just 10 minutes and 3-0 by the half.

Second half changes provided a spark, with Javier Martina and Danleigh Borman coming on for Julian De Guzman and Dan Gargan. Danleigh Borman was what TFC needed  from the start of the game as he provided something that Dan Gargan did not provide at the left back position. With that in mind TFC was able to get themselves back in the game with Maicon Santos scoring a brace to make it 3-2.

Shortly after Maicon Santos’ second goal the Union scored another and that was when TFC fell apart letting in 2 more for a final score of 6-2.

It was a historical day with TFC suffering their worst loss at home and conceding the highest number of goals against in their history. Even Real Madrid didn’t score this many times against Toronto.

Luckily TFC has no midweek game and are staying at home next week, this will give them time to regroup and hopefully improve their performances.  On the negative side several players will be leaving for international call-ups which may have TFC short handed. Plata will be with Ecuador for their game against Canada on June 1st and against Greece June 7th. Julian De Guzman and Dicoy Williams have been called up by Canada and Jamaica respectively for the Gold Cup (June 5th – 25th) and are expected to be reporting to their teams this week. Therefore, TFC will likely be without Plata, De Guzman and Dicoy for some of their upcoming games.

On a side note, the TFC reserves tied the Philadelphia Union reserves 0-0.

Toronto will face  Sporting Kansas at BMO Field on Saturday June 4th.

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

Toronto FC
Stefan Frei: 5
Not one of Frei’s best performances and maybe even his worst. Could he be to blame for all of the goals… no! Should all the work be put on him… no! But his performance was not the greatest, a bad clearance resulted in an easy goal in addition he almost let in what would have been the most embarrassing goal. All in all a bad performance but the defenders need to help him out.

Richard Eckersley : 7.5
Did well and may have been the best player on the field for TFC both defensively and offensively. The player with the most heart on the team on this day.

Ty Harden: 4
Should have been substituted way earlier in the game .Without Attakora or Cann on his side he is too much of a gamble .

Dicoy Williams: 5
Too much responsibly for him, the pair of Harden and Williams is not one that should exist.

Dan Gargan: 4
Another disappointing performance, was at fault for one or more of the goals in the first half.

Mikael Yourassowsky: 7
Did well overall, the effort and heart he puts into the game is what each player should be doing.

Tony Tchani: 5
Not his best performance, did not complete his passes and lost the ball too easily.

Julian  De Guzman: 5
DP? Not for much longer! With performances like this, TFC is lucky to have him be gone with the National team for a while. Lost the ball way too easily and was doing unnecessary things when he had the ball.

Nick Soolsma: 5.5
Has his moments and tries very hard but he is too slow.

Maicon Santos: 6.5
Did what he could in the second half for the team scoring a brace, but it was not his best performance overall.

Joao Plata: 6
Has his moments in the game and needs to be more consistent overall, but TFC shouldn’t be depending on him so much.

Subs Used:
Javier Martina: 6

Came on in the second half and provided something different but once Philadelphia figured his positioning out he was silent.

Danleigh Borman: 7
Provided the spark TFC needed from the start and contributed well in the second half.

Alen Stevanovic: N/A
Was only on for a short period of time and it was too late for him to make an impact..


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TFC earns a point away from home

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Toronto FC ASN
is on Twitter! Follow us for live game action, breaking news and headlines covering Toronto FC, Canadian soccer and  MLS.

After a draw against Chivas USA at home, TFC went on the road to face the San Jose Earthquakes who have yet to win at home this season.

The starting line up saw no changes from last week. 
Stefan Frei.
Defenders: Ty Harden, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann,  Danleigh Borman.
Midfielders: Jacob Peterson, Tony Tchani, Alen Stevanovic.
Forwards: Javier Martina, Maicon Santos, Alan Gordon.

TFC started the game defensively awkward allowing several dangerous shots by San Jose, after finding their rhythm they took the lead in the 27th minute through a goal from Gordon.  Tony Tchani, Danleigh Borman and Alen Stevanovic looked much more comfortable with the team after having several training sessions under their belts.  Stevanovic demonstrated great skill and looks like a great addition to the team moving forward.  Martina on the other hand did not have a great first half and was close to invisible. San Jose was able to find the equalizer through Dawkins after a good run on the left side in the 38th minute. The first half ended with San Jose taking 12 shots and Toronto taking 3, the Earthquakes also dominated 61 percent of the possession.

