Toronto FC vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview
TORONTO FC vs D.C. UNITED
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
Sept. 28, 2013 (WEEK 31, MLS Game #281)
1 p.m. ET (TSN/RDS2)
Toronto FC and D.C. United meet for the third time this season when the Eastern Conference clubs face off at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon. Both teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention, TFC looking to an eight-game winless streak, while United haven’t won in seven league games. This is the first meeting this season in Toronto; TFC took one victory with a draw in the second in two encounters at RFK Stadium.
REFEREE: Ted Unkel. AR1 (bench): Adam Garner; AR2 (opposite): Philippe Briere; 4th: Silviu Petrescu
MLS Career: 2 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 0; pens: 0
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: TOR: Jonathan Osorio (through Sept. 29), Steven Caldwell (through Sept. 29); Ryan Nelsen (head coach; through Sept. 29)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Gale Agbossoumonde, Justin Braun, Steven Caldwell, Matias Laba, Darel Russell, Jeremy Hall … DC: Chris Korb, John Thorrington
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Richard Eckersley, Reggie Lambe, Bobby Convey, … DC: Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard, Kyle Porter, Dennis Iapichino, Luis Silva, Dejan Jakovic
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (17 meetings): Toronto FC 4 wins, 21 goals … United 10 wins, 34 goals … Ties 3
AT BMO FIELD (8 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 4 goals … United 6 wins, 10 goals … Ties 0
6/15: DC 1, TOR 2 (De Rosario 19 – Earnshaw 30; own goal 41)
8/24: DC 1, TOR 1 (De Rosario 10 – Convey 60)
- The teams are meeting for the third time this season. A goal from Robert Earnshaw and an own goal led Toronto FC to a 2-1 victory June 15 at RFK Stadium, TFC’s first vs. D.C. United since Oct. 23, 2010. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Washington on Aug. 24.
- United have won on their last four visits to BMO Field. In eight games all-time in Toronto, D.C. has won six.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen v TOR: P9 W5 L2 D2 … Ryan Nelsen vs. DC: P2 W1 L0 D1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- United took the lead in the 10th minute. Receiving a ball from Perry Kitchen from the midfield circle, Dwayne De Rosario cut into the center then let loose on a wicked right-footed curling shot that beat TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik into the right upper corner from well outside the area.
- But the leveler came on the hour when winger Reggie Lambe sent a low, hard cross into the area that found Bobby Convey making a secondary run, and he turned it home from the penalty spot.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Dejan Jakovic, James Riley - Nick DeLeon, Jared Jeffrey, Perry Kitchen, Conor Doyle (Kyle Porter 73) - Luis Silva - Dwayne De Rosario.
- TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell, Ashtone Morgan - Reggie Lambe, Jonathan Osorio (Darel Russell 34), Jeremy Hall, Bobby Convey (Alvaro Rey 88) - Jeremy Brockie, Andrew Wiedeman (Robert Earnshaw 55).
Toronto FC had their winless run extended to eight games, dropping a 2-1 decision to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field. TFC sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points from 30 matches.
- Sporting opened the scoring in the 18th minute. A well-placed long ball from Graham Zusi found Dominic Dwyer, and after he nodded it back across the box a completely unmarked C.J. Sapong was there to head the ball into the back of the net.
- Toronto FC equalized in the 38th minute. Alvaro Rey picked up a loose ball out on the left and set up midfielder Darel Russell, who struck home with a low shot just inside the left post.
- Kansas City engineered a winner in the 53rd minute when Sapong once again got the better of the TFC backline and headed in his second of the game via a cross into the Toronto box from right back Chance Myers.
- Toronto went down to 10 men in the 86th minute when TFC captain Steven Caldwell was handed a straight red by referee Allen Chapman for a foul on Sporting KC defender Josh Gardner. The afternoon was punctuated when Chapman dismissed TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen and assistant Fran O’Leary during stoppage time.
- TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Doneil Henry came into central defense in place of Gale Agbossoumonde, Darel Russell started in midfield for the suspended Jonathan Osorio, and Bright Dike came in up top for Justin Braun.
- TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Mark Bloom, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell (ejected 86), Ashtone Morgan - Bobby Convey, Darel Russell, Jeremy Hall (Justin Braun 74), Alvaro Rey (Kyle Bekker 83) - Andrew Wiedeman (Reggie Lambe 65), Bright Dike.
- Toronto FC have now gone eight matches without a victory, their second-longest winless run of the season, after going 11 games without a victory from March 16-June 1.
- “It was one of those games in which it wasn’t going to be a performance game,” TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. “The conditions were atrocious and the water was horrible. It was a game where it was going to be a mistake game. Whoever turned the ball over and made the most mistakes was probably going to lose the game.”
- TFC has scored one goal in six of the last nine matches, and has not scored multiple goals in a game since Aug. 4.
- “Look at the goal we scored,” Nelsen said. “It was on an error by Kansas City that was even softer than the two goals we conceded. “It was a tough game for everybody in those conditions.”
- Darel Russell scored his second goal of the season, his first since April 6. Russell was making his second start over the last four matches.
- Alvaro Rey recorded his first assist since coming to MLS, making a fourth consecutive start in a wide midfield role.
- After making two substitute appearances following his acquisition from the Portland Timbers, Bright Dike made his first start for Toronto FC, partnering Andrew Wiedeman in attack.
- There was news that Danny Koevermans will likely not feature again for TFC for the remainder of the season.
- “He has a calf injury and it is going to be tight and hard for him [to get fit again before the season ends],” Nelsen said. “He unfortunately just can’t get over that last hurdle. It is a shame and I feel bad for Danny. I also feel bad for everybody because we really needed him.”
D.C. United had their winless streak stretched to seven games, falling 2-1 to the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points from 29 matches.
- United claimed the lead on 11 minutes with some help from the Revolution defense. Luis Silva curled a cross into the penalty area from the left and Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell lunged to clear, but he poked the ball back past the onrushing Matt Reis into his own goal.
- New England was given a glorious opportunity to level terms 10 minutes after the second half restart. United's Dejan Jakovic appeared to tackle cleanly away from Lee Nguyen but referee Juan Carlos Rivero pointed to the spot. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid salvaged the situation by diving to his right to save Nguyen's low attempt from the resulting penalty.
- Three minutes later, the home side had equalized. Diego Fagundez made a clever run as the offside flag stayed down to latch onto Saer Sene's throughball, and he made no mistake in slotting home past Hamid.
- The winner finally came seven minutes from time as Nguyen won a second penalty with a neat run on the right side of the penalty area. He assumed the duties once more and clipped his effort home to hand the Revs a critical victory.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made one change to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy at RFK Stadium. John Thorrington came back into the midfield for Lewis Neal.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, James Riley - Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, John Thorrington, Chris Pontius (Kyle Porter 80) - Luis Silva (Lewis Neal 72) - Dwayne De Rosario (Conor Doyle 66).
- D.C. United have now gone seven games without a victory, their second-longest winless stretch of the season, after going 13 games without a victory from March 16-June 15.
- “What do you want me to say?” United head coach Ben Olsen said. “We had stretches. We had chances. We were going up against too much today. Take that for what it’s worth.”
- It was a 20th defeat of the season for the club, tying the single-season club record set in 2010, when United went 6-20-4. It ties the ninth-most losses for a team in an MLS season.
- “In the first half, we had a little bit of momentum, created some opportunities, but in the second half they threw a lot of numbers at us,” midfielder Chris Pontius said. “When we did win the ball, we weren’t clean enough with it, coming out of it. Then you get heavy legs and make it even harder on yourself. So we just weren’t able to do the simple things in the game to really pressure for ourselves.”
- United also saw their record in away matches stretched to 0-12-3, with games away to Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City to conclude the road campaign. Four teams in MLS history have gone through an entire season without a road victory, last Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2011.
- When United took the lead through the 11th-minute own goal, it was the first time this season they have held the lead in a road match.
- “I think we worked for that luck, in terms of we start off the game exactly where we wanted too. Putting pressure on them and then after the goal, things changed,”said United midfielder Dwayne De Rosario. “Obviously, they started to push forward but, very two questionable free penalty kicks and what seemed to be offside goals. So, again, things that haunted us.”
- United have lost three of seven matches after scoring the opening goal (tied for third-most in MLS), and have scored just five goals on their travels.