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Host Germany defeats Nigeria 2-0 to win FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.           Spain is the new FIFA World Champions after defeating Netherlands 1-0 on Andres Iniesta's goal in overtime.                                              Spainwill play Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final after defeating Germany 1-0 in their semi final, while Netherlands beat Uruguay 3-2 in their semi final.              Paraguay became the 4th South American team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup 1/4 finals in South Africa when they defeated Japan 5-3 on penalty kicks after the teams were scoreless through regulation & overtime.                            Brazil and Portugal advance to the round of 16  of the FIFA World Cup                  Slovakia advance to the round of 16 after knocking out defending champions Italy  in a  thriller at Ellis Stadium in Johannesburg. They will advance out of Group F with Paraguay.    USA and England advance out of Group D, while Netherlands and Japan move on from Group E.    Uruguay and Mexico advance out of Group A, while host South Africa was eliminated. Argentina and Korea Republic advance out of Group B                                                           Canada wins CONCACAF U-17 Women's Championship and a spot in FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup by beating Mexico 1-0 in the final.                               Canada U-17 Women upset USA 5-3 on penalty-kicks in CONCACAF semi final to clinch a spot at U-17 Womens World Cup in T&T, while Mexico defeated host Costa Rica 3-1 in overtime to join Canada at World Cup.                                                 USA U-20 Women win CONCACAF Championship             Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Martha were named FIFA's 2009 Male and Female Player of the Year.                                    T&T native  Stephen Hart was named as head coach of Canada's men senior team.                        The cream rose to the top as Lionel Messi wins Europe's Footballer of the Year                               Switzerland shocked host Nigeria to win FIFA U-17 title        USA, Mexico and Honduras will represent CONCACAF at FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa.                                Mexico defeat USA 5-0 to win 5th Gold Cup title.                       In FIFA Confederation Cup action Brazil defeated USA 3-2 in the final to win th 2009 Cup.        Toronto FC will represent Canada in Champions League after winning Nutrilite Canadian Championship with 6-1 win over Montreal Impact.          Jamaica defeat Grenada 2-0 to win Caribbean Championship.           Cuba, Grenada, Guadeloupe, and Jamaica qualify for CONCACAF Gold Cup 2009 with Digicel semi final berth

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Stars Soccer Review (SSR) Match Coverage

TFC talent search ends with Academy Players. 

Under new head Coach Nick Dasovic, Toronto FC went into the club’s Academy team of young talents to defeat Arabe Unido of Panama 1-0. The Reds finished third in Group A schedule of the CONCACAF Champions league with 8 points, behind Real Salt Lake and Cruz Azul, which advanced to 1/4 finals.

The Academy call ups coincided with the return of Captain Dwayne De Rosario who was on a one game suspension and sat out last Saturday game for an accumulation of yellow cards. In turn the Reds finished its 2010 home fixture with an important win, but before a sparse crowd of 10,385 at BMO Field.

The Reds hit rock bottom in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Columbus Crew, in a game which certainly reflects their disappointing season. The Reds fell behind Columbus from a ball that ricocheted off the crossbar, and hit goalkeeper Jon Conway in the buttocks and into the Reds net.

After clawing back to take a commanding 2-1 halftime lead, the Reds gave up an equalizer at the end of the match. In a bizarre set of events, the Reds allowed Columbus Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer to come out of goal on a corner kick to score in injury time.

In all my donkey years of watching outdoor soccer, I can’t recall seeing a goalkeeper score during the run of play. But judging from their last game against Arabe Unido, all may not be lost for the Reds after the impressive play of their young talent.

Defender Nana Attakora, a former Academy signing, scored the game winner in the 30th minute with a neat header from a set piece in a season where there are only three players in TFC with more goals than one goal. Attakora out jumped the Arabe Unido defense to give TFC the 1-0 win.  

Another Academy standout for the Reds in Tuesday’s win was left back Ashtone Morgan. Unlike left back starter Raivis Hscanovics, Morgan can actually move into the attack with the ball under his control, and was unlucky not to score his first goal but goalkeeper Jose Calderon made a brilliant reflex save on his shot.

Astone may be a chip of the old block since his farther Wayne Morgan was a good attacking midfielder/striker with local Clubs Soca, and Parkdale in the Caribbean Community leagues.

Other academy players than performed well were rookie defender Doneil Henry in the central defense and midfielder Oscar Cordo in substitute for Designated Player (DP) Julian De Guzman in the 66th minute.

Recently signed Academy forward Nicholas Lindsay and goalkeeper Jon Conway also made consecutive starts for the Reds, abut a quick fix and Interim coach Dasovic magic, cannot take the Reds out of the present predicament and into the playoffs spot.

The sad state of affairs with Toronto FC is that the Reds faithful is on an all time low, and the fact that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), the Reds management, announced an increase to next year’s season ticket holders, spells Trouble.

The long awaited milestone (playoffs) cannot be accomplished until October of 2011 and as such a price increase is not what the doctor would have ordered for the #1 fans in the MLS. The Reds has now missed the playoffs fin their 4 seasons, and is yet to appoint an official coach, G.M., and Director of Soccer.