The second half continued to be entertaining, where Toronto was much more organized and created more opportunities. Martina came out from the shadows and contributed more – feeding several balls into the box. It is important to note that Nana Attakora was subbed off at half time as it was evident that his play has not been what TFC fans have been used to, this is his second time in two games that he has been subbed off at half time. TFC suffered a blow when Stevanovic was down injured and had to be substituted, he was becoming and integral part of the game on the left side with Borman.

There is still more to do for TFC but this performance would be considered a good one moving forward. The club will now head home for a 3 game home stint before starting their Nutrilite Canadian  Championship quest at Edmonton. Toronto will face the LA Galaxy on Wednesday at BMO Field.

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

Toronto FC
Stefan Frei: 7.5
Did well throughout the game making some great stops that kept his team in the game. He could not have done much about the goal!

Ty Harden: 7
Did well at right back in the first half and slotted well in the middle in the second half. Becoming more comfortable and confident on the ball in each game.

Nana Attakora: 6
Still does not seem himself since returning from injury last week. His second time being subbed off  at the half in two games this time it was for De Guzman. He was not into the game which resulted in another disappointing showing. He also was shown a yellow for his troubles.

Adrian Cann: 7.5
A great performance by Cann, took over most of the defensive duties in the second half and was seen almost everywhere.

Danleigh Borman: 7
Seemed more comfortable and did well to contribute to the team offensively and defensively. Connected well with Stevanovic on the left side.

Jacob Peterson: 7
Did well overall and did well to slot back into defense in the second half.

Tony Tchani: 7
Did well throughout the game, got himself a yellow for his troubles.

Alen Stevanovic: 7.5
A great game for Alen, did well working with Borman on the left side where they created several opportunities. His work rate resulted to his contribution on TFC’s goal. Subbed off in the second half for Zavarise after getting injured.

Javier Martina: 6
Not his best game for TFC, was invisible for the most part and became more involved in the second half.

Maicon Santos: 6
TFC’s new captain did not contribute much and was subbed off early in the second half for Plata.

Alan Gordon: 7.5
Another decent outing, scored the goal for TFC and it certainly will not be his last. He is being praised and getting compared to the big number 9 – Danny Dichio.

Subs Used:
Julian  De Guzman: 6.5

Came on for Attakora and did well to orchestrate the middle of the park. If he continues on in this manner, his stay with TFC will be extended. He also got himself a yellow card for his efforts this evening, which is a habit that needs to change.

Gianluca Zavarise: 6
Came on for the injured Stevanovic, did well with the time given.

Joao Plata: 6.5
Came on for the under-performing Maicon and had several good runs but did not make the correct decisions to impact the game.


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TFC draw at home

Posted on 05 April 2011 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Alan Gordon - Photo Credit to Catherine Solmes


Toronto FC ASN is on Twitter! Follow us for live game action, breaking news and headlines covering Toronto FC, Canadian soccer and  MLS.

After winning at home against Portland Timbers, TFC was expected to continue on a positive note against Chivas USA. All was changed when the news of Dwayne De Rosario being traded to the New York Red Bulls surfaced. On Friday afternoon the DeRo trade was confirmed, where TFC acquired Danleigh Borman, Tony Tchani and a first round draft pick in 2012 in return for Dwayne De Rosario. On the other hand, Javier Martina was voted MLS Goal of the Week earlier in the week for his second goal in the Portland game and Decoy Williams was signed.

TFC and Chivas Draw!
The starting line up saw several changes after trades and signings this week. 
Stefan Frei.
Defenders: Ty Harden, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann,  Danleigh Borman.
Midfielders: Jacob Peterson, Tony Tchani, Alen Stevanovic.
Forwards: Javier Martina, Maicon Santos, Alan Gordon.

TFC started the game on a rough note suffering an early goal deficit. After finding their rhythm they were able to get back into the game and find the equalizer. With DeRo gone and new players starting the match, it was expected to be a difficult afternoon for Toronto. Once again it must be reiterated that it is a building process and the team will learn to cope with DeRo’s absence.

