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Player Ratings: TFC vs Charleston
March 9, 2009, 9:41 AM
Filed under: Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston Battery, Toronto FC

TFC took an early lead through De-Ro, but Hemming converted a for-sure penalty 13 minutes later to make it 1-1.  The rest of the first half saw TFC with the majority of the possession and chances until Serioux was sent off on 41′.  Second half saw TFC defend the first 15 minutes but were able to even out possession after that despite only have 10 men.  Ricketts then popped up to score with 10′ left, and TFC showed great grit to score with only 10 men and hold on for the win.  Man of the Match: Dwayne De Rosario

GK-Sebastien Frei 6.0– Looks to be the keeper after Sutton, didn’t have that much to do but controlled his box.

RB-Marvell Wynne 5.5– More of a tamed game from Wynne.  His attacking mind seemed to be more focus on defending.

RCB-Adrian Serioux 3.0 – Stupid play to give away penalty, and missed tackle that got him a second yellow before half time.

LCB-Keven Harmse 7.0– Looked comfortable at back, probably his new role.

LB-Jim Brennan 6.5Typical Brennan performance, getting forward and setting up

RM-Sam Cronin 6.0– Looked comfortable, didn’t give much going forward though.  Looks promising.  Worked hard, he has a chance to crack this first team.

CM-Carl Robinson 6.6– Some nice balls forward, maybe could of contributed more in attack.

CM-Amado Guevara 5.0– Poor from set-pieces today.  Wasn’t anything special in the mid-field.

LMRohan Ricketts 6.5– Half-chance in first half, selfishness took away a tap-in for Barrett.  Scored a cracker through Ricketts, TFC’s stream died but apparently it was quality.

SS-Dwayne De Rosario 7.5– Showed great control, was able to pick up ball in midfield and send it forward.  TFC’s best attacking player.

ST(Off 70′)-Chad Barrett 5.5Not the best game, never really got a good look at net (only 10 men on the field).

SUB-Faud Ibrahim (70′) 6.5 – Smart movement, just inches short of being clear through when D-Ro back’heeled him in.Did well to chase down goal-kick, hold it up and set up Rohan for the winner.

Source: Click Here

TFC vs CHA – Post Game Thoughts
March 8, 2009, 9:53 AM
Filed under: Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston Battery, Toronto FC

In our first opportunity to watch Toronto FC take the pitch this season, we saw some very encouraging stuff. Since this was only a pre-season match, I’m not going to focus on the result, but rather focus on the way we played. A few weeks ago Carl Robinson mentioned that he told John Carver after a pre-season match that the team looked like “red arrows going forward.” We definitely saw some of this tonight.

There was no Pablo Vitti tonight, who has apparently picked up a minor knock. John Carver elected to rest him, moving Dwayne De Rosario up front alongside Chad Barrett, and starting rookie Sam Cronin at right midfield. Here was our starting eleven:

Stefan Frei (GK), Marvell Wynne (RB), Adrian Serioux (CB), Kevin Harmse (CB), Jim Brennan (LB), Sam Cronin (RM), Carl Robinson (CM), Amado Guevara (CM), Rohan Ricketts (LM), Dwayne De Rosario (FW), Chad Barrett (FW)

Here is a match report from Check Toronto FC TV tomorrow for match highlights and post-match thoughts from John Carver and some of the players.

DeRo, Guevara, Ricketts, and Barrett

Our season kicks off in exactly two weeks and the attacking play we saw tonight from the four people mentioned above is better than some MLS fans will see from their teams all season (that means you, Rapids fans). It gets better – their chemistry will improve as the season goes on. Oh, ya…there’s more – we have yet to see what they can do with Pablo Vitti in there.

The match was a little slow at the start, with both sides sharing the possession pretty evenly. After Charleston’s penalty though, I thought we tore Charleston apart, creating had numerous chances to retake the lead. Even when we scored in the second minute, it was Amado Guevara assisting Dwayne De Rosario. How often do you think we’ll see that this season?

The four of them had some great link up play, with nice and quick touches. At times they had the Battery’s defenders chasing shadows. They may have not had spectacular games individually, but as a whole, I thought they did quite well. I realize this wasn’t happening every time we had possession, but it’s something to be very encouraged about.

Oh, and by the way, Dwayne De Rosario was awesome. In other news, the sky is blue.

It’s a good thing it wasn’t Velez…

Adrian Serioux, making his pre-season debut for us, gets sent off just before half time after receiving two yellow cards. If it had been Marco Velez, we’d be calling for his head, screaming at Mo to get in a new defender. Serioux’s first yellow card was pretty bad – he gave the ball straight to an opponent, and then tugged him down in the box. The second? Pretty bad as well. It was for a late sliding challenge on a Battery attacker who was really heading nowhere. Okay, I’m over it. In truth, it kind of made the match more interesting. We got to see our guys not only hold on with ten men, but win with ten men. It’s not all bad, right?

Stefan Frei and Sam Cronin

These are two rookies thrown into the starting lineup, one which (according to the live-blog on the club website) John Carver had judged to be one of our strongest available. Don’t think they didn’t know this match was being webcast – they knew we were here watching. They also gave very good accounts of themselves. Frei was hung out to dry on the penalty, but looked confident whenever he was called upon after that. Sam Cronin was forced into an important central midfield role after Adrian Serioux was sent off, and he didn’t miss a beat at all. Props to these two.

Ten men? No problem…

I was a little concerned about the result when Serioux was sent off. It’s only pre-season, but losing still sucks. In that second half tonight, you couldn’t one team had an extra man. Robbo slid back into the defense, with Ricketts, Guevara, and Cronin forming a three-man midfield. DeRo was allowed to roam in between the midfield and Chad Barrett, the lone striker. It was awesome to see that we were still creating chances and holding the ball. That said, in the second half, Charleston played mostly trialists who hadn’t trained much with the team.

Source: Click Here

TFC beats Charleston
March 7, 2009, 11:03 PM
Filed under: Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston Battery, Toronto FC

Toronto FC got off to a winning start in the Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday night with a 2-1 win over the hosts Charleston Battery of the USL. Dwayne De Rosario and Rohan Ricketts got the goals for the Reds who played the second half with 10 men after Adrian Serioux was sent off.

John Carver’s team got off to a flying start with De Rosario scoring inside the first two minutes. He was played through on goal and chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper to give TFC the lead.

The game was tied in the 15th minute from the penalty spot. Former Toronto FC midfielder Tyler Hemming stepped up to score past Stefan Frei after Adrian Serioux had fouled Kenji Treshuk.

Toronto had chances to retake the lead before half time with De Rosario looking lively going forward and Ricketts flashing a shot across goal, but the Reds were reduced to ten men in stoppage time at the end of the half. Adrian Serioux had recieved a yellow card earlier in the half, and he was shown a second yellow for another foul on Treshuk.

Despite being a man down, TFC had plenty of posession in the second half and with eight minutes remaining Rohan Ricketts curled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area to seal a victory.

TFC line-up:
Frei, Wynne, Serioux, Harmse, Brennan, Cronin, Guevara, Robinson, Ricketts, De Rosario, Barrett (Ibrahim 72)

Scoring summary:
TFC: De Rosario 2, Ricketts 82
Charleston Battery: Hemming 15 (pen)

Source: Click Here

TFC vs Charleston Battery
March 7, 2009, 10:51 AM
Filed under: Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston Battery, MLS Preseason, Toronto FC

Saturday, March 7th – Kickoff at 7:15 p.m.
Toronto FC at Charleston Battery in the Carolina Challenge Cup.


*Note: Audio might be streamed from Toronto FC TV. Check for updates.