Toronto FC took to the pitch for the first time in 2014 and so far, so good. Bright Dike found the back of the net in the 85th min to secure a 1-nil victory for the reds.
Three take-aways from Wednesday night:
Tonight trialist Issey Nakajima-Farran owned the wings, it didn’t matter if it was the left or the right, when he was on flank, he took the space and made it his own. The Canadian International could have ended the night with a pair of goals if it wasn’t for solid goalkeeping from DC United keeper Joe Willis.
The Michael Bradley / Jonathan Osorio Combo:
The question that was asked going in to preseason was: Who was going to play beside Michael Bradley? Obviously after one preseason match, we don't have the answer, but tonight Jonathan Osorio looked sharp beside 'The General'. Bradley played the deep role in the midfield collecting from the centrebacks and pushing either to the wings or forward to Osorio who was the link between Dwayne De Rosario and Andrew Wiedeman. While OPTA was not tracking this match, it was clear that the possession was heavily in favour of Toronto FC and hovering around their attacking third.
Backline & Keepers:
Whenever you can claim a clean sheet with a backline where just one defender is over 25 years old, it's a good day at the office. Yes, the backline still has some work to do, but they now seem to understand that keeping possession after winning the ball is vital to keeping it out from the back of their net late in games. Once you add in the maturity of Steven Caldwell & Bradley Orr, this group should be on its way.
TFC – Bright Dike 85’
Toronto FC – Joe Bendik (Chris Konopka 45’); Ryan Richter (Matias Laba 45’), Chris Mannella^ (Doneil Henry 45’), Nick Hagglund (Gale Agbossoumonde 45’), Justin Morrow (Ashtone Morgan 45’); Manuel Aparicio (Issey Nakajima-Farran* 45’), Michael Bradley © (Jeremy Hall © 45’), Jonathan Osorio (Kyle Bekker 45’), Reggie Lambe (Alvaro Rey 45’); Andrew Wiedeman (Emery Welshman 45’) (Kene Eze 74’), Dwayne De Rosario (Bright Dike 45’)
D.C. United – Andrew Dykstra (Joe Willis 45’); Taylor Kemp (Jalen Robinson 45’), Jeff Parke (Steven Birenbaum 45’), Bobby Boswell (Conor Shanosky 45’), Sean Franklin (Travis Golden 45’); Nick De Leon (Victor Munoz 45’), Davy Arnaud (Zach Barnes 45’), Perry Kitchen (Jared Jeffrey 45’), Luis Silva (Collin Martin 45’), Kyle Porter (Christiano Francois 45’); Conor Doyle (Michael Seaton 45’)