Some positives were evident, as Martina showed great signs of class and will be an integral part of the club moving forward. Several team practices for the new players with the club will create harmony and consistency within the team. Toronto FC can only see themselves moving forward after today, keeping in mind players must remain healthy.

Toronto FC will need to perform and prove their fans that they are a competitive team to maintain the atmosphere BMO Field is used to. The game’s attendance is still considered great in comparison to MLS numbers but 18,968 is below TFC’s regular attendance numbers of 20000 or more. It was evident that there were  many empty seats which in turn made the television broadcast look very unattractive for those watching at home. Whether the attendance numbers are due to the DeRo trade or a lack of interest from fans after 4 unsuccessful season, it remains unknown. The club will need to earn their supporters back with several positive performances at home and on the road.

TFC will now head away from home to face off against the San Jose Earthquakes before coming back for a three game home stint.

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

Toronto FC
Stefan Frei: 7
He may have not been able to do much about the goal, but did well with what came his way as the game went on.

Ty Harden: 6.5
Did well as a right back, contributed a few crosses on the attack. Still room for improvement!

Nana Attakora: 5.5
Came back from injury and may have been at fault for the goal. Not one of his best performances and was subbed off in the second half.

Adrian Cann: 6.5
Decent performance, with no visible mistakes.

Danleigh Borman: 6.5
Did well to contribute to the team offensively and defensively considering not practicing with the team prior to the game.

Jacob Peterson: 6.5
Did well on the set piece to set up Alan Gordon for the equalizer.  Subbed off at the half for De Guzman.

Tony Tchani: 6.5
Did well throughout the game for a player who has not practiced with the team, could possibly do more.

Alen Stevanovic: 6.5
Did well working with Borman, would probably wish Maicon Santos passed the ball for him to score the winner. Subbed off in the second half after getting injured. He is also another player whose contribution will become greater as time goes on.

Javier Martina: 7
Had a decent game showed great foot work and will be an integral part of the team.

Maicon Santos: 6
Captained the team for the day, scores a low rating today due to his horrible miss. Otherwise he is another player that will be an important part moving forward.

Alan Gordon: 7
A decent game, was at the end of several crosses and set pieces but did not do enough to create solid chances. Scored the equalizer and celebrated with class.

Subs Used:
Julian  De Guzman:
Came on for Peterson, still needs time to come back from injury. His distribution still lacking, got himself a yellow card for his efforts this afternoon.

Decoy Williams: 6.5
Another new signing making his debut, came on for Attakora who just returned from injury. From what was seen can easily take Attakora’s starting spot on the team.

Joao Plata: N/A
Came on for the injured Stevanovic, had little impact on the game.


Martina wins MLS Goal of the Week!

Martina - Photo Credit to Catherine Solmes

TFC striker Javier Martina has won his first ever MLS Goal of the Week award for his amazing finish in the 2-0 win against Portlant Timbers at BMO Field on Saturday. It was his second MLS goal in his two appearances. Martina’s goal gave TFC the assurance lead that they held on with to win the game. The goal assisted by Frei has shown his striker’s instinct which gives everyone a taste of what he can bring to the team in the future.


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TFC, Real Madrid face off at BMO Field

Posted on 06 August 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Friday, Aug. 7 marks a historic occasion for Toronto FC as they take on one of the most successful clubs in the world.

Real Madrid will play in the first match of their North American tour when they come to Toronto. This will mark Real Madrid’s first visit to Canada this century and second overall after Aug. 25, 1961 when they played Toronto City in Vancouver. In addition, this match will mark BMO Field’s first match on (temporary) grass and second with extra stands; which TFC fans hope is a good sign for the future of the facility and club.
Real Madrid arrived Thursday afternoon and will be having an open practice later that evening. It has been announced that the game is sold out and more than 16, 000 seats have been sold for the open practice.

This will mark the end of the clustered portion of Toronto’s schedule which included a few disappointing results and elimination from the CONCACAF Champions League.
The Canadian side must showcase a decent result against the Spanish giants to ensure self respect.

