Result of the Saturday March 24th, 2012 MLS game between Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes played at BMO Field in Toronto at 1:00pm. This was the first home game of the season for Toronto FC.

Toronto FC (all red, white names and numbers, black shoulders and sleeves)

........................30 Milos Kocic
27 Richard Eckersley...20 Ty Harden...3 Miguel Aceval...5 Ashtone Morgan
.........6 Julian de Guzman (cpt)...23 Terry Dunfield...19 Reggie Lambe
........11 Luis Silva...9 Ryan Johnson...7 Joao Plata

Subs:...41 Brian Rowe (gk)...2 Logan Emory (def)...8 Eric Avila (mid)...14 Danny Koevermans (fwd)...18 Nick Soolsma (fwd)
...21 Aaron Maund (def)...33 Junior Borgos (mid)
team officials:...head coach Aron Winter

San Jose Earthquakes (all black, white names and numbers, blue trim)

.........................18 Jon Busch
33 Steven Beitaxhour...26 Victor Bernardez...15 Justin Morrow...12 Ramiro Corrales (cpt)
81 Marvin Chavez...11 Tressor Morero...6 Shea Salinas...4 Sam Cronin
................8 Chris Wondolowski...24 Steven Lenhart

Subs:...1 David Bingham (gk)...7 Khari Stephenson (mid)...9 Sercan Guvenisik (fwd)...10 Simon Dawkins (mid)...14 Jean-Marc Alexandre (fwd)
...21 Jason Hernandez (def)...30 Rafael Baca (mid)
team officials:...head coach Frank Yallop

Game officials:...referee Silviu Petrescu...referee's assistants Darren Clark and Daniel Belleau...fourth official Geoff Gamble... (gray shirts, black shorts and socks)...this was an all-Canadian crew.

