April 9, 2011 MLS--Gordon Goes On Scoring (from TorontoFC.ca)

Gordon Goes On Scoring
Asif Hossain

Buck Shaw Stadium Santa Clara, CA - April 9, 2011

Defining Moment
Many have asked where Toronto FC's goals will come from this season. Alan Gordon is making an early bid to answer that question by notching his second goal in as many games to help Toronto to a 1-1 draw against a physical San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday.

Gordon started the goal scoring play himself by spotting Alen Stevanovic with space on the left. The tricky 20-year old on loan from Italy's Torino skipped the ball past a defender, finding teammate Danleigh Borman inside the box to flick it toward the front of goal. A pair of favourable deflections later, the ball dropped inside the six-yard box for a rushing Gordon who finished with a poacher's instinct to give Toronto a 1-0 lead at the 27th minute.

Pitch Battles
Toronto had a matchup it very much liked on the left side. The adventurous Stevanovic had his way with San Jose defender Jason Hernandez in the first half. With Quakes winger Bobby Convey usually up on attack, there was space for Borman to exploit and the Toronto fullback linked up nicely with Stevanovic. Borman made six crosses in the match, five from the left.

One worrying trend for Toronto was the large amount of early shots from distance it allowed San Jose to take on way to amassing 16 attempts in total. The Quakes however, scored when they attacked the box courtesy of on loan Tottenham player Simon Dawkins. He helped generate a beautiful one-two with Chris Wondolowski before finishing for the equalizer at the 38th minute despite being surrounded by a school of red shirts.

Man of the Match
Had he played the full 90 minutes, Stevanovic was a lock for MOTM and Gordon's commitment is winning him a lot of admirers. But in the final half hour Adrian Cann's presence was vital in the Toronto backline and he is deserving of the recognition. Cann made six tackles, four clearances and interceptions as the Quakes pressed for a lead.

Cann did have help at the back with several worthy mentions. Julian de Guzman provided excellent second half support in the holding role, just as Tony Tchani had in the first. Stefan Frei's alert save on Wondolowski at the 51st minute, followed by a Ty Harden block on the Golden Boot winner, kept the Reds from conceding a second time. Additionally, Jacob Peterson proved his versatility by switching from midfield to right fullback at restart.

Starting XI

San Jose (4-4-2) -- Jon Busch; Jason Hernandez, Brandon McDonald, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales (Joey Gjertsen 85'); Bobby Convey, Sam Cronin, 
Simon Dawkins, Khari Stephenson (Matt Luzunaris 80'); Ryan Johnson, Chris Wondolowski 
... Subs Not Used: Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Bobby Burling, Chris Leitch, Brad Ring, Andrew Weber 
... Goal: Dawkins 38' 
... Caution: Cronin 36' Opara 55' Corrales 84' Wondolowski 87'

Toronto (4-3-3) -- Stefan Frei; Ty Harden, Nana Attakora (Julian de Guzman 46'), Adrian Cann, Danleigh Borman; Maicon Santos (Joao Plata 65'), 
Jacob Peterson, Tony Tchani; Javier Martina, Alan Gordon, Alen Stevanovic (Gianluca Zavarise 63') 
... Subs Not Used: Oscar Cordon, Dan Gargan, Mikael Yourassowsky, Milos Kocic 
... Goal: Gordon 27' 
... Caution: Tchani 35' Attakora 41' de Guzman 79' Peterson 90+3'

Following Fixture 
Los Angeles Galaxy
Wednesday April 9
BMO Field - 8:00PM
GOL TV Canada

In the second of their three game Eastern Conference road trip, Los Angeles stops into Toronto at midweek after a 1-1 draw with D.C. United 
on Saturday. David Beckham is on form for LA, the Englishman set up his third goal of the season in the D.C. draw. With eight points from five 
matches, the 2010 league champions are in form but unlike their torrid start to last season, they've already been beaten in 2011. This match could be 
the first regular season game featuring David Beckham at BMO Field. He last played in Toronto at the 2008 MLS All Star Game. 

Preki Post Game
 It's only four games into the season but there is a sense of cohesiveness within the new-look Reds' squad. They didn't back down against a San Jose 
 team desperate for their first home win of 2011. Although San Jose enjoyed more possession at 58%-42%, the Reds managed to keep their shape and look 
 threatening going forward. TFC will be happy with a point away from BMO Field. 

Toronto had a slight edge in duels won 52%-48%, but did not improve their passing accuracy from the previous week at just over 75%. In contrast, San Jose 
had an 86% passing rate - this is expected of the 2010 MLS Cup semifinalists. A total of eight cautions were shown by referee Ramon Hernandez - four 
to each side - in a match with 30 combined fouls called (17 to Toronto). 

In Their Words:

“We didn’t do so well in the first half, we made some changes, and came out and played much better in the second half. We gave them too much space in the first half, but marked much better in the second. We had some good opportunities and could have won. It’s a pity in the end to only get a draw. But to be playing an away game and get one point is a good result.” - Toronto head coach Aron Winter.

“It was physical out there, but if we want to compete in this league we’ve got to be physical. I’ve always played that way, and we’ve got other guys who want to do that as well. We can be successful in this league once we start doing the little things right. I don’t know what happened (on the goal). There was a lucky bounce, it fell to me and I put it away." - Toronto forward Alan Gordon.

"Second half there was a difference, much higher spirit and determination. The way the team was able to react with more concentration, we were more disciplined. The game is 90 minutes not 45. To me the most important time in a game is the first 20-25 minutes. But with the type of second half we had today we can certainly have some positive results on the road this season." - Toronto midfielder Julian de Guzman

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