A few players are rumored to be on trial and/or negotiating contracts with the club and may in fact see action on the field against Real Madrid. The rumored names include Lesly Fellinga and Dominique van Dijk.

Following this match TFC stays home to take on D.C. United on Saturday of the following week.
TFC players are excited about this experience and are looking forward to playing against the caliber of the Madrid players.

Official Game Squad List:
Stefan Frei, Brian Edwards.
Marvell Wynne, Amadou Sanyang, Emmanuel Gomez, Marco Velez, Jim Brennan, Adrian Serioux, Nick Garcia.
Pablo Vitti, Amado Guevara, Sam Cronin, Carl Robinson, Gabe Gala.
O’Brian White, Chad Barrett, Dwayne De Rosario, Ali Gerba, Danny Dichio.
*Nana Attakora and Fuad Ibrahim are still questionable and may not be included due to injury and being away with the national team camp respectively.
*Marco Velez’s appearance may be in question as rumours have surfaced suggesting a possible loan to Puerto Rico Islanders.

Previous four match results:
vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (Away) = 0-0 Draw
vs. New England Revolution
(Away) = 1-1 Draw
vs. Puerto Rico Islanders
(Home) = 1-0 Loss
vs. Columbus Crew
(Away)= 3-2 Loss


Real Madrid:
Following a decent first half of their preseason; Real Madrid will now head to North America for their second half to face-off against TFC and D.C United.
The Spanish giants will include a few names that will be making their debuts for the club such as Kaka, Albiol and Arbeloa. While Iker Casillas will be seeing action with the club for the first time in preseason following his Confederations Cup involvement.
Everyone else will be available for selection including new signings Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Negredo, Esteban Granero, and Karim Benzema. Ezequiel Garay will also be available after returning to Real Madrid following his loan spell at Racing Santander.
In recent news, Xabi Alonso has  just signed for Real Madrid this week and has passed his medial; and will travel with the team for the North American tour. With the surface of these news he may in-fact make his debut in Toronto.
Following this match Real Madrid will travel to face-off against D.C. united in their second match of the North American tour. Then they will travel back to Madrid for the rest of their preseason with matches against various other opponents including Real Sociedad,  Borussia Dortmund and  AC Milan.

Official Game Squad List:
Casillas, Dudek, Adan.
DF: Pepe, Albiol, Metzelder, Garay, Torres, Arbeloa.
: Lass, Xabi Alonso, Sneijder, Robben, Guti, Drenthe, Granero, Kaka.
Raul, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuain, Negredo.
*Ramos, Gago, Marcelo, Van der Vaart, Diarra and Van Nistelrooy are not included due to injury or transfer speculation and will stay in Spain.

Previous four match results:
vs. Juventus (Away)= 2-1 Loss
vs. Liga de Quito (Home)= 4-2 Win
Al-Ittihad (Home)= 1-1 Draw
vs. Shamrock Rovers (Away) = 1-0 Win


Match Predictions:

  • Line-ups for both teams will be anyone’s guess as this friendly will possibly see everyone be included.
  • Real Madrid should dominate and win the match with ease.
  • Toronto FC will play for pride rather than for the win.
  • Record attendance for TFC and BMO Field.
  • ASN puts the chances of a TFC win at 20%, a draw at 25%, and a loss at  55%.
  • Final score prediction: Toronto 0, Real Madrid 3

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Gerba scores on debut, but TFC fall to Columbus

Posted on 26 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Gerba scored but it wasn't enough

After Chicago’s earlier result Toronto FC came into the match knowing a win will move them up the table tied in points with Chicago and a draw or a loss can see them stay at the bottom of the table. In addition, the Trillium Cup was on the line and Toronto FC had plenty to play for.

The Toronto FC starting lineup saw a few changes due to injury and the addition of players to the roster.
Keeper: Stefan Frei
Defenders: Marvel Wynne, Adrian Serioux, Jim Brennan, Nick Garcia
Midfielders: Pablo Vitti, Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Dwayne De Rosario, Chad Barrett
Forward: Ali Gerba,

An entertaining half to start the game off with chances coming from both sides, Columbus had the greater number of chances but did not capitalize till the opening goal. Toronto FC responded within minutes to keep the game in play. Both teams suffered yellow cards in the first half which will keep these players on their toes in the second half in order not to obtain another.

