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3-2 win rescues Toronto playoff hopes

September 12, 2009 | 7:31 pm No comments
By George Tanner

If you didn’t watch the Colorado Rapids’ 3-2 loss to Toronto on Saturday, don’t be fooled by the score. This was no five-goal explosion of offense. It was a 1-1 struggle blown open by two quick Toronto goals midway through the second half.

Substitute Michael Holody scored his first Major League Soccer goal in his second Major League Soccer game, but by that time (the 89th minute), the deed was done.

Conor Casey scored his 13th of the season for the Rapids, but second-half goals by O’Brian White and Nana Attakora in a span of three minutes were more than the Rapids could overcome.

REVERSAL OF FORTUNES: This was a Toronto team on the way down. The Reds, in the playoff hunt against Colorado, lost 1-0 last week at Commerce City. Dwayne De Rosario’s goal in the first half ended a scoreless streak of 314 minutes for Toronto. And the team had won only one of its previous nine games in any competition. Toronto managed to collect only its second victory in its past nine matches in all competitions. The one trend that held up? Toronto improved to 3-0 all-time against Colorado at BMO Field.

D-RO FANS REJOICE: It was everything anybody could ask for in a Toronto FC game; De Rosario scored, Marvell Wynne got an assist and D-Ro did the chicken dance. De Rosario’s goal in the 19th minute was his 10th of the season, and it will go on his career highlight DVD. Wynne crossed from the right wing. D-Ro set himself up with a perfect first touch, turned and fired as a matter of instinct. This wicked shot curled through traffic from left to right, away from Burpo and into the right side of the goal. D-Ro missed the top right corner in the second half, and he hit the post in extra time. Great stuff.

HOLODY FANS REJOICE: Oddly, Holody’s goal was on par with De Rosario’s. After a long throw-in deep in Toronto territory, Holody chested the ball down, tapped it away from a defender with one touch of the foot, turned and shot.

HAIRDO REVIEW: D-Ro didn’t have the tight cornrows; it was pulled back tight into a bun.

DANNY DICHIO ON THE MLS: The man who scored the first goal in Toronto FC history was interviewed during the first half by the broadcast crew, and he had something insightful to say. He prefaced his comment with a desire to avoid being disrespectful, but I’m not sure he needed it. He said he was happy he played in Toronto, rather than another MLS city, “where it’s kind of hot dogs and days out for the family.” And he has a point. That’s the crowd that most MLS franchises are thinking of in their marketing. Who else is out there? Who else wants to watch soccer? How does MLS get them to the stadium? There’s nothing wrong with hot dogs and families, but there don’t seem to be enough of them to fill every seat in MLS.

SAVE OF THE GAME: A few possibilities here, but Stefan Frei’s stop of a Jordan Harvey shot in the 54th minute was a key play. With the score tied 1-1, Harvey took aim at the lower right corner with a left-footed shot from the top of the penalty area. The ball was on target, but Frei made an athletic, diving lunge to tip the ball, which skipped wide. Frei, all alone, made a kick save on Nick LaBrocca in the 78th minute, but LaBrocca aimed right at Frei’s shin.

MORE “FOX SPORTS WORLD REPORT” MEMORIES: We talked about Michelle Lissel last week; this week, Mitch Peacock was providing updates for the CBC broadcast.

EXCELLENT HUSTLE: In the 13th minute, Jacob Peterson stole the ball, played a beautiful forward pass to Cummings on the right wing then streaked toward the front of goal, where he just couldn’t connect with Omar’s cross.

GERBA SO CLOSE: Ali Gerba should’ve had another goal in the sixth minute on a curvy slick little flick that slipped past Burpo and past the right post. In the 26th minute, De Rosario sent a left-footed centering passed to Gerba, who couldn’t get off a clean strike directly in front of Burpo. Gerba missed a longer shot later in the half. As the second half began, he tried a sneaky backheel that would’ve scored had Julien Baudet not cleared it off the line.

RAPIDS STARTERS: Burpo, Kimura, Baudet, Moor, Harvey, Noonan, Dalby, LaBrocca, Peterson, Cummings, Casey. Matt Pickens was out because of a knee injury suffered in training. Steward Ceus was on the bench.

TORONTO STARTERS: Frei, Attakora, Garcia, Brennan, Wynne, Cronin, De Rosario, Guevara, Vitti, Gerba, Barrett. Two changes from last week’s lineup in Denver: Guevara and Gerba.

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