1st Half:...game starts 1:11pm...TFC defend north end on this cold and overcast afternoon with a gusty wind during the entire game.
1 min...TFC Silva suffers leg injury on TFC edge of box defending SJE Lenhart rushing for long throw-in from left by SJE Corrales.
2 min...SJE Corrales long throw-in from left has SJE Lenhart leap with back to goal and twist 12 yard header for easy stop by goalie on left post.
3 min...SJE Lenhart has offside goal called back on his 12 yard low shot up middle into right corner of net.
4 min...SJE Corrales 45 yard freekick from near left sideline is over players on edge of box and bounces wide right for a goalkick.
5 min...SJE Lenhart chips pass from 35 yards down middle that bounces to goalie.
6 min...TFC Dunfield 50 yard freekick from left has SJE Lenhart pop up header for goalie to catch.
7 min...SJE Salinas blasts shot down middle from 25 yards that's batted wide left by goalie flying right.
8 min...SJE Chavez cornerkick from left is headed away from 6 yard box by TFC Johnson.
8 min...SJE Chris Wondolowski GOAL...SJE Cronin recovers TFC Johnson's header on last play at 20 yards and rolls pass over to SJE Chavez who's running over after taking the cornerkick. Chavez taps ball back to Cronin who from 20 yards just outside left edge of box dribbles along 20 yard line towards center of box and chip pass towards right goalpost and Wondolowski in crowd of players runs over and heads 6 yarder from right to right side of goal just beside TFC goalie Milos Kocic.
9 min...TFC Morgan long run on left sideline sends in low cross that has TFC Johnson stick out foot at 10 yards and actually clear ball out of SJE box.
13 min...TFC Johnson cross from 22 yards on right has SJE Beitashour head ball away in box at 12 yards preventing TFC Plata from getting to it.
13 min...TFC Lambe low cross from 28 yards on right after TFC Eckersley had saved ball from rolling out of bounds has TFC Johnson win cornerkick backing into pass at 8 yards in box as SJE defender Bernardez put foot through and deflected it wide.
14 min...TFC Dunfield cornerkick from right is short and TFC Plata crosses from 20 yards on right into box that TFC Aceval heads down at 15 yards and diving SJE Lenhart heads forward to SJE Chavez just outside box to make clearance.
14 min...TFC Johnson holds off SJE Beitashour on run down left sideline and crosses from 28 yards on left wide right for goalkick.
19 min...TFC Morgan rolls cross from 20 yards from left that has SJE Beitashour as nearest defender on left slide at 8 yards and concede cornerkick.
19 min...TFC Dunfield cornerkick from left is well over players in box and out for throw-in.
22 min...SJE Salinas low 20 yard cross from right has TFC Aceval lift leg and deflect ball for cornerkick.
22 min...SJE Salinas cornerkick from right is caught by goalie over head of SJE Wondolowski in crowd of players. TFC goalie punts ball downfield to try to find TFC Plata at SJE 30 yards.
23 min...TFC Morgan swats SJE Wondolowski in nose as both ran for ball near center line sideline.
24 min...TFC Morgan slides and crosses from 25 yards on left is well high and wide left of net.
24 min...TFC Lambe wins cornerkick on run up right and cross that sliding SJE Chavez knocks behind line near cornerflag.
25 min...TFC Dunfield cornerkick from right has goalie punch ball away at 5 yards up middle. TFC Silva takes midair shot of partial clearance up middle at 15 yards that's well over net.
26 min...TFC Silva runs down right wing and passes off to TFC Lambe at 25 yard line who rolls pass back to him as he continued his run. Silva crosses from 18 yards on right and TFC Johnson knocks ball down with foot at 8 yards on right, cuts along 6 yard box with SJE Bernardez and scuffs at ball as he falls and catches leg of Bernardez injurying him. Ball rolls across box where SJE goalie smothers it at 6 yards before it reaches TFC Plata.
28 min...A misty rain starts for the first time since the pre-game warm ups.
29 min...SJE Corrales bends in high cross from 30 yards on left that TFC goalie fumbles ball over his head and gets hand to swat down. SJE Wondolowski is behind him at 5 yards and cuts back but can't get away clear shot with defenders surrounding him.
30 min...TFC Plata heads short pass over to TFC Silva who shoots 25 yarder down middle over net ending a stretch of TFC pressure.
31 min...SJE Salinas cornerkick from left has SJE Bernardez with back to goal at 5 yards head ball wide right of net.
32 min...TFC Dunfield 40 yard freekick from left is stopped on edge of box by defender.
33 min...TFC Lambe low 30 yard cross from right has SJE Cronin clear ball in box at 12 yards straight out to TFC Dunfield who slides to send low cross to TFC Plata who rolls ball forward from 22 yards to TFC Johnson who taps ball back to him as he's backing into defender. Plata then passes wide left to TFC Morgan who crosses in from 20 yards on left that has TFC Silva head ball over net from 8 yards stopping in front of defender.
35 min...SJE YELLOW card...Corrales earns it for delay of game taking throw-in at SJE 25 yards as third SJE player to take throw-in.
36 min...TFC Lambe crosses through box from 25 yards on right and TFC Silva at 10 yards glances header across box just a step in front of sliding TFC Plata at 7 yards on left and ball bounces for goalkick.
37 min...SJE Salinas cross from 30 yards on right has SJE Wondolowski one-touch shank shot from 18 yards well wide right of net.
38 min...TFC Johnson stops ball crossed in from left, turns, and takes low 22 yard shot down middle is smothered by goalie.
40 min...TFC Eckersley 40 yard cross downfield through SJE box is ahead of TFC Plata and TFC Johnson on left who are both flagged offside.
41 min...TFC de Guzman chips pass down middle to TFC Johnson on left who can't control ball and it rolls for a goalkick.
43 min...TFC Johnson sends high cross from near right cornerflag into box and SJE player heads away.
44 min...SJE Salinas 30 yard freekick from right has TFC Aceval and SJE Bernardez at 15 yards twist header back for goalie to catch.
45 min...SJE Chavez is injured in collision with TFC Harden in center circle.
46 min...SJE Lenhart crosses from left end line behind net running for long throw-in downfield.
47 min...TFC Morgan pushes pass too far on pass from left sideline downfield for TFC Johnson and goalie grabs ball.
47 min...SJE Lenhart leaps over two defenders and heads ball forward from 25 yards that goalie grabs on edge of box ahead of charging SJE Wondolowski.
48 min...half ends 1:59pm.