The second half saw Toronto go ahead with a goal from Gerba who scored his first MLS goal in his debut. The Crew was able to answer back later on with two goals to win the match. The chances were there from both teams but at the end Columbus was able to capitalize in the vital moments of the game.

Toronto came short and went on to lose the game late on. It will be an unfortunate blow as they had all 3 points secured up to midway through the second half. TFC will not want to look back at this performance as it will remind them of their last two seasons in MLS when they saw plenty of their games lost or tied in the dying minutes of the game.

Final Score: Toronto FC 2, Columbus Crew 3

The Reds will now head home to face the Puerto Rico Islanders on Wednesday in their first match-up for the Preliminary round of the CONCACAF Champions League. In order for TFC to keep their chances of advancing to the next round alive, they must get the win; keep their goals-for at a maximum, and their goals-against at a minimum. After that, Toronto will head to New England to face the Revs on Saturday for their next MLS game.

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

Stefan Frei: 6.5
He had plenty to do with many easy saves throughout the game, but was unable to keep Toronto in the game when it mattered.

Marvell Wynne: 6.5
He did well to start the game and create chances for Toronto but was not able to continue the form in the second half and possibly cost Toronto the Trillium cup with the third goal.

Adrian Serioux: 7
Good form back from injury, not many mistakes. Took a knock in the second half but stuck through to the end.

Nick Garcia: 7
Did well over all, but did not seem to control his defense like he usually does.

Jim Brennan:  7.5
Did well, and moved up to midfield after the injury of Guevara and the entry of Velez. A few great passes which created some chances.

Dwayne De Rosario:  8
A well taken goal, and he created plenty of danger.

Amado Guevara: N/A
Did not see much action after getting a knock early in the first half, he had minimum impact.

Carl Robinson:  6.5
Late tackle to earn himself a yellow card, some mistakes with his passes today. But went on to improve his performance.

Chad Barrett: 7
Showed his presence did his best with the chances given to him. Great play with Gerba to give Gerba his first MLS goal.

Pablo Vitti: 8
Continued his improved form and played well over all. Created some plays and chances for Toronto.

Ali Gerba: 7.5
My expectations are still higher for him, seems like he lacks a little fitness. But nothing will take away from his solid play to hold the ball and his well taken goal.

Subs Used:
Marco Velez: 7.5
Another one of his better games, it will give the coaches more confidence in him. He couldn’t do much about the second goal as it caught everyone off guard.

O’Brian White: N/A
Came on for Barrett to make his MLS debut; he had a few touches with the ball but still seems uncomfortable.  

Danny Dichio: N/A
Came on for Gerba and was on for a few minutes, had a few touches with the ball but not enough to make an impact this late in the game.

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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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Gerba, White debut as TFC lose to River Plate on PKs

Posted on 23 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Toronto FC came into this friendly match after a disappointing draw against Houston on Saturday. The River Plate match gave TFC’s young players a chance to play a full professional match. Some players saw action for the first time this season, while others went the 90 minute distance for the first time.

As such, Toronto’s starting lineup saw several changes:
Keeper: Brian Edwards
Defenders: Marvell Wynne, Emmanuel Gomez, Marco Velez, Jim Brennan
Midfielders: Pablo Vitti, Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Gabe Gala
Forwards: Ali Gerba, Dwayne De Rosario

The first half was very dull, with the better of chances coming from Toronto FC. There was a definite disappointment as their chances were not put in the back of the net. TFC seemed relaxed at the start, which saw them possess more of the ball. River Plate on the other hand came strong and physical, trying shots from all angles none of which caused significant danger to Brian Edwards’ goal.

The second half was just as dull as the first, yet Toronto was kept on their toes as River Plate emerged stronger from the break, holding possession and creating pressure throughout.

It was an overall disappointing performance from Toronto FC, considering the fact that they were the better team. The chances should have been taken well when given; which would have led to a result in their favor.

