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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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