Preview: Toronto FC host Vancouver in Canadian showdown
Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC meet for the first of two games in four days on Wednesday night at BMO Field, a league match preceding their Nutrilite Canadian Championship final contest on Saturday afternoon. TFC saw their league winless streak extended last weekend in a 3-1 loss at Real Salt Lake. Whitecaps FC returned to the road after a first win in three months and fell 2-1 at Sporting Kansas City.
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REFEREE: Mark Geiger. SAR (bench): Steven Taylor; JAR (opposite): Anthony Vasoli; 4th: Alex Prus
MLS Career: 83 games; FC/gm: 26.5; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 15; pens: 23
TORONTO FC – OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee sprain); MF Jacob Peterson (L hamstring strain); FW Alan Gordon (abdominal strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Julian DeGuzman (L calf strain); MF Tony Tchani (L ankle contusion); DF Nana Attakora (R quadriceps strain); FW Maicon Santos (R hamstring tightness)
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: MF John Thorrington (R calf strain); MF Davide Chiumiento (R hamstring strain); FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Mouloud Akloul (R hamstring strain); DF Jay DeMerit (R adductor strain); DF Alain Rochat (R quad strain)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
TOR: Richard Eckersley
VAN: Terry Dunfield
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
TOR: Danleigh Borman, Dan Gargan, Javier Martina, Tony Tchani, Mikael Yourassowsky
VAN: Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Leathers, Alain Rochat
- ALL-TIME (1 meeting): Whitecaps FC 1 win, 4 goals … Toronto FC 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0
- The teams will be taking the field against each other for the fourth time this season, the second in league play. Whitecaps FC started their MLS history with a 4-2 win against Toronto FC, March 19 in Vancouver.
- The teams will meet Saturday in the second leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, the series tied 1-1 on aggregate. They tried to play the second leg May 25 in Toronto, but it was abandoned after 60 minutes, with Vancouver holding a 1-0 edge.
- Coaches' records: Aron Winter vs. VAN: P1 W0 L1 D0 … Tom Soehn v TOR: P8 W5 L2 D1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- 3/19: VAN 4, TOR 2 (Hassli 15, 72; Dunfield 26; Harris 63 – De Rosario 20; Maicon Santos 74)
- Whitecaps FC opened the scoring with the first goal of the club’s MLS history, as Eric Hassli finished a Davide Chiumiento cross that was deflected on by Atiba Harris.
- But Toronto FC leveled terms five minutes later, Dwayne De Rosario firing home from a through ball by Maicon Santos. It was the 8,000th goal in MLS history.
- Chiumiento slipped in Terry Dunfield in the 26th minute, and his angled shot gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead. Harris then made it 3-1 after the break, knocked home from a corner kick scramble.
- Hassli finished off his double in the 72nd minute, strolling in to knock the ball into an unguarded goal after Wes Knight was sent in all alone behind the TFC defense. Maicon Santos finished the scoring with a long-range blast two minutes later.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Jay Nolly – Jonathan Leathers, Jay DeMerit, Michael Boxall, Alain Rochat - Davide Chiumiento (Nizar Khalfan 46), Gershon Koffie, Terry Dunfield, Russell Teibert (Wes Knight 69) - Atiba Harris, Eric Hassli (Camilo 83).
- TORONTO FC (4-2-1-3): Stefan Frei - Dan Gargan, Ty Harden, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann - Nathan Sturgis (Gianluca Zavarise 69), Jacob Peterson (Mikael Yourassowsky 71) - Dwayne De Rosario - Nick Soolsma (Keith Makubuya 46), Maicon Santos, Javier Martina.
NUTRILITE CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
On May 18, the teams played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship final at Empire Field. Eric Hassli scored in the 64th minute for Whitecaps FC, but Maicon Santos leveled terms nine minutes later.
On May 25, the second leg was abandoned after 61 minutes due to heavy rain and lightning at BMO Field. Eric Hassli had given Vancouver a lead in the first half, but the game was first delayed at the halftime break, then shortly after the hour mark.
Toronto FC saw their league winless streak stretched to nine games, falling 3-1 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. TFC has 15 points from 18 games on the season, sitting in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
- Nat Borchers put Real into the lead in the 39th minute when he buried a header off a Kyle Beckerman corner kick. Then three minutes later, a cross from Robbie Russell on the right wing bounded directly to Alvaro Saborío directly in front of goal, and he squeezed between defenders to deflect it home.
- The Russell-Saborío combination clicked again in the 60th minute, when Russell delivered a long ball over the top, Saborío ran on and coolly slipped a shot past TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
- Maicon Santos pulled a goal back for TFC in the 66th minute, racing in alone toward goal after receiving a pass from Nick Soolsma. Santos stopped at the top of the area, and blasted a shot to Nick Rimando’s left.
