Chapman scores first goal, but draw vs. Colorado disappointing for Toronto

TORONTO – Denied the first goal of his MLS career by an unusual officiating decision on Wednesday at New York City FC, Jay Chapman didn't have to wait long to officially get on the board.

Chapman grabbed the opener in Toronto FC's 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night at BMO Field after just five minutes, heading a bouncing ball across the line after Tsubasa Endoh’s shot was blocked and fell to the Homegrown midfielder.

“Happy to get the goal,” Chapman said after the match. “My first; hopefully the first of many. Obviously, I wish we were able to get the result. It's better scoring when you can get the win.”

Chapman was at the center of controversy at NYCFC on Wednesday. He tapped home a Ben Spencer header to appear to give Toronto a 2-1 lead in the 49th minute, but, after a lengthy delay, the goal was eventually disallowed for offside despite the flag never being raised. The decision raised TFC’s ire, with manager Greg Vanney ejected for his reaction to the call.

“It was a weird experience,” Chapman said on Friday. “We thought we got a goal. I didn't know too much about it: was just trying to make a run, next thing I know it's hitting off my knee and it's in the net, [so] I went to go celebrate. Guess the refs saw something different.

“I'm still trying to get that first one. I was a little bit disappointed that it didn't come off. The goals will come.”

He was proven correct on Saturday. Though surprised that it came so quickly, Chapman has been looking to add a scoring dimension to his game.

“I've been trying to get myself more scoring opportunities,” he said after the Colorado match. “That's something that I want to add to my game.”

Minutes have been rare for Chapman this season, with TFC spoiled for choice in midfield. But given a run of games – Saturday's start came on the heels of four consecutive substitute appearances – he has found a rhythm.

“Last year when I [got] a run of games I was able to show what I [can] do,” said Chapman. “This year, I train hard and take my chances when they're presented. Every guy on this team is making it hard on the coaching staff because we have such a deep team. I just want to play my part when I get my chance.”

The coaches have taken notice.

“Jay's thing is his energy,” said assistant coach Robin Fraser, who filled in for the suspended Vanney on Saturday. “He gives us a lot of energy, in defending and in transition. He's a guy that moves quickly with the ball, moves through spaces. He's had two confident performances [this week]. It's promising.”

Now in his third season, Chapman has continued to develop his game, adding the aforementioned goal threat and a sound defensive portion to his natural attacking qualities.

“Any time young players come into the league, attacking players especially, a big part of it is getting them to realize that it is a two-way job,” said Fraser. “Jay has been willing and eager to learn; making progress.”

Still, Chapman and his teammates were disappointed not to take all three points against Colorado, who had lost all seven of their previous road games entering Saturday’s match. With Chicago falling at NYCFC earlier in the day, a win would’ve given Toronto a four point lead in the Supporters’ Shield race.

The juxtaposition in emotion between salvaging a draw midweek in New York through Victor Vazquez's late penalty kick and conceding Dominique Badji's equalizer on Saturday was striking.

“Both games we've played well, created chances to score," Chapman said. "This one we had to be better. This is one that we feel we should have won."