Toronto FC found a way against the LA Galaxy. Twice. Through Alan Gordon.
On a Saturday night in which everything was going wrong, one in which they lost two players to injury and twice went down in the scoreboard, Toronto somehow emerged with a 2-2 draw and an away point against the league’s current leaders.
With the late-goal curse striking the Reds yet again when Juan Pablo Ángel put the Galaxy up 2-1 in the 90th minute, it was almost a certainty that Toronto would disappoint once more.
But then Gordon, who had not played an MLS game since April 30 because of a groin injury, took matters into his own hands and continued his uncanny knack of scoring against his former teams.
The striker – who entered in the 43rd minute to replace an injured Jacob Peterson – twice tied the match for Toronto, scoring a brace against a Galaxy team that had not allowed a goal in 479 minutes, the second longest run in their history.
“We talked at half time [that] it wasn’t good enough, [that] we didn’t show enough heart,” said Gordon. “We made a point to come out here and fight and I think we did that. I think we earned a point here. ”
And perhaps he made a statement by helping his team snatch a point.
The visit to Los Angeles was a game Gordon anticipated as he worked his way back from a nagging groin injury that limited him to five games until Saturday. He missed TFC’s first match against the Galaxy on April 13 at BMO Field, the third consecutive goalless draw the teams had played.
Gordon, however, did not miss the April 2 match against Chivas USA, the team that traded him to Toronto in March. The big forward scored the Reds lone goal in the 1-1 tie.
He also scored against the Galaxy last October, a couple of months after they had traded him to Chivas USA. The Galaxy, though, won that one 2-1.
More important than the point on Saturday was that TFC showed some fight. After LA controlled the ball for about two-thirds of the first half, it was Toronto that was the better team in the second stanza. Even when they fell behind 2-1 in the 90th minute, they continued to press and were rewarded when Gordon’s blistering shot found the upper right corner near the end of stoppage time.
“It felt good,” Gordon said, jokingly adding, “I was just telling somebody I think I have 75 percent of my goals against former teams.”
TFC have only 14 points from 15 games now, but it is one more than seemed possible more than once on Saturday.
It is too early to say, but this was the kind of match that can turn a season. If nothing else, it provided a glimmer of hope that has been so rare in 2011.
“We now have to now build on that and put together 90 minutes, get some points and move up the table,” said Gordon, in whose eyes the draw felt a little like a win.