Winter hails goal hero Koevermans: "He's a real striker"

Danny Koevermans celebrates - September 17, 2011

Photo Credit: 
Paul Giamou/TorontoFC.ca

TORONTO – When Toronto FC made Danny Koevermans a Designated Player early this summer, he promised goals.

There’s no argument that he living up to the billing after scoring both of his team’s goals in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.

“Great goals, he’s a real striker,” head coach and technical director Aron Winter said after the win. “You can see at this moment, conditionally he is getting closer to 100 percent fit. … He doesn’t have that many chances to score in the games he has played, but the number of goals he has made is good. He’s promised a lot more in the future.”

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More goals may mean that Koevermans could find himself in contention for the MLS Golden Boot before the season is out. Since he made his MLS debut on July 20, the Dutchman has scored six goals in his first seven league matches.

On Saturday he was in the right place at the right time yet again. His first goal came on a right-footed shot to the lower left corner, converting Ashtone Morgan’s cross from the left flank. The second also found the bottom left corner. This time it was a header off a cross from Nick Soolsma who made the precise, curling delivering to hit his teammate in stride.

Koevermans has no favorites when it comes to his brace against the Rapids.

“No, if I score a goal even if it’s with my little toe, if it goes in, it’s on the  line and it’s a rebound, I don’t mind,” he said. “It feels good to score, however I make it.”

His six goals tie him with Maicon Santos for the most scored by a TFC player this season. Santos is no longer with the team after being traded on Aug. 2 to FC Dallas for attacking midfielder Eric Avila.

“It’s great to have a guy like Danny up front, with his experience,” said holding midfielder Julian de Guzman, another of the Reds’ three Designated Players. “Maybe he’s not your fastest striker out there, but he is intelligent and the impact he brings in the attacking part has been very helpful. The way the system is built around him, it fits him perfectly.”

While Koevermans was basking in the glory of his brace, he did not lose sight of the defensive effort it took to keep the Rapids forwards at bay. He pointed out the contribution made by teammate Torsten Frings in the sweeper role he played.

“He was good, eh,” Koevermans said. “He didn’t give much chance to Colorado.”

And there was a nod to the goal line clearances, of which Toronto had two. Richard Eckersley made the final dramatic goal line stand in the 90th minute.

“I’m so glad the last ball that Richard got it off the line,” Koevermans said, “Otherwise I wouldn’t be laughing now.”