Preview: Mariner makes home debut as TFC host Revs

TOR vs. NE, 6-22-12

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TORONTO FC vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
June 23, 2012 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #138)
5:30 p.m. ET (GolTV Can; CSN-NE)

Toronto FC and the New England Revolution are both looking for victories to kick-start a drive up the Eastern Conference table when the clubs meet Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. TFC still have just one win on the year, gaining their first draw with a 3-3 result at midweek in Houston. The Revolution will be trying to carry some of their home success onto the road, coming off a scoreless draw with Columbus at Gillette Stadium last weekend.

REFEREE: Juan Guzman. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Geoff Gamble
MLS Career: 14 games; FC/gm: 26.4; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 6; pens: 4

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INJURY REPORT:

  • TORONTO FC - OUT: FW Nicholas Lindsay (L knee surgery recovery); GK Stefan Frei (L lower leg); DF Ty Harden (R adductor strain); DF Adrian Cann (R knee sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Aaron Maund (R eye hyphema); DF Logan Emory (shoulder subluxation); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee surgery recovery)
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION - OUT: FW Zak Boggs (R ankle sprain); MF Ryan Guy (R calf tightness); MF Shalrie Joseph (R adductor strain); FW Jose Moreno (L ankle sprain); GK Tim Murray (L knee arthroscopy); FW Bjorn Runstrom (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: MF Sainey Nyassi (R hamstring strain); FW Michael Roach (L adductor tightness); MF Clyde Simms (L ankle tendonitis)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Julian de Guzman
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Ashtone Morgan ... NE: Chris Tierney, Benny Feilhaber

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (11 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 12 goals ... Revolution 4 wins, 20 goals ... Ties 5

AT BMO FIELD (5 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 9 goals ... Revolution 0 wins, 6 goals ... Ties 3

RETURN MATCH: 7/14: New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET

LAST YEAR (MLS):
6/15: NE 0, TOR 0
10/22: TOR 2, NE 2 (Soolsma 20; Koevermans 83 - Zerka 40; Caraglio 46)

  • The teams played to a pair of draws last season, the second consecutive year they've split the season series.
  • The road team has never won in the series. The teams have played to three draws in five meetings all-time at BMO Field, including a 2-2 result last Oct. 22.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps v TOR: first game ... Paul Mariner vs. NE: first game

TORONTO FC

Toronto FC nearly won for the first time under new head coach Paul Mariner, before the Houston Dynamo scored twice late to leave the teams in a 3-3 draw Wednesday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. TFC is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, with four points from 12 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: Reds drop points in Houston

LAST MATCH

  • Toronto FC took the lead after just 13 minutes. A loose corner was pumped back into the area and eventually fell to Jeremy Hall, who turned and lashed it home. But the home side were level seven minutes later, when Bobby Boswell headed home a Brad Davis corner from the heart of the area.
  • Danny Koevermans then put TFC up by two goals before halftime. Freed down the right, Eric Avila drove in a low cross that Koevermans tapped home at the far post for a 22nd-minute lead. Then just before halftime, Koevermans nodded home a cross from Julian de Guzman.
  • But the Dynamo began their march back in the 73rd minute. Geoff Cameron hit a long ball over the top to Davis, who weighted a perfect ball into Will Bruin's stride in the area. The striker had time to pick his spot and blast a shot into the right upper corner.
  • In the 90th minute, Bruin did it again. Cameron this time hit a pinpoint cross from the right corner that Bruin nodded home from the heart of the 6-yard box to give the home side a share of the points.
  • TFC head coach Paul Mariner made two changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Ashtone Morgan came in to the back four for Adrian Cann, and Julian de Guzman started in midfield in place of Reggie Lambe.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Milos Kocic - Jeremy Hall, Doneil Henry, Richard Eckersley, Ashtone Morgan - Terry Dunfield, Torsten Frings, Julian de Guzman (Reggie Lambe 81), Eric Avila - Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans (Dicoy Williams 90).

