October 4, 2007 MLS Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls (from MLSnet.com)

10/04/2007 9:54PM
Aggressive Reds stop Red Bulls
Rookie Edu provides goal; Toronto denies New York
By Mark Polishuk / MLSnet.com Staff

TORONTO -- On a misty Thursday night at BMO Field, the fog of Toronto FC's 12-game winless streak finally lifted as the Reds managed a 2-1 upset against the New York Red Bulls.

After Maurice Edu's strike in the 18th minute put Toronto ahead, the Reds capitalized on an own goal by New York defender Chris Leitch that proved to be the difference in the game. Dane Richards pulled a goal back with 15 minutes to play as both teams played a man down, but much to the delight of the BMO crowd the Reds held out to the end.

The victory was Toronto's first since July 4, and it moved Toronto off the bottom of the overall MLS table. The Reds are now tied at 24 points with Real Salt Lake, but TFC holds a head-to-head advantage over the Utah club.

Neither side generated much of an attack in the opening minutes, as both clubs saw a corner kick opportunity fail to produce a scoring chance. Carl Robinson's direct free kick in the 11th minute curved tantalizingly towards the scrum in front of the net, but the ball found the head of a New York defender and was sent safely away.

It took 18 minutes to produce the game's first shot, but it was a productive one for Toronto FC. A caution to New York's Dema Kovalenko gave TFC possession in the Red Bulls end, Marvell Wynne took the ball on the right side and passed it up to a charging Edu. The rookie midfielder got behind his defender just inside of the penalty area, then sent a well-placed strike past a diving Ronald Waterreus into the left side of the net to give Toronto the lead.

It was Edu's fourth goal of the season, and his first since July 7. That particular tally holds a significant place in Reds history, as it was the last goal scored by the club before its MLS-record 824-minute scoreless streak.

New York came back with their first shot of the match a few minutes later off of a direct free kick from Clint Mathis. Forward Jozy Altidore managed to collect Mathis' kick, but the resulting shot went over the net. Toronto goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos was shaken up on the play after taking a knock in front of the net, but remained in the game.

Despite a number of set-piece opportunities, the Red Bulls mustered just one shot on goal in the first half and went into halftime trailing 1-0. It was a bad omen for New York, who entered the match with 1-6-1 record for the season when behind after 45 minutes.

As for Toronto, the club played one of their stronger defensive halves of the season, but the Reds had to be feeling some deja vu. It was the third consecutive match where TFC had taken a 1-0 lead into halftime, but in the previous two games, Toronto allowed a combined six second-half goals that resulted in a pair of losses.

It looked as if history might repeat itself for a third time, as New York accumulated three shots in the first 10 minutes of the second half. But rather than sit back and go into a defensive shell, the Reds came out looking to extend their lead.

In the 52nd minute, striker Collin Samuel made a strong run up the right side before starting a one-touch passing series between three Reds players that ended on the foot of midfielder Gabe Gala. The 17-year-old Canadian, making his first MLS start, managed a shot but was easily stopped by New York 'keeper Ronald Waterreus.

Toronto got another advantage in the 64th minute when Wynne was sent flying after being tripped by a sliding Joe Vide. It was Vide's second caution of the game and the Red Bulls midfielder was sent off.

It didn't take long for the Reds to capitalize with the extra man. After Carl Robinson missed a direct free kick awarded after the red card, Toronto regained possession. Wynne charged down the right side, and sent a crossing pass into the goal area towards striker Jeff Cunningham at the back post. Leitch tried to clear the pass, but instead sent the ball into his own net. It was the first own goal in Toronto FC's short history.

The Red Bulls regained even footing after TFC defender Andrew Boyens was sent off in the 68th minute, and finally converted a goal on their 12th set-piece of the match. Dave van den Bergh's corner kick was expertly placed into the goal area, where midfielder Dane Richards was there to head the ball into the left side past a diving Stamatopoulos. It was the second goal of the season for the young Jamaican and his first since May 5.