Halftime entertainment:...There was a recap of the TFC Dream Job contest. There had been 440 entrants that they'd whittled down to five finalists. They then called three forward and eliminated them and then awarded the remaining contestants Bobby and Rachel the prize. In other words there are two winners. I suppose there are enough media/video positions to keep both a male and a female busy for the season.

2nd Half:...starts 2:14pm...the weather is still cold and windy with a misty rain falling.
Halftime sub:...TFC Koevermans replaces Dunfield.
45 min...TFC Koevermans dekes goalie on right at 12 yards but taps centering pass from end line and SJE Beitashour clears at 4 yards.
46 min...TFC Lambe turns and shoots up middle from 18 yards low and wide right of net.
47 min...TFC Plata has defender poke check ball from behind just inside SJE box.
49 min...TFC Silva is injured on edge of SJE box.
51 min...SJE YELLOW card...Beitashour earns it for upending TFC Plata at 28 yards who was waiting for TFC de Guzman chipped pass from right.
52 min...TFC Koevermans 30 yard freekick up middle on TFC de Guzman tap over is low and blocked in player wall.
54 min...TFC Johnson wins cornerkick on cross near left cornerflag that tips off head of sliding SJE Beitashour.
54 min...TFC Lambe cornerkick on left has goalie fumble ball wide right of net for another cornerkick.
54 min...TFC Silva cornerkick from right has leaping TFC Koevermans in crowd of players at 9 yards head ball that deflects off defender at 7 yards and stopped by SJE Moreno stops on end line 2 yards wide right of net and concede another cornerkick.
55 min...TFC Silva cornerkick from right has ball headed away from 15 yards by defender and TFC Silva crosses through edge of box wide left but TFC Plata keeps it in play on left sideline and passes back to TFC Morgan who chips high 30 yarder that defender heads away from 12 yards in box.
56 min...SJE Shea Salinas GOAL...SJE Steven Beitashour intercepts pass at SJE 30 yard line on wing and runs up right and slides which pushes ball forward from 40 yards to SJE Marvin Chavez who receives pass at 25 yards on right and he sends low cross from 15 yards for two SJE players waiting on left side of box but ball is behind them and Salinas charges forward and blasts low 15 yard shot from left that TFC Richard Eckersley and sprawling goalie can's stop from flying into left side of net just inside post.
56 min...SJE sub...Baca replaces Moreno.
58 min...SJE Chavez low 30 yard freekick from right has SJE Wondolowski stick foot back and deflect from 8 yards high and wide right for goalkick.
58 min...TFC Johnson high cross from 35 yards on left near sideline is well high and wide left of net.
60 min...TFC Lambe cross from right from 15 yards is headed on right by leaping SJE Morrow for cornerkick.
60 min...TFC Silva cornerkick from right has header popped up in crowd on right side of box over to leaping TFC Johnson who heads ball wide left from 6 yards.
62 min...SJE goalie takes 85 yard freekick that bounces to the TFC goalie.
63 min...TFC sub...Maund replaces Harden.
63 min...TFC Eckersley cross from 35 yards on right is over the head of TFC Koevermans at 15 yards and defender heads ball out of box. TFC Morgan recovers ball at 25 yards and pokes ball through crowd but another SJE defender clears.
64 min...TFC Silva crosses from 15 yards along left end line and goalie gets hands to it to push it forward. TFC Guzman rushes through middle to one-touch blast low 25 yard shot just wide right of net.
65 min...SJE Baca 40 yard bouncer from left is easily caught by goalie.
65 min...SJE Lenhart in alone kicks in a goal from 15 yards while offside and the whistle had blown.
67 min...SJE Chris Wondolowski GOAL...SJE Steven Lenhart at TFC 45 yard line in center passes back to SJE Sam Cronin at SJE 50 yards who chips ball up middle to sprinting SJE Rafael Baca who receives ball at TFC 35 yards on breakaway and rushes to 15 yards on right and with goalie coming forward to try to stop him, Baca chips ball to left between retreating TFC Aaron Maund and TFC Richard Eckersley that finds Wondolowski but ball is stopped by him but rolls through his legs. He has time to take a step back to regain possession then shoot low 8 yard shot through those two defenders and into right side of net. SJE Marvin Chavez was injured at SJE 45 yards away from play.