- TFC head coach Aron Winter made three changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Seattle Sounders FC at BMO Field. Dan Gargan, Gianluca Zavarise and Javier Martina came in for Alen Stevanovic, Mikael Yourassowsky and Nick Soolsma.
- TORONTO FC (4-3-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden, Doneil Henry, Danleigh Borman - Dan Gargan (Nick Soolsma 66), Nathan Sturgis, Gianluca Zavarise - Javier Martina (Matt Stinson 46), Maicon Santos, Joao Plata (Mikael Yourassowsky 46)
- Toronto FC have not won in 10 games in all competitions, since a 2-1 defeat of Houston on May 7.
- “I was missing (something) in this game,” TFC head coach Aron Winter said. “I was missing the reaction after they scored the goals. To fight for it … that was missing a little bit.”
- TFC academy product Matt Stinson made his professional debut, coming on at halftime for Javier Martina.
- “The beauty of the game is that, because of a lot of injuries, you have to use some new players, and it’s normal that it’s going up and down,” Winter said.
- Gianluca Zavarise also made his first start since April 13, just his second appearance in the last 12 games after battling an adductor strain.
- "A loss hurts when we’ve got a lot of guys coming in for their first appearance. We can build on this and keep improving. It’s important for this organization to get positive results in the future.” Zavarise said.
- Dan Gargan, who had played almost exclusively in the back four this season, started in a midfield role along with Zavarise and Nathan Sturgis, playing 66 minutes.
- The Voyageurs Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League berth that comes along with it will be decided three days after the league match.
- “Both [games] are equally important, especially because we need results in the season. We’re struggling right now. We need to get some positive results going forward. Obviously the Canadian Cup, we need to win that. We need to advance and get something and stay positive,” Zavarise said.
- Nana Attakora, who made his first start in nearly two months on June 4 and then strained a quadriceps muscle in that match, could be close to a return to the back four. Doneil Henry has started four consecutive matches in his place.
- “It’s getting better, it’s getting a lot stronger,” said Attakora. “I’m looking to get back but I don’t want to rush it. It’s too early to predict ... but Vancouver’s a possibility, we’ll see.”
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC weren’t able to build on their first win since First Kick, falling 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. Whitecaps FC have 14 points from 17 matches, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.
- Whitecaps FC took the lead in the 15th minute. Davide Chiumiento served a free kick from the left flank toward the penalty spot and Camilo flicked a header backwards into the far corner.
- But Sporting equalized in the 32nd minute when Omar Bravo converted his own penalty kick from after Jay DeMerit took him down in the box.
- Sporting took the lead in the 40th when Bravo headed Zusi’s corner back across the six-yard box for Júlio César to whip past Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Tom Soehn made no changes that held on for a 1-0 victory against Philadelphia Union at Empire Field.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-1-1): Joe Cannon - Jonathan Leathers, Jay DeMerit (Bilal Duckett 46), Michael Boxall, Alain Rochat - Shea Salinas, Terry Dunfield (Nizar Khalfan 77), Jeb Brovsky, Camilo - Davide Chiumiento (Russell Teibert 46) - Eric Hassli.
- Vancouver are still looking for a first victory away from Empire Field. They are one of five teams in MLS without a road win this season (also: Houston, New England, Portland and Toronto).
- “We didn't dictate the run of play,” Soehn said to the Vancouver Sun. “I thought our forwards and our wide guys didn't do a good enough job. If you don't have pressure on the ball, you have to drop deeper and deeper and we started making fouls in bad areas.”
- Whitecaps FC playmaker Davide Chiumiento has recorded assists in back-to-back games and now has seven for the season, tied for second in MLS (along with David Beckham) behind Houston’s Brad Davis.
- But Chiumiento was forced off at halftime with a hamstring injury. In his absence, Camilo moved into the underneath forward role and Russell Teibert came in on the left wing.
- Jay DeMerit, who had started eight consecutive games after battling hip flexor and groin injuries through the early part of the season, was also forced off at halftime in Kansas City with a groin injury.
- Rookie Bilal Duckett came on in place of DeMerit, taking over at right back with Jonathan Leathers switching to left back. Alain Rochat moved into the center of the back four, partnering Michael Boxall.
- “Eric [Hassli] had a really good look, and nine out of 10 times you see him finishing every week, he puts that away,” said Soehn. “In the end we didn’t create enough opportunities, and you do that by getting the ball high and pressuring them the right way and we didn’t do a good enough job of that today.”
- The trip to Toronto concludes a stretch of five league games out of six on the road for Whitecaps FC. They’ve drawn two thus far in the stretch.
- “We’re going on a one-game-at-a-time mode,” Soehn said. “We’ve had a stretch now of four road games out of our past five and we have to have a better mentality on the road. You have to take care of all the details — make sure you organize, make sure the pressure is right. You can’t afford to slip.”