The bar has been raised high, since the Reds opened the season with a 15 game undefeated streak, and after dangling in third place behind Red Bulls they took a yellow for diving. But in retrospect the cookie crumbled when Thierry Henry and New York Red Bulls embarrassed the Reds by a lopsided 4-0 at BMO.

After the New York loss, the Reds went on a 7-game winless streak and has just one win to show in its last 14 games heading into last Tuesday’s contest. Toronto FC’s 2010 season has had the most peaks and valleys of any of its previous three seasons.

Though there were peaks, the troubling effect was there were no good things from the valley of Ho-ho hos as the Green Giant commercial since the Reds was booed at home after an embarrassing loss to Eastern Division table dwellers DC United.

The #1 Fans in the MLS have not been vocal in support of the team but has been waving large green dollar sign flags for the last two games. The friendly confine of BMO Field is a place of unresolved tension and frustration with the MLS Cup final slated for November 21 at BMO Field. 

The reality is the supporter’s club members, is the image of the Toronto FC and cooler heads may have to prevail for the MLS Cup to be successful.

TFC release Mo and coach Preki

After losing to table dwellers DC United at home Manager and Director of Soccer Operations Mo Johnson and coach Preki was released. The Reds had the unenviable task of manufacturing wins on the road to make the playoffs hence a lost at the friendly confines of BMO Field is unacceptable

Reds defeat Cruz Azul in Champions League Opener                             Toronto FC make noise before small crowd 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toronto FC, under first year coach Preki, is making its mark in the CONCACAF Championship League by beating Cruz Azul of Mexico 2-1 at BMO Field in its first group game. The Reds advance to the group stage by getting pass Motagua of Honduras 3-2 on aggregate in the preliminary round series after a 1-0 win at home and a 2-2 tie in Honduras.                                                                                                                                        One area of concern after the big win last Tuesday, was what seem to be the smallest crowd at BMO Field since the Reds inception. But, in spite of the crowd, the Reds played inspired ball and jumped all over Cruz Azul from the first sound of Jamaican referee Courtney Campbell’s whistle

After pressing forward the Reds took the lead on Martin Saric's header in the 3rd minute of play. Saric pounced on a rebound from a Mista header, which was blocked by the Cruz Azul defense.

The early lead gave the Reds added confidence that a win against the two-time CONCACAF finalists from Mexico City was possible.

Surprisingly, it was the Reds who pushed forward, and could have increased their lead had captain De Rosario capitalize three minutes after Saric’s goal. With Cruz Azul goalkeeper Yosgart Gutierrez at his mercy, Dero shot wide of the target.

After the Dero missed, the tempo of the game picked up noticeably, and the play went from end to end. De Rosario was the Johnny on the spot again, with his second chance. But he opted to pass, instead of taking a shot from close range with his left.

Obrien White, was late in picking up his run, and the scoring chance turned into a throw-in on the far side for Cruz Azul. In fairness, it was White’s first start in quite some time and I think his runs off the ball and confidence needs some work.

Coach Preki only started White as a replacement for the injured Danny Barret who was out with a tender hamstring. But give Preki credit, he did well in juggling his player personnel to fill in the blanks. Left footed Brazilian midfielder Maicon Santos was also out due to a knee injury.

Peki started Raivis Hscanovics (a natural left footed) at the left wing back position instead of Garcia. This turned out to be a master move. I was not a fan of Hscanovics prior to this game since he had a tendency to lunge at opponents and yellow cards were the name of his game.

 

There was no bigger save than Conway’s reflex save on a redirection from Cruz striker Alejandro Vela in the 40th minute, to maintain Toronto's 1-0 lead. The Reds responded with a score by  Mista to double its lead to 2-0 to the half.

The goal occurred when Hscanovics moved up the left flank and slipped a pass to Mista at the edge of the box. Mista then released a powerful left footer, which goalkeeper Yosgart Gutierrez partially blocked, before it trickled over the goal line between the post and side netting.

Toronto Faithfull’s were in frenzy since it was a rare occurrence. The Reds was now taking back to back 2-0 leads into the half at BMO Field.

A week earlier, it was Chivas USA who was under the gun, and now it was a shell shocked Cruz Azul team being welcome to BMO Field.

Home advantage is a given advantage in the win column, but it is refreshing to watch the Reds on defense. On both occasions, Toronto FC has played solid defense while maintaining shape to allow for a transitional offensive surge.

However, I am a little concern with captain Dwayne De Rosario present role. He is dropping back deep in the midfield and he is undoubtedly the most prolific scorer in the team. Defense is not his strength and in the deep midfield he is lost and is also losing the edge that is needed to score.

Last Tuesday’s game against Cruz Azul is a good indication, when Dero was creating scoring chances out of nothing in the second half. But he was hard pressed to make precise passes in subsequent plays which would have set up team mates to put the game away.

Julian De Guzman has finally found his game and is playing a significant role in maintaining the consistency of the Reds, game in, and game out. However, I am still waiting for De Guzman to score his first goal as a Red, and it is beginning to look like it might come sooner rather than than later.

With playoffs the big target for the Reds fans, the Reds have been in third place in the Eastern Division for quite some time and Saturday’s game against second place New York Red Bulls at BMO Field at 1pm is pivotal.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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