Regulation Time Score: Toronto FC 0, River Plate 0
Penalty Kicks Score: Toronto FC 3, River Plate 4

The Reds will now head to Columbus to face the Columbus Crew for the last match up of their rivalry this season and the Trillium Cup decider. This will be another chance for Toronto to win some silver wear this season after losing to River Plate for their chance to capture the Carlsberg Cup. Toronto FC in their history so far has only managed to captured one title, that being the 2009Voyageurs Cup after winning the Canadian Championship.

Toronto FC ratings for players from 1 (low) to 10 (high), ranked by position:

Brian Edwards: 7
Was not tested much but was there when needed. When it came to the penalties he guessed every shot and was no where near them.

Marvell Wynne: 8
Did a lot of work up and down the field, his usual strong play. Saw a lot of the ball when he was in the game.

Nana Attakora: 7.5
Usual solid defending was hurt later on and taken off.

Nick Garcia: 7.5
Came on in the second half showed his usual controlling performance, and topped it off with a well taken penalty.

Emmanuel Gomez: 7.5
Great play by the youngster, small mistakes but recovered well.

Marco Velez: 7
One of his better games, will give the coaches some confidence in him. Had a lot of pressure on his back when stepping up to take the penalty, but should have done better.

Jim Brennan:  7.5
Usual performance, solid overall.

Carl Robinson:  7.5
Controlled the game well in the middle very vocal as usual. An unfortunate missed chance for him.

Amado Guevara: 7
One of his better games got his passes and crosses to the intended target but still could have done better overall.

Gabe Gala: 7
Was nervous and it showed, but had some good plays, unfortunate yellow card he did not deserve it. A missed chance in the second half will leave him disappointed.

Dwayne De Rosario:  8
As usual will always try to play well, and he had a great game even though he was let down a few times by his team.

Pablo Vitti: 8.5
Captained Toronto for the day, definitely gave him some confidence. One of his best performances for Toronto. He should have done better with his penalty. But he still got himself the Man of the Match recognition.

Chad Barrett: 7
Held the ball well, created some chances; no one was there to meet them. Took his penalty well.

Danny Dichio: 6.5
Made his presence felt, may have deserved a penalty for one of the challenges against him but the referee saw nothing in it. Nothing special today and no obvious chances, but definitely should have done better with his penalty and he knows it.

Ali Gerba: 6.5
My expectations were higher for him, a few missed chances that should have been in the back of the net. Made up for it with a well taken penalty.

O’Brian White: 6.5
I did not expect much from him coming off an injury, but he contributed well for his first game and created some danger. Nothing special though could have done better.

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Unfortunate blow as TFC draw Dynamo

Posted on 19 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

Toronto FC knew the task coming into this match against Houston. After the road victory at San Jose, TFC was confident and showed fight from the start.

The Toronto FC lineup was left unchanged from the previous game.
Keeper: Stefan Frei
Defenders: Marvell Wynne, Nana Attakora, Nick Garcia, Adrian Serioux
Midfielders: Dwayne De Rosario, Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Jim Brennan
Forwards: Chad Barrett, Pablo Vitti

With a slow start the game proceeded to become an entertaining encounter. TFC dominated the first half but the Dynamo came in strong in the second.  Toronto had the better chances and made them count by testing keeper Pat Onstad and putting more shots on target.

On some occasions a side of Toronto emerged that had not been seen before; they were organized keeping possession and completing their passes.

The first goal of the game came from Dwayne De Rosario; the pass from Marvel Wynne intending Danny Dichio who played a dummy through for Dwayne who took the goal beautifully. The score stayed as 1-0 at the end of the first half with Toronto FC leading.

As the second half began, the set pieces favored Houston. The unfortunate circumstances approached Toronto FC as they lost the lead from a bad clearance off a set piece that later saw a cross meet Boswell to get the shot on goal. After a wonderful save from Stefan Frei, the rebound was left for Boswell to score the goal and give Houston some hope of getting something out of the game.

The scoring chances kept coming but the score held still!

Final score: Toronto FC 1, Houston Dynamo 1

The Reds will now face off against River Plate on Wednesday for the annual Carlsberg Cup match held at BMO Field. They will then head to Columbus Crew for the last match up between the two teams of this season and the Trillium Cup decider. After Saturday’s MLS results Toronto FC dropped to fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. Adrian Serioux’s injury status is yet to be determined.