Now down just a goal, the Red Bulls pressed but couldn't generate a significant scoring chance. The flashiest attempt came in the 87th minute when midfielder Francis Doe tried a bicycle kick from just outside the goal area, but it was easily handled by Stamatopoulos.

Still, there were a couple of brief moments of pause for the TFC fans over the final seconds. Richards again got free in the right corner and tried to find Altidore in front of goal, but Stamatopoulos kicked the pass away. Then Angel ran completely free on the left side and was able to dribble right at the goalpost, but put his shot into the outside netting.

Toronto FC will get little time to celebrate their win as the club will make its first-ever trip to Dick's Sporting Goods Park to face the Colorado Rapids on Sunday. It will be Toronto's third match in nine days, and the Reds are 0-1-1 this season when playing their third match in a span of nine days or less.

New York now has just one win in their last eight games, and missed yet another chance to secure a playoff spot. The club can still clinch if Los Angeles and Columbus both lose this weekend, but if that fails to happen, New York will have to wait until Oct. 13 against Kansas City to try and control their own fate. The Red Bulls have five goals in two games against K.C. but only has a point to show from it after a 3-2 loss on June 2 and a 3-3 draw on June 16.

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

New York Red Bulls (11-11-6) vs. Toronto FC (6-15-6) 
October 04, 2007 -- BMO Field 

Scoring Summary: 
TOR -- Maurice Edu 4 (Marvell Wynne 3) 18
TOR -- Own Goal (Chris Leitch) 66
NY -- Dane Richards 2 (Dave van den Bergh 7) 75

New York Red Bulls -- Ronald Waterreus, Chris Leitch, Jeff Parke, Seth Stammler, Dave van den Bergh, Dane Richards, 
Clint Mathis, Joe Vide, Dema Kovalenko (Francis Doe 60), Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel.

Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Hunter Freeman, Carlos Mendes, Markus Schopp, Sinisa Ubiparipovic, 
John Wolyniec

Toronto FC -- Kenny Stamatopoulos, Andrew Boyens, Marvell Wynne, Jim Brennan, Adam Braz (Tyler Hemming 76), 
Jeff Cunningham, Maurice Edu, Gabe Gala (Chris Pozniak 70), Carl Robinson, Todd Dunivant, Collin Samuel (Andrea 
Lombardo 92+).

Substitutes Not Used: Miguel Canizalez, Srdjan Djekanovic, Joey Melo, Cristian Nunez

 Toronto FC New York Red Bulls 
total shots: 6 (Gabe Gala 2)  11 (3 tied with 2)  
shots on goal: 5 (Gabe Gala 2)  5 (4 tied with 1)  
fouls: 17 (Adam Braz 3,
 Maurice Edu 3)  22 (Joe Vide 6)  
offsides: 4 (Jeff Cunningham 2)  6 (Juan Pablo Angel 2,
 Francis Doe 2)  
corner kicks: 4 (Chris Pozniak 2)  11 (Clint Mathis 7)  
saves: 3 (Kenny Stamatopoulos 3)  4 (Ronald Waterreus 4)  

Misconduct Summary: 
NY -- Dema Kovalenko (caution; Reckless Foul) 17
TOR -- Jim Brennan (caution; Reckless Foul) 20
NY -- Joe Vide (caution; Tackle from Behind) 23
TOR -- Maurice Edu (caution; Tackle from Behind) 40
TOR -- Carl Robinson (caution; Reckless Foul) 46
NY -- Jozy Altidore (caution; Reckless Foul) 57
NY -- Joe Vide (ejection; Second Caution) 64
TOR -- Andrew Boyens (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 67

referee: Mauricio Navarro
Referee's Assistants: Hector Vergara; Daniel Belleau
4th official: Silviu Petrescu
time of game: 1:54
attendance: 20,274
weather: Cloudy -and- 68 degrees

All statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial 

back to Toronto FC menu