TEAM NEWS

Danny Koevermans sounds off

  • While TFC weren't able to win for a second time on the league campaign, they did gain a result away from BMO Field for the first time this season.
  • "We had some moments in the second half, but not as many as we had in the first half," said TFC head coach Paul Mariner. "We have played some difficult teams on the road. Kansas City is one of the best, if not the best team in the league and Houston has been to many cup finals."
  • Toronto FC allowed three goals in a game for the sixth time in 12 league matches, but the three goals scored were the most this season, since scoring twice in back-to-back games April 21 and 28.
  • Said Danny Koevermans: "We are still at the bottom, but I think when we get back to the hotel, we can think 'at least we got a point on the road.' When you lose it at the last minute, though, you are disappointed. I hope this is a start of a new era to get some points in this league."
  • After scoring eight goals in 10 league games following his arrival at TFC, Koevermans netted just once in his first eight MLS games this season. He has now scored four goals in the last four league contests.
  • "I felt sorry for him on Saturday because he had his chances," Mariner said. "He was bitterly disappointed that he didn't take any of his chances. But it's like that. Being an old striker myself sometimes it goes like that for you. You just have a bit of an off day or the defense does particularly well. But he was terrific tonight. I thought Ryan Johnson and himself were terrific as were all the players."
  • It was his second two-goal game in MLS, also scoring twice vs. Colorado last Sept. 17.
  • "Eric Avila got a pass from Ryan Johnson (on the first). He was onside and I saw it coming. I thought to just go in front of the goal and he hit it perfect onto my left foot," Koevermans said. "On the second one, Julian [de Guzman] puts in the cross and I beat my man near post and I hit it in. For me, personally, I would rather not have scored and have gotten the three points because I am still disappointed."
  • Now in his fourth MLS season, Jeremy Hall scored his first goal in the league. He came to Toronto FC to start the 2012 season after spending last year with Portland and FC Dallas. He played with the New York Red Bulls in his first two professional seasons.
  • "If you look at the team and what we have, we have got some very young players, especially in our back four," Mariner said. "Learning your trade on the job and being in the starting XI in Major League Soccer is hard. I thought they did well and we came away with a very good point."

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION

The New England Revolution ran their Gillette Stadium undefeated streak to five games, playing to a scoreless draw with the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening. The Revolution are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 14 games.

HIGHLIGHTS: Revs, Crew play to scoreless draw

LAST MATCH

  • There were plenty of opportunities for both sides to break the deadlock in the opening half, but Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum produced three fine saves to repel the Revolution.
  • Gruenebaum was credited with six saves for the match, while New England goalkeeper Matt Reis recorded three saves on the night.
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made no changes to the team that recorded a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium.
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-4-2): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney - Fernando Cardenas (Kelyn Rowe 63), Shalrie Joseph, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen - Saer Sene, Jose Moreno (Blake Brettschneider 46).

TEAM NEWS

Inside the Six: Toronto FC

  • The Revolution were shut out offensively for the first time since April 28, when they were shut out four times in the opening seven league games of the season.
  • "The concern wasn't even the finishing - if we get chances, we're going to convert them, we know that," Heaps said. "Our passing was a little bit loose. We didn't complete enough passes. We didn't play our game."
  • The Revolution have recorded back-to-back shutouts, the first time they've done it in nearly a year, since blanking Toronto and Chicago last June 15 and 18, stretching their shutout streak to 209 minutes.
  • "I thought Stephen McCarthy was sensational defensively. He made some great plays. In the second half, we really tried to push the game. If you noticed, we went man-on-man a lot of the times there, so it was A.J. [Soares] and Stephen one-on-one with their forwards," said Heaps. "We wanted to win this game, so unfortunately we hit the crossbar, we missed a couple of chances inside the six. But overall, I thought those two guys had a good game."
  • After making eight starts in the opening nine matches of the season, Kelyn Rowe has not been in the first XI since May 5, but has come off the substitutes' bench each of the last three league games.
  • "I think that there'll be a time when (Kelyn Rowe will) start; they'll be a time when he comes off the bench. I think that we just want to keep it fresh," Heaps said. "Kelyn is a player we want to continue to get better. He's a rookie; he's only 20 years old and he's a good little player."
  • The Revs could also be without striker Jose Moreno, who was taken off at halftime in favor of Blake Brettschneider. Moreno had made back-to-back starts after missing three games completely, then coming off the substitutes' bench May 26 in D.C.
  • "He took a pretty good knock," Heaps said. "I thought he was doing a good job for us winning balls back. Going back and watching the film, he worked hard after the ankle injury. At halftime, his ankle was just swollen and we had to take him out. ... What his status is for Saturday, we don't know yet."
  • In his third game in charge, TFC head coach Paul Mariner will face a familiar foe - the club where he served as an assistant coach from 2004-08, during which the Revolution appeared in three consecutive MLS Cup Finals.
  • "It's always great to see Paul (Mariner). He's a great man, and he's going to have those guys fired up, and it's really important for them to turn their season around," said goalkeeper Matt Reis. "They'll be at home, and it's definitely not going to be an easy game. We have to just keep up our battling spirit and hopefully we can get a result."