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

Toronto FC

Stefan Frei: 7.5
Gave Toronto a scare as he seemed hurt in the warm-up but started the game. He also had a knock early in the first half from Bsowell but stayed strong to continue in the game and deny Houston on various occasions.

Marvell Wynne: 7.5
An improvement on his behalf from the last game, was strong defensively and offensively. He also made a great assist.

Nana Attakora: 8
Strong play throughout, was there when needed to deny Houston chances. He showed everyone why he won TFC’s June Player of the Month.

Nick Garcia: 7
Controlled the defense well, yet an unnecessary yellow card.

Adrian Serioux: 7
For the time he was on before his injury, he had great contribution.

Dwayne De Rosario: 8.5
Was all over the pitch, controlled the ball and created great opportunities. A well deserved and taken goal against his former team.

Amado Guevara: 7.5
An improvement from his last performance and had great connective plays with Vitti.

Carl Robinson: 7
Played well and contributed well defensively and offensively.

Jim Brennan: 7
Contributed strongly and covered well in the back after Adrian’s injury and substitution.

Chad Barrett: 7
Had a few chances, definitely one of his better games but he was denied goals on several occasions.

Pablo Vitti: 7.5
Some very skillful playing and great connective play with Guevara.  An unnecessary yellow card.

Danny Dichio: 7.5
Came on in the first half for Serioux, his presence was felt after playing the dummy through to Dwayne for the goal. Some missed opportunities will leave him disappointed.

Fuad Ibrahim: N/A
Came on for Barrett had little contribution.

Marco Velez: N/A
Came on for Vitti, had little to no contribution.

Houston Dynamo

Pat Onstad: 8
Made crucial saves, and had plenty to do to keep Houston in the game

Craig Waibel: 7
Played well defensively, unfortunate knock from Brennan early on but battled through it.

Bobby Boswell: 8
Ran into Frei early on, showed his presence up front and in the back. Took his chance well and followed through perfectly to get the goal. He also did well to deny TFC chances.

Geoff Cameron: 7
Assisted in some attacking plays and caused problems for TFC.

Julius James: 7.5
The former TFC player did very well in the back.

Mike Chabala: 7
Unfortunately had to experience the streamers and confetti from the TFC fans when taking the corner kicks, but did not let it get to his performance and played well. An unfortunate yellow card after being beat by De Rosario.

Corey Ashe: 6.5
His contribution was minimal but no mistakes were made when he had possession.

Brian Mullan: 6.5
Played well could have done better on some occasions.

Ricardo Clark: 7
Well played game.

Dominic Oduro: 7
Was denied access by the TFC defense on several occasion, but still managed to pull out a few chances.

Kei Kamara: 6.5
Was frustrated from the start due to some calls from the referee and was denied on several occasions. His frustration resulted in him receiving a yellow card for unsporting behavior. Yet he improved in the second half and was calmer.

Danny Cruz: 6.5
Came in for Mullan and saw little of the ball, but did well when he had it.

Ade Akinbiyi: N/A
Came in for Waibel to support the attack but saw little of the ball and made minimum contribution.

Erik Ustruck: N/A
Came on for Oduro, but had little contribution.

Who do you believe was the Man of the Match against Houston?(poll)

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Nana voted TFC’s Player of the Month

Posted on 18 July 2009 by Mahmoud Shoblaq

After a hard fought four weeks for Toronto FC players, the month of June could have been anyone’s win in the polls. Yet young Nana Attakora’s performance stood out and ended up winning more than half of the total votes.

TFC’s monthly award is voted by the public which rewards players with an Esquire watch. In all fairness, this is an extensive victory for the young player against the likes of Dwayne De Rosario, Amado Guevara, and rookie Sam Cronin.

Nana established himself as a key player for Toronto FC’s defense. With Marvell Wynne’s absence or presence, Attakora made the defensive position his own whether playing on the right or in the centre of defense.  Attakora has also picked up a few assists this season when he was able to push up the field to assist the attack.

Nana was presented with the award prior to the start of the Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC game at BMO Field.

Previous TFC Player of the Month winners included Amado Guevara for the month of May and rookie keeper Stefan Frei for the month of April.

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