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There’s no cramping Barrett’s style of late
April 26, 2009, 1:40 PM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, Toronto FC

Chad Barrett has enjoyed the last two games more than most others.

It’s not just that the Toronto FC striker finally scored his first goal of the season in one game and was man-of-the-match in the other.

It’s that for the first time in a long time Barrett has played without getting cramps in the second half, allowing him to complete the full 90 minutes for the first time.

“I really couldn’t tell you what it was,” Barrett said as TFC prepared for tonight’s game against the Kansas City Wizards at BMO Field. “Whether I’m just living my life better now or taking better care of myself and getting more rest.

“I have no idea,” Barrett said of his new-found stamina. “But whatever I’m doing right now I’m just going to keep doing it because it’s keeping me on the field for 90 minutes.”

Barrett, who turns 24 next week, had great jump from the first whistle in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Chivas USA. Playing in a three-striker formation with veteran Danny Dichio and rookie Pablo Vitti, he pressured defenders, forced turnovers and created chances.

“Chad showed his true form,” said Dichio, who set-up Amado Guevara in the first half for the only goal.

“I think he’s had a lot of bad press lately from the fans and the media,” Dichio said of criticism Barrett faced through the first four games for no goals despite numerous chances. “For what he does for the team, he’s doing fantastically well.”

Barrett, who came over from Chicago in a trade last summer, had nine goals last season, tops on TFC. Two games ago, in Dallas, Barrett scored his first goal of the season and had minor cramps late in the game but stayed on. It was his first 90-minute outing in a TFC jersey.

In the Chivas game, Barrett said there were no cramps as he again played the full game.

“That was a really good sign,” he said.

Barrett said in addition to his late-game comfort on the field, he enjoyed playing up front with Dichio because his great size created a lot more space for both he and Vitti.

“He’s so big he occupies both centre backs,” Barrett said of the 6-foot, 3-inch, 208-pound Englishman. “Two guys need to work to win a header over him.”

Source: Click Here

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Barrett looking to end drought
April 18, 2009, 2:33 PM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, Toronto FC

“Hopefully, next game ma’am,” was Ian Wright’s reply when Her Majesty asked the former Arsenal striker when he would finally score for England – and he dutifully delivered on that prediction to end an eight-match drought.

Luckily for Chad Barrett, the Queen is not a Toronto FC supporter, one presumes, and with his own goalless streak standing at four games and counting, the forward seems unfazed by the weight of expectation that comes with the position.

“It’s not really a burden. You’ve got to consider it a privilege, you know, you’re starting on a team in [Major League Soccer], and you’re up front for a very good team, but you need to score, put some balls in the back of the net,” the U.S.-born striker said. “If I don’t score and we win, I couldn’t care less, but if we tie or lose, then I feel it.”

It’s taken as read that he was feeling it this past week, then, after passing up a hatful of chances in last Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with FC Dallas, who are also this weekend’s opponents, too, in Dallas.

Certainly, Barrett is looking to cash in tomorrow and open his account for the 2009 MLS season.

“I really hope it works out [tomorrow], that something happens and I end up right in front of goal, two yards out, and I just get a tap-in. I’d love for that to be my first goal,” he said. “I wouldn’t care if it was that or the goal of the year, I really don’t care as long as it goes in – a goal’s a goal.”

TFC head coach John Carver has no doubts about the 23-year-old’s ability to score, which will be key to his team realizing its goal of a playoff berth this season.

“I’d be concerned if Chad wasn’t even getting the chances, but the fact that he is getting chances – all right, he’s not converting them – but I know what he can do and that he is a good goal scorer,” Carver said.

Having “been through slumps my whole life,” Barrett is no stranger to being frustrated in front of the goal, but despite being ambitious, he refuses to put the cart before the horse.

“Obviously, I want to score goals – I’d love to win the golden boot for the team and for the whole league – but it’s going to take a goal to start that run,” he said.

