TORONTO – On a night when violent political protests rocked their home city, Toronto FC kept their composure and gutted out a 0-0 draw with the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy before an announced crowd of 18,809 at BMO Field.
Actual attendance at the match was sharply reduced. At kickoff, the stadium was barely one-third full. Protesters and police had been clashing in downtown Toronto, which is hosting the G20 summit of world leaders.
Rising security concerns forced the cancelation of most public transit in the downtown core, as well as all commuter trains in and out of Canada's largest city.
Toronto FC announced at halftime that fans unable to make it to the stadium tonight will be offered free tickets to another match later in the season, subject to availability.
On the field, the game opened at a decent pace, but there weren't a lot of scoring chances.
The Galaxy's Chris Birchall had the game's first real opportunity. The former Trinidad-and-Tobago World Cup performer fired high and wide from 20 yards in the 17th minute.
Nick Labrocca answered that on 26 minutes, stepping around an LA defender and firing low and just wide from well outside the penalty area. Labrocca had another clear chance 10 minutes later off a nice set-up from Jacob Peterson. His looping shot from the edge of the area drifted high and just left.
Tristan Bowen of LA forced a diving save from Toronto goalie Stefan Frei right after the restart. Birchall had the next good chance, dribbling neatly around a sliding defender, and firing into the side netting on 53 minutes.
Toronto's designated player Jonathan de Guzman, who's been slowed by a nagging hamstring injury in recent weeks, entered the match in the 60th minute, taking the place of Martin Saric. Frei then made a diving save on a point-blank header from Jovan Kirovski of the Galaxy in the 59th minute.
Ricketts came way out of his net to clear away a long through ball to an onrushing Dwayne De Rosario in the 70th minute. The goalie appeared to suffer a injured right leg on the play, but was able to continue.
After holding off all evening, rain started falling in the 75th minute. De Rosario immediately fired a low bouncing shot just wide to the right.
De Guzman had perhaps Toronto's best chance of the night in the 81st minute, but was thwarted by a defender's slide tackle after being set up on the doorstep by a good run from De Rosario. Another De Rosario run three minutes later resulted in Gabe Gala of TFC firing just over the crossbar from the top of the area.
Los Angeles Galaxy 0 at Toronto FC 0
Los Angeles Galaxy (10-1-3) vs. Toronto FC (5-4-3) June 26, 2010 -- BMO Field
Scoring Summary: NONE
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts, Sean Franklin, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Alex Cazumba (Clint Mathis 76), Chris Birchall, Juninho, Michael Stephens, Jovan Kirovski (Alan Gordon 66), Tristan Bowen (Eddie Lewis 84).
Toronto FC -- Stefan Frei, Raivis Hscanovics, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann, Dan Gargan, Jacob Peterson (Gabe Gala 71), Amadou Sanyang, Martin Saric (Julian de Guzman 59), Nick LaBrocca, Dwayne De Rosario, O'Brian White (Chad Barrett 46).
Misconduct Summary: NONE
Referee: Alex Prus Referee's
Assistants: George Gansner; Chris Strickland
4th Official: David Gantar
Time of Game: 1:48