Wednesday night Toronto FC reached the halfway mark of MLS 2009 as they played the 15th game of a 30 game season. Toronto 2- NYRB 0 was the final score as Toronto put on a smooth show on a hot night by the lake. There was no doubt that TFC were the same guys who looked awesome in Montreal last week. They were strong with the ball, solid in the back and able to make scoring chances out of the smallest opening. You walked away from BMO with a smile and the feeling that the team was on the rise.
I would argue that Frei was a busier keeper in Montreal than he had to be against New York. I do want to temper my joy, as NY Red Bulls are a team teetering on the edge of a collapse. Could there be a coach firing or a trade or something attempted to turn this team around in the days ahead? You shake your head when you recall this is the same team that had a run last Fall and got to the MLS Cup final. They have now played 17 games and have 10 points to show for it. Toronto has 22 points from two less games.
Pablo Vitti had a superb passing and attacking game, made more memorable by the scoring of his first goal for Toronto on a blooping header. Dwayne DeRosario was powerful and his goal was powerful. He chested down a crossing pass and smashed the volley into the far side of the goal. There was not a bad game played by the men in pink (they wore pink to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer –buy a TFC pink shirt and 10% of the funds go to this cause).
I don’t think I could point out a bad game from any member of TFC. The great advantage to having Nick Garcia in central defense is the confidence that it provides Carl Robinson. Robbo moves forward in the alignment and this in turn allows Guevara to go further up. This both supports the strikers and allows DeRosario to take advantage.
Remember the last home game was also against New York RB, but that one was a matter of luck making all the difference. Cronin scoring after Guevara missed a penalty, Dichio scoring after Vitti was foiled on the breakaway. This second contest was never in doubt
Now to turn all this promise into results, Toronto has to make something happen on the road. TFC has a front loaded schedule and for the next three months they only have three home games and one of those is against Houston.
What version of TFC is going to appear Saturday night in Utah versus Real Salt Lake?
Grinding out a tie on the road is my usual wish, but somehow I have gained confidence and want more. The team looked strong and there is still Marvell Wynne and Ali Gerba to add to the mix.
Pics in the morning…