TORONTO -- Dwayne De Rosario scored twice, including a late penalty, to
give Toronto FC a 2-1 win in their home opener against the Philadelphia Union.
The victory, before a BMO Field record crowd of 21,978, gave the Reds their
first win of the season and dropped the expansion side to 1-2-0.
Philadelphia looked like the better team from the start,
moving the ball well and creating several early half-chances.
But the key moment of the match went against them. In the 34th
minute, former American international Danny Califf saw a red card for a
foul on Toronto’s Julian de Guzman. The Canadian internationl was trying to
pounce on a loose backpass by Califf, and the Philadelphia captain threw an
elbow to obstruct him. Referee Baldomero Toledo showed Califf a straight red.
On the ensuing free kick, De Rosario took the one-touch from
Martin Saric and blasted a shot from about 25 yards out that squeezed through
the wall. What looked like a routine shot, however, was mishandled by
goalkeeper Chris Seitz, and the ball trickled through his hands in over the
The ejection and goal broke open an otherwise listless and
choppy first half full of fouls and mistakes.
Despite being down a man, Philadelphia finally cracked the
Toronto defense just before halftime. Defender Jordan Harvey got behind the defense and collected a lovely
looping pass from midfielder Roger Torres. Harvey took one touch and fired his
shot past helpless Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei to tie the game just before
the halftime whistle.
Philadelphia continued to attack in the second half, with Alejandro Moreno and Sébastien Le Toux pressing forward. The loss of Torres, who was subbed out at the break with an apparent injury, removed much of the side's bite. And the Toronto defense, which included newly signed Maksim Usanov and Adrian
Cann, as well as Latvian Raivis Hscanovics, who debuted last Saturday at New
England, did well to hold the Union at bay.
TFC coach Preki’s roster shuffle also saw strikers Chad
Barrett and O’Brian White come on at the start of the second half, looking to
capitalize on the man advantage. The move paid off in the 80th minute, when White outpaced two defenders to a loose ball in the Philadelphia
area, and was tripped up by goalkeeper Chris Seitz as he ran by. Toledo had no
choice by to point to the spot.
De Rosario calmly blasted the ball into the lower left side of the goal for his third of the season sending Toronto’s fans home happy.
TOR -- Dwayne De Rosario 2 (UA) 35’
PHI -- Jordan Harvey 1 (Roger Torres 2, Sébastien Le Toux 1) 46+’
TOR -- Dwayne De Rosario 3 (PK) 81’
TOR -- Raivis Hscanovics (caution; Reckless Tackle) 16’
TOR -- Maksim Usanov (caution; Reckless Foul) 25’
PHI -- Danny Califf (ejection; Violent Conduct) 34'
PHI -- Stefani Miglioranzi (caution; Reckless Foul) 38’
PHI -- Shavar Thomas (caution; Reckless Foul) 57’
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Joe Fletcher; Eric Boria
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
Weather: Partly cloudy and 59 degrees