After Barrett finished as top goal scorer for TFC last year – nine in total, split between Toronto and his time with the Chicago Fire – Carver has continually reaffirmed his level of faith in the youngster. And after coming through a hamstring strain picked up in last weekend’s draw, Dwayne De Rosario is set to resume his role as Barrett’s strike partner tomorrow, which suits the Canadian international just fine.

“I like playing up top with another forward because it causes more of a threat and defenders have to watch where two people are going at one time and interchanging,” Barrett said. “Dwayne does a great job at that.”

De Rosario, who just got off the mark himself with his first goal for TFC last Saturday, returned the compliment.

“He’s an honest player, he works hard and gets himself in the right areas,” De Rosario said. “The only part [lacking] in his game right now is finishing his chances, but the main thing is that he’s getting those chances, so that’s a positive. … Once he starts finishing them, he could have at least 10 to 15 goals a season.”

Carver will take just one for now, but in its absence he was still impressed with the pressure his attackers put on the opposition defence last weekend, and will be looking for more of the same tomorrow.

“I thought it was the best pressure we’ve had on the ball,” he said, “and if you put pressure on the ball higher up the field then you’ll create chances because you’re in a better position to exploit that and counter.”

That approach also helps keep the ball out of your own net.

“If you’re a defender, and you’ve got your strikers pressing the ball high, then your job becomes easier, and the same with the midfield players,” Carver said.

However, this approach requires a high work rate, and while Barrett has no problems in that department, as Carver acknowledged after last weekend’s game, he can sometimes overdo it, and that may lead to problems.

“The one thing with Chad Barrett – and I know he’s having a hard time at the moment – but that’s the hardest he’s worked in a game in a long time, so when you’re working as hard as that, you become tired quicker so then when you become tired your legs go, your brain goes, and you become slack at things,” the coach said.

And while Carver said that Barrett is “a million times fitter than last season,” it may not be his physical fitness that’s the problem.

“Maybe he’s thinking about it too much, because another thing that gets you is mental exhaustion,” said the coach, referencing the cerebral approach of another round-ball game.

“There’s loads of similarities between golf and football,” he said. “You play one round of golf and you think you’re Jack Nicklaus, you go the next time and you’re Jacques Cousteau.”

***

NOTES: Toronto FC have never won in Dallas, scoring just two goals in one tie and one loss at Pizza Hut Park. … The 1-1 draw at BMO Field on April 11 was FC Dallas’s first point of the 2009 MLS season after three losses. … After taking just one point from its first two home games, TFC hopes that going back on the road offers a better return, where it has taken four points of a possible six this season.

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Barrett works to end slump
April 15, 2009, 6:08 AM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, Toronto FC

Chad Barrett feels the heat.

The Toronto FC striker, who led the team with nine goals last year, has yet to find the back of the net through four games this season.

“This is not one of my good stretches,” Barrett, a 23-year-old in his fifth Major League Soccer season, said yesterday. “It’s going to take a goal to get out of it.

“I’ve got to keep playing as hard as I’ve been playing and I’ll get my chances,” he said.

Getting the chances was not the problem in Toronto’s 1-1 draw with Dallas last Saturday. Finishing was.

Barrett, who led TFC with three shots, was stopped point-blank by Dallas goalkeeper Ray Burse from about 12 yards out and was unable to head in a ball rebounding off the crossbar. Those were among a string of opportunities TFC missed in the early going as they failed to widen a one-goal lead, eventually surrendering the tying goal in the 87th minute.

The teams finish the home-and-home in Dallas on Sunday night.

Barrett, an Oregon native who signed a four-year contract extension with TFC after coming over in a trade from Chicago last summer, said he’d feel much worse if he wasn’t getting the scoring chances.

While admitting “it wouldn’t surprise me,” if coach John Carver took him out of the starting lineup if the goal drought continues, Barrett said he felt much better about his effort and the team’s offence on Saturday than in the previous two games, an away tie and a home loss.

