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TFC 2010 | Week#8

Toronto FC 0 – 0 LA Galaxy

Reds v Galaxy

No Scoring But Good Result

The fact that there were no goals scored in last night’s draw against the LA Galaxy is more of an accomplishment than it might seem. Toronto FC played a smart and disciplined match against the league-leading Galaxy for about 75 minutes, and did enough in the remainder to hang on without rolling over under LA’s constant pressure. The Reds had a few good chances to score as well, and of course it would have been nice to see them push the Galaxy that much harder on their home turf. Regardless, a scoreless tie was a great result on the road against the highest scoring team in the MLS. It also breaks TFC’s run of defeats on the road this season, and speaks to the mounting confidence and competence of the team over the past few weeks.

With Julian de Guzman sidelined with an injury, and Dwayne de Rosario substituted off in the 70th minute, last night was a solid outing as a team with consistent contributions coming from across the roster. With the exception of two dumb cards that earned Maxim Usanov an ejection in extra time, last night’s match was a testament to Toronto FC’s growing character and the culture of hard work that Preki emphasizes. Stefan Frei was excellent in goal, and certainly stood as the only reason that Toronto FC walked away without a loss. The tactical decision to hang back and ride out the tie came at the expense of enduring multiple Galaxy attacks. It’s hard to believe Frei is only in his second professional season and he seemed to rise to the occasion last night in ways that he didn’t earlier in the season.

Tough Few Weeks

Toronto FC looked tired by the end of the match, and Preki used all three substitutions he had to rotate in fresh legs. His decision to put Gabe Gala in for DeRo seemed risky, but Gala made his mark quickly and swiftly generated TFC’s best scoring chance of the second half with a through ball to Chad Barrett. It looked like a goal in the making, but Barrett’s legs couldn’t get him there in time to strike it home.  To be fair, Barrett put in a terrific game yesterday and was showing surprising pace burning around the pitch for the first 75 minutes. With two more games this week, one must hope that the Reds can hold up through this month’s crush of games. Our bench is not that deep, and with DeRo and de Guzman jetting off for an international against Argentina, it will be that much shorter for Saturday’s game against New England at BMO Field.

Wednesday’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps this week also will bring lots of pressure. Toronto FC must tie at least in Vancouver to keep their edge over the Whitecaps in the Voyageur Cup through the final legs of that competition. A win would guarantee the championship, though, and would be a strong statement to our Canadian compatriots. Nothing would ratchet up the competitive spirit between these clubs than a decisive Toronto FC victory on the eve of Vancouver and Montreal joining the MLS. It might be too much to hope for on such a short rest, given the hard run Toronto FC put on the pitch in LA last night. Reds fans’ expectations will be surging, based on the team’s improving quality of play over the past few weeks. And to be sure, the Whitecaps and their fans will be looking to pay back the Reds as spoilers after last year’s 11th hour miracle in Montreal stole the Cup from Vancouver. Some might call the competition meaningless, but Wednesday’s game will count for a lot.

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