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Too many missed chances for TFC
April 12, 2009, 10:28 AM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, Dwayne DeRosario, FC Dallas, Toronto FC

On Saturday night when Toronto FC reflects on its 1-1 draw with FC Dallas it will undoubtedly be kept awake by the missed opportunities.

“Sometimes you are just all over a team and you can’t put them away,” Jim Brennan said. “It’s frustrating.”

Dallas arrived in Toronto on a three-game losing streak to begin the year and the draw on Saturday is its first point to date. Although the final statistics will not show Toronto as the better team on the day — they were outshot 19-10 — its final tally of three shots on target included a pair of open-net opportunities.

The first came just 25 seconds into the match when a Dwayne De Rosario volley was cleared off the line by FCD defender George John. The second opportunity came in the 29th minute when striker Chad Barrett was alone in front of the Dallas goal after an Amado Guevara shot struck the crossbar and fell to the striker. The follow-up attempt by Barrett flew to the left of Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse.

Barrett’s miss may have finished off Dallas as Toronto (1-1-2) was a goal to the good at the time thanks to De Rosario’s first goal in a Reds uniform. The Scarborough, Ont., native got on the end of a long throw-in from fellow Canadian Adrian Serioux to open his account at BMO Field.

“Getting the first goal is always the toughest and I am glad to get it in front of the home fans,” De Rosario said of the goal. “But we let ourselves down. If you don’t finish off teams they will come back and punish you.”

Coach John Carver was disappointed in losing the three points, but took solace in the fact his team improved from its home-opening 2-0 loss to Seattle and created several chances in improving its overall record to one win, two draws and a loss. Carver was not about to put any criticism on Barrett for misfiring on what was the best opportunity of the day.

“(Barrett) in the last two games had no chances. But he was in position today and worked hard,” Carver said. “He had one or two chances and just didn’t put them away.”

As for why his team was unable to finish off an opponent that didn’t threaten very often, Carver had his own theories.

“I think some anxiety crept in,” Carver said. “As a coach there is not a great deal you can do about that. It comes down to individuals.”

In 2008 Toronto FC was victimized by late winners or equalizing goals five times, including a similar 2-2 draw with Dallas at BMO Field that saw striker Kenny Cooper convert a stoppage-time penalty.

Serioux, who was a member of Dallas in that match, hopes the trend will not continue throughout the summer.

“I hope it will not turn into one of those years where it comes down to the last two minutes and teams capitalize late on us,” Serioux said. “We allowed them to play. You look at the defence to stop those goals but at the same time the attacking players missed chances and it turned out to be costly.”

Toronto’s next game is on the road in Dallas as the back end of the home-and-home on Saturday, April 11.

NOTES: Guevara had an ice-pack on his right ankle after the game … De Rosario explained that his late-game substitution was brought on by pain he felt in his hamstring. The first-year TFC player asked for the sub to avoid injury … The attendance was 20, 272 … Former TFC striker Jeff Cunningham was serenaded with a “BMO Reject” chant after he collided with and was cautioned for a foul on TFC goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

TFC LINEUP: Stefan Frei; Marvell Wynne, Adrian Serioux, Jim Brennan (C), Kevin Harmse; Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Sam Cronin; Dwayne De Rosario (Pablo Vitti, 89), Chad Barrett (Danny Dichio, 69), Faud Ibrahim (Rohan Ricketts, 75).

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