“That’ll be my goal going into Dallas – put out the same performance but finish my chances,” he said.

Carver, who on Saturday moved Dwayne De Rosario to striker alongside Barrett for the first time since an opening night 3-2 win in Kansas City, said he’s told the forwards, “I’ve got faith in you.”

“I would be concerned if Chad wasn’t even getting the chances,” Carver said following yesterday’s practice at BMO Field.

“I know what he can do and I know that he is a good goal scorer.”

Carver, who has shown his willingness to shuffle the lineup from one game to the next, said: “I’ll stay with it as long as I need to stay with it and then change it if I have to.”

As for the lack of finishing touch, Carver has had his players working on drills in practice scoring from in and around the penalty area.

“You can talk to them and try and give them confidence, but you also have to practise it,” said Carver, noting he was much more concerned with stretches last season when Toronto wasn’t generating any good scoring opportunities. “Hopefully, by the repetitiveness of the practices, you turn the corner.”

LIMPING STAR: TFC star Dwayne De Rosario, who scored his first goal of the season on Saturday, hasn’t been involved in practice the past couple of days due to a tight hamstring.

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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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TFC beat D.C. United 2-1
March 11, 2009, 8:55 PM
Filed under: Carolina Challenge Cup, Chad Barrett, DC United, Dwayne DeRosario, Toronto FC

Toronto FC recorded their second win at the Carolina Challenge Cup by beating D.C. United 2-1 at Blackbaud Stadium on Wednesday. Chad Barrett and Dwayne De Rosario scored first half goals for Toronto as the Reds moved onto six points in the tournament standings.

TFC dominated the first half and had a number of early chances to score, including a Dwayne De Rosario shot from an Amado Guevara free kick after Chad Barrett had been hauled down on the edge of the penalty area.

The Reds fans didn’t have to wait long to see their side go in front. Toronto took the lead in the 21st minute when Barrett headed in from a pinpoint cross by De Rosario on the right wing. Barrett almost doubled the lead soon after with a thunderous volley that was saved by D.C. United goalkeeper Milos Kocic.

The Reds scored a second goal in the 35th minute when Amado Guevara was fouled in the penalty area by Dejan Jakovic. De Rosario scored from the spot for his second goal of the tournament. Toronto had to settle for a 2-0 lead at half time but if could have been more. Kocic kept out a strike by Barrett after good work by Vitti, and Vitti was again the supplier with a good feed for Ricketts who shot wide unchallenged from close range.

In stoppage time Reds goalkeeper Greg Sutton made a good stop on Luciano Emilio to ensure the two goal advantage was maintained, but United pulled a goal back shortly after the break when Thabiso Khumalo set up Chris Pontius to make it 2-1. The goal sparked D.C. info life and they had the better of the possession in the opening stages of the second half. Emilio almost tied the game from close range but he was again denied by Sutton.

The Reds introduced trialist Souleymane Mamam with 14 minutes remaining. The Togo international midfielder has been training with the team in Charleston this week. Fuad Ibrahim and Danny Dichio also came into the game. The substitutions seemed to slow the pace and Toronto were able to take control of the possession again. D.C. United almost made it 2-2 in stoppage time with Francis Doe finding space in the penalty area but he fired a shot against the bar.

Toronto FC close the tournament with a game against Real Salt Lake on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live online on Toronto FC TV.

