April 28, 2007 MLS Toronto FC vs Kansas City 0-1 (from MLSnet.com)

04/28/2007 2:54PM
Johnson, K.C. spoil Toronto opener
By Mark Polishuk / MLSnet.com Staff

TORONTO -- A sellout crowd and an exciting game led to a near-perfect debut for Major League Soccer in Toronto on Saturday -- except for on the scoreboard. Eddie Johnson's goal in the 81st minute gave the Kansas City Wizards a 1-0 victory over TFC in front of an enthusiastic sellout crowd at BMO Field.

It looked as if TFC may remain goalless, but at least could escape with a draw for their efforts late in the game. Nine minutes from the end, however, Wizards midfielder Michael Harrington sent a pass to forward Johnson that the striker curled into the right side of the net. The goal was Johnson's third of the year, which ties him for the league lead with New England's Taylor Twellman.

A chilly afternoon didn't stop the crowd of 20,158 from welcoming first-class professional soccer to Toronto. The raucous, largely red-clad fans chanted and cheered from the opening whistle to the last, and their club gave them much to celebrate in the early going.

After starting their MLS tenure with three road games, Toronto FC clearly seemed energized by the BMO Field atmosphere and responded with the strongest first half of their brief history. Toronto had three shots on goal to Kansas City's one in the half and dominated the pace of play. It was a far cry from the club's showing in the first half of Wednesday's 3-0 loss at K.C., when the Wizards outshot TFC 9-2.

The first real chance for either squad came in the 10th minute, when some sloppy clearing from the Kansas City defense led to Toronto forward Maurice Edu carrying the ball into the K.C. penalty area. Edu managed to separate himself from his defender, but his hard shot sailed wide right of the net.

The first goal in TFC history was nearly an own goal. An innocuous-looking corner kick in the 14th minute from Toronto's Kevin Goldthwaite was caught, but then dropped by Wizards 'keeper Kevin Hartman. But he managed to grab the ball just before it rolled over the goal line and gave Toronto an unusual debut on the MLS scoresheets.

The Wizards' best scoring chance in the first half came in the 20th minute, when Harrington threaded a nice pass to Johnson. The U.S. international's point-blank shot was stopped by 'keeper Greg Sutton.

A great individual effort from Toronto forward Alecko Eskandarian nearly led to a goal in the 32nd minute. He carried the ball deep into the K.C. zone and then used some fancy footwork to evade two defenders and thread a pass to fellow striker Danny Dichio. The Englishman's quick shot was blocked by Wizards defender Jack Jewsbury, and Goldthwaite couldn't capitalize on the rebound.

The second half was a different story. Toronto didn't manage a shot on goal in the half, and the Wizards came out with a strong attack. Johnson nearly scored earlier in the half, as he carried the ball deep into TFC territory in the 65th minute against one defender and an off-balance Sutton. The shot was blocked, however, and the game remained scoreless.

After Johnson's goal, Toronto went on the attack to try and salvage a point. TFC kept the ball in K.C.'s end for most of the game's final five minutes, but couldn't muster a solid scoring chance or even a shot on goal.

The loss drops Toronto to 0-4-0 on the season and the club has now been outscored 10-0 in their first four games. With a strong overall effort to their credit in this match, and their next three games at home, Toronto F.C. have to be hoping that they can get into the win column (or at least the scoreboard) sooner rather than later.

For the Wizards, the win gives them nine points from four games. They will next be in action in a week's time when they host the Columbus Crew at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mark Polishuk is a contriburor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

Kansas City Wizards (3-1-0) vs. Toronto FC (0-4-0)
April 28, 2007 -- BMO Field

Scoring Summary:
KC -- Eddie Johnson 3 (Michael Harrington 2) 81

Kansas City Wizards -- Kevin Hartman, Jack Jewsbury, Jimmy Conrad, Nick Garcia, Jose Burciaga Jr., Sasha Victorine, Carlos Marinelli (Ryan Pore 16) (Kurt Morsink 90), Kerry Zavagnin, Michael Harrington, Eddie Johnson, Davy Arnaud.

Substitutes Not Used: Aaron Hohlbein, Will John, Eric Kronberg, Ryan Raybould, Lance Watson

Toronto FC -- Greg Sutton, Marvell Wynne, Andrew Boyens, Jim Brennan, Kevin Goldthwaite, Paulo Nagamura (Edson Buddle 84), Maurice Edu, Carl Robinson, Andy Welsh (Miguel Canizalez 68), Danny Dichio, Alecko Eskandarian.

Substitutes Not Used: Srdjan Djekanovic, Andrea Lombardo, Ronnie O'Brien, Chris Pozniak, Marco Reda

 Toronto FC Kansas City Wizards 
total shots: 7 (5 tied with 1)  12 (Eddie Johnson 5)  
shots on goal: 3 (3 tied with 1)  4 (Eddie Johnson 3)  
fouls: 27 (Maurice Edu 8)  17 (Jose Burciaga Jr. 4)  
offsides: 1 (Maurice Edu 1)  3 (Eddie Johnson 3)  
corner kicks: 5 (Kevin Goldthwaite 4)  5 (Jose Burciaga Jr. 5)  
saves: 3 (Greg Sutton 3)  3 (Kevin Hartman 3)  

Misconduct Summary: 
TOR -- Andrew Boyens (caution; Reckless Foul) 3
TOR -- Danny Dichio (caution; Reckless Foul) 23
KC -- Jose Burciaga Jr. (caution; Professional Foul) 44
KC -- Kerry Zavagnin (caution; Reckless Foul) 70
KC -- Davy Arnaud (caution; Tackle from Behind) 73

referee: Mauricio Navarro
Referee's Assistants: Amato DeLuca; Hector Vergara
4th official: Abiodun Okulaja
time of game: 1:52
attendance: 20,148
weather: Cloudy -and- 50 degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial 

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