March 26, 2011 MLS--Martina Makes A First Impression (from

Martina Makes A First Impression
BMO Field's freezing faithful warm up to Dutch import.
Mike Ulmer
March 26, 2011

TORONTO - When you finally do get home it’s best to make a good impression.

So far - for Toronto FC - so good.

Before 20,086 chilled fans, the Reds downed the expansion Portland Timbers 2-0 at BMO Field on Saturday, to even their season record (1W-0D-1L).

As importantly, Toronto erased, for now at least, the impact of their season opening loss to the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Good thing too, second straight loss to a fledgling team would have darkened the prospects for the season before the jalopy was even out of the driveway.

The goals, both scored by newcomer Javier Martina were glorious. In the 14th minute, Dwayne DeRosario danced into the Portland penalty area and found Martina who put a shot past Portland keeper Adin Brown.

The season may end without a more dramatic goal than Martina’s second. In the 70th minute, the ball came to Toronto keeper Stefan Frei.

“I looked up and saw De Ro (Dwayne De Rosario) one on one with a guy and saw Javier over to the right. My kicks tend to veer to the right so I put it there.”

The booming kick found Martina on the dead run near the penalty area.

“The only thing I thought was just shoot, don’t wait,” said Martina, one of three players imported from Holland by new coach Aron Winter. He did, unfurling a perfect kick to the far corner of the net. Say what you want about Javier Martina, he will be hard pressed to unfurl a better kick.

That pretty much settled things.

“We’re getting punished for our mistakes,” said Timbers’ coach John Spencer. “On the first, we had a guy who moved off the post. On the second, we’re asleep and they make that long pass.”

Winter found lots to like. Being a coach, he found lots not to like as well.

“It’s great to score a couple of goals in your first home game and it was wonderful how Stefan got that ball to Javier,” he said. “It was a great goal.”

But the much discussed concept of Total Football will not be installed overnight.

“We need more time to work on that,” Winter said. “We have to work on putting our players in the correct position in the middle of the attack and if we are not in position we have to work on coming through centre.”

Another bit of drama in the second half came when Mikael Yourassowsky was sent off by referee Silviu Petrescu for dallying as he was being substituted. He will miss the team’s next game, a home date at 1 p.m. featuring Chivas USA.

back to TFC 2011 news and results