Scoring summary:

TFC 2: Barrett 21, De Rosario (pen) 35
D.C. United 1: Pontius 48

TFC line up: Sutton, Wynne, Serioux, Harmse, Brennan, De Rosario, Guevara, Cronin, Ricketts (Mamam 76), Barrett (Dichio 78), Vitti (Ibrahim 72)

D.C. United: Kocic, Mediate (Birch 46), Janicki, Jakovic, Wallace, Olsen (N’Silu 46), Simms (Jacobson 46), Gomez (Khumalo 46), Pontius, Moreno (McTavish 46), Emilio (Doe 62)

Source: Click Here



Barrett excited by Vitti arrival
February 19, 2009, 3:14 PM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, MLS Preseason, Pablo Vitti, Toronto FC
The arrival of Pablo Vitti has increased the competition for places amongst Toronto FC’s forwards, but Chad Barrett is pleased with the signing of the striker and has been impressed by Vitti’s first week in training. Barrett played alongside Vitti for the first time in a preseason game against New York Red Bulls in Florida on Friday and both players scored within the first 13 minutes.”After the first few days playing alongside Pablo, it is easy to see that he brings a South American flair to the game which is really good for us,” said Barrett. “Amado has that flair as well and they combine really well together. Playing up top with Pablo it’s clear he likes to combine with the other forward and likes to play in tight spaces. He’s a great player with a good finishing ability and he will be a great asset to the team.”

Barrett hasn’t found the language barrier to be a problem and believes they are already learning how to play alongside each other. “He doesn’t speak English but we all speak football, so when we get on the field we click. He’s a really good player and once he gets fully comfortable and settled here he’ll do fine,” said Barrett.

At times last season goals were hard to come by for Toronto, but the team has been strengthened significantly during the winter following the arrival of Vitti, Dwayne De Rosario and SuperDraft pick O’Brian White. “It’s a great problem to have so many attacking players and it’s a tough decision for the coach because we have so many striking options going forward,” explained Barrett. “We still need to strengthen at the back but we have got some great players in here and I’m sure the fans are going to have a good time watching us going forward this year.”

Barrett first came into contact with Vitti in 2005 when they played against each other in the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. Barrett scored the only goal of the game as the United States beat Vitti’s Argentina. “He hit the post about 10 minutes before I scored my goal,” said Barrett. “We haven’t talked about it yet because it would be a long conversation to have with a translator, but that was a good game and the one I remember the most. He probably remembers winning the tournament.”

Check out Toronto FC TV on Friday for the latest episode of Season Three, our series building up to the start of the new season. This episode focuses on Vitti’s arrival in Toronto.

 

Source: Click Here



Reds end week in Florida
February 14, 2009, 9:48 AM
Filed under: Chad Barrett, MLS Preseason, Pablo Vitti, Toronto FC

Toronto FC wrapped up the week in Florida by playing two 50 minute games against the New York Red Bulls on Friday afternoon. The contest was designed to give as many players as possible the chance to have 50 minutes of competitive action.

Toronto FC won the first game 2-1 with goals from Pablo Vitti and Chad Barrett, and the second 50 minute period of play finished 2-0 in favour of the Red Bulls.

For full details on game one, click here. For game two, click here.

The second game of the afternoon failed to live up to the drama of the first. Toronto FC went close in the 10th minute of play when Johan Smith played in Gabe Gala down the left wing, but Jon Conway was able to deal with the cross. Five minutes later, Fuad Ibrahim shot over the bar from 25 yards out with chances at a premium.

New York took the lead in the 38th minute through Matthew Mbuta. He finished past Brian Edwards after being fed the ball by Lionel St. Preux.

The Red Bulls doubled their advantage with just three minutes left to play when Mbuta was fouled in the penalty area. St. Preux stepped up and scored from the spot.

Game two TFC starting line-up: Brian Edwards, Gabe Gala, Kevin Harmse, Nana Attakora, Marvell Wynne (Gregory Richardson 29′), Johann Smith (Kyle Hall 18′), Amadou Sanyang, Rohan Ricketts, Fuad Ibrahim, Danny Dichio, Ebrima Bojang

The players will return to Toronto on Saturday and continue preseason training at BMO Field next week.

Bradenton results:

Sunday: TFC vs. U.S. Under 20s – Won 2-1
Tuesday: TFC vs. Chicago Fire – Lost 1-0
Friday: TFC vs. New York Red Bulls – Won 2-1, Lost 2-0