September 22, 2007 Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew (from

09/22/2007 6:07PM
Reds end one streak, but drop game
Canizalez goal closes book on scoreless drought
By Mark Polishuk / Staff

TORONTO -- Toronto FC ended its MLS-record scoreless drought, but the club's winless streak reached 10 games after falling 2-1 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.

The Crew rebounded from an early 1-0 deficit with two second-half goals, including the winner from substitute Jason Thomas in the 83rd minute. The win snaps Columbus' seven-game winless streak and keeps the Crew thick in the hunt for a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Miguel Canizalez was the unlikely hero who put the Reds on the scoreboard for the first time since July 7. The midfielder scored the first goal of his MLS career just two minutes into the match for the quickest score in a game in TFC's short history. The goal officially ended Toronto's scoreless streak at 824 minutes -- a span of more than nine full games.

The Reds have been frustrated by early scoring chances that went for naught in recent matches, but against the Crew, TFC was finally able to convert and jump out to an early lead in the second minute. A one-touch passing series from Collin Samuel, Todd Dunivant and Jim Brennan moved the ball down the left side into the Columbus penalty area, and Brennan finished the run with a cross. The ball bounced around in front and was nearly kicked away by Crew defender Danny O'Rourke, but Canizalez was there to knock the deflected ball inside the right post.

Canizalez was in the lineup due to absences from Adam Braz and Marvell Wynne, which moved Brennan and Chris Pozniak to the backline and gave Canizalez his first start since April 14. Injuries limited Canizalez to just 100 minutes of action since, though he did play 31 minutes in a substitute role last Saturday against Real Salt Lake.

The quick start was short-lived for TFC as the Crew controlled the pace for most of the next 15 minutes. Columbus managed three shots on goal against Toronto goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos, but none were particularly impressive. The Crew were missing the finishing touch of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who is still recovering from a strained right hamstring suffered Sept. 8 against Chicago.

The closest chance for Columbus was an innocuous-looking clearing shot from midfielder Eddie Gaven that seemed to confuse Stamatopoulos. The 'keeper had to awkwardly knock the ball over the net instead of simply catching it, which gave the Crew a corner kick. Gaven took the corner and took another shot a few seconds later, but this effort was easily handled by Stamatopoulos.

The Reds regained some attacking momentum but, as seen so often during the goal drought, missed clear chances. In the 26th minute, Pozniak's cross to the left side of the Columbus goal area was headed by Todd Dunivant in front of the net and directly at the feet of Maurice Edu. At six yards out and with only Crew goalkeeper Will Hesmer to beat, Edu could only manage a flat-footed attempt at a strike.

An unusual chance presented itself for the Reds just before halftime. Samuel made a pass that ricocheted off a Columbus player and went to TFC striker Jeff Cunningham, who was behind the ball. Cunningham held up thinking he was offside, but after no call came, the forward resumed his breakaway on the Crew net. Hesmer never lost focus on the play and was there to knock away Cunningham's hard strike from just inside the penalty area.

The Crew broke out of their attacking malaise in the second half to tie the match after a miscue from Stamatopoulos. The Toronto 'keeper stumbled as he attempted to catch a cross in the 61st minute which allowed the ball to roll to Gaven on the left side of the goal area. Gaven passed in front to striker Jason Garey, who calmly controlled and placed the ball past a charging Stamatopoulos and into the left side of the net.

It was the first goal of the season for Garey after he netted five in his 2006 rookie season. The former University of Maryland star was making his second consecutive start in place of Schelotto.

As for the Reds, their attack was nowhere to be found at the start of the second half. Cunningham, who was making just his second start since July 4 due to a sports hernia, was replaced by Andrea Lombardo at the 58-minute mark and the insertion of the young Canadian seemed to wake the club up.

Lombardo had a good chance in the 73rd minute when Todd Dunivant's header sprung the striker down the left side. A charging Hesmer cut off Lombardo's shot nearly before it even left the forward's foot. TFC spent much of the next few minutes in the Columbus penalty area, which resulted in two unsuccessful shots by Samuel.

It was the Crew, however, who managed the go-ahead goal on a tremendous individual effort from Jacob Thomas. He took the ball near midfield and proceeded to carry it the length of the field, evading Reds defender Andrew Boyens near the penalty line and then firing a hard strike past a diving Stamatopoulos. It was the first goal of the season for Thomas, who replaced forward Andy Herron in the 58th minute.

The win was the first for the Crew since July 22, also against Toronto. However, it wasn't enough to move the Crew into the final playoff spot; they currently sit tied for eighth place in the MLS table with the Chicago Fire, but the Fire hold the tiebreaker after having won two of the three games in their regular season series. The Fire also play D.C. United on Sunday afternoon at home.

As for Toronto FC, the loss all but eliminates them from a playoff spot in its first season. The Reds next play on Saturday, when the club makes its first-ever trip to Washington to face D.C. United. The Crew don't play again until Sept. 30, when they host a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

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

Columbus Crew (7-9-10) vs. Toronto FC (5-14-6) 
September 22, 2007 -- BMO Field 

Scoring Summary: 
TOR -- Miguel Canizalez 1 (unassisted) 2
CLB -- Jason Garey 1 (Eddie Gaven 5, Frankie Hejduk 3) 61
CLB -- Jacob Thomas 1 (unassisted) 83

Columbus Crew -- Will Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Ezra Hendrickson, Marcos Gonzalez, Ned Grabavoy, Eddie Gaven, 
Duncan Oughton, Danny O'Rourke, Andy Herron (Jacob Thomas 58), Alejandro Moreno, Jason Garey (Kei Kamara 72).

Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenebaum, Stefani Miglioranzi, Adam Moffat, Robbie Rogers, Tim Ward

Toronto FC -- Kenny Stamatopoulos, Andrew Boyens, Jim Brennan, Tyrone Marshall, Chris Pozniak, Miguel Canizalez, 
Maurice Edu, Carl Robinson, Todd Dunivant, Collin Samuel, Jeff Cunningham (Andrea Lombardo 57).

Substitutes Not Used: Nana Attakora-Gyan, Srdjan Djekanovic, Gabe Gala, David Guzman, Tyler Hemming, Joey Melo

 Toronto FC Columbus Crew 
total shots: 9 (Collin Samuel 3)  9 (4 tied with 2)  
shots on goal: 4 (4 tied with 1)  8 (4 tied with 2)  
fouls: 18 (3 tied with 3)  6 (Marcos Gonzalez 2,
 Andy Herron 2)  
offsides: 3 (Jeff Cunningham 2)  7 (Jason Garey 2,
 Eddie Gaven 2)  
corner kicks: 2 (Miguel Canizalez 1,
 Todd Dunivant 1)  6 (Eddie Gaven 6)  
saves: 6 (Kenny Stamatopoulos 6)  3 (Will Hesmer 3)  

Misconduct Summary: 

referee: Steven DePiero
Referee's Assistants: Simon Fearn; Amato DeLuca
4th official: Carol-Anne Chenard
time of game: 1:51
attendance: 20,127
weather: Clear -and- 77 degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial 

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