70 min...TFC Koevermans turns SJE Morrow inside out on right wing and rolls cross through box that TFC Johnson misses at 6 yards. TFC Plata rescues ball on left and rushes to edge of box where he taps pass to TFC de Guzman who blasts low 22 yarder up middle that deflects off sliding defender and bounces to goalie.
71 min...SJE sub...Stephenson replaces still injured Chavez.
71 min...SJE Lenhart can't slide far enough at TFC 10 yards to ball sent into TFC box and goalie smothers it.
73 min...TFC Silva cornerkick from right is rolled out to TFC Eckersley who crosses from 30 yards on left that leaping SJE Cronin heads behind end line from 15 yards.
73 min...TFC Plata cornerkick from left has ball partially cleared back to him and his recross from 20 yards is headed away by SJE Lenhart in box at 6 yards.
74 min...SJE Lenhart rushes forward to save through ball pass on endline and passes back to charging SJE Wondolowski who shoots 9 yarder high over net with sliding TFC Eckersley causing him to rush his shot.
75 min...TFC Johnson crosses from 35 yards on left that has SJE goalie leap to catch at 5 yards just ahead of charging TFC Koevermans.
76 min...SJE Wondolowski rolls cross from 25 yards on left and SJE Lenhart stops ball at 15 yards and shoots that sliding TFC Aceval deflects upward and goalie palms ball over bar from 3 yards for cornerkick.
76 min...SJE Salinas cornerkick from right has ball curl out of box and SJE Baca at 25 yards on left chips cross through box that bounces wide right for goalkick.
78 min...SJE Cronin chips pass from 60 yards on left up middle that finds charging SJE Wondolowski at 30 yards. He pushes ball forward to SJE Lenhart who gets to edge of box and backheels to Wondolowski who has it knock off him and bounce too far forward for goalie to smother at 8 yards.
78 min...TFC Koevermans can't get away shot on edge of box as SJE Morrow pokes away his attempt then TFC Johnson dives over him as he rushes out of box.
80 min...TFC Silva can't win cornerkick on two blocked shots on right.
82 min...SJE Cronin 35 yard shot from right is well high and wide left of net.
83 min...TFC Johnson leaps in crowd of players and heads 12 yarder wide right on 55 yard chip from TFC Aceval from left.
84 min...TFC sub...Soolsman replaces injured Plata.
85 min...SJE sub...Dawkins replaces Salinas.
86 min...SJE Dawkins rush down left wing and rolls cross through box that SJE Baca and goalie miss at 6 yards on left post and SJE Wondolowski all alone on right side shoots low 6 yarder from right that hits the post and deflects along right end line. Wondolowski rescues at cornerflag, passes back to SJE Beitashour who crosses from 25 yards that defender heads away.
88 min...TFC de Guzman low 25 yard blast deflects off TFC Koevermans and pops up wide left for goalkick.
89 min...TFC Johnson overruns ball on edge of SJE box.
90 min...SJE goalie runs and picks up bouncer along left end line.
91 min...SJE players keep cornerkick in right corner until goalkick awarded.
92 min...SJE Lenhart can't win Penalty kick with TFC Morganas they run for pass into box.
92:56 min...game ends 3:02pm.

Final Score:.....Toronto FC......0..........San Jose Earthquakes...........3........

Attendance was announced as 20753 for TFC sixth season home opener. That would be considered a sellout but there were a lot of no-shows on this cold and windy afternoon. There has always been problems with home games being so early in the season but this year the weather had actually quite warm over the last week until this day when it was suddenly colder than the last little while. I'm glad I brought my parka.

The field was buzzed by what looked like a cargo plane right after the national anthems were played. The PA system deliberately turned off the volume of 'O Canada' so the fans would continue on their own. Air cannons were set off in the south end as usual and shot out smoke and confetti. That looks good everytime they do it but today the confetti on the ground kept being picked up by the gusty wind and that and napkins from the hot dogs were whirling around throughout the game.

I had figured the high gusty winds on this cold day would favour Toronto FC but the Earthquakes did not look uncomfortable. Both goalie's had some fumbled balls.

The Toronto backline was being shredded the whole game and it got worse when TFC subbed on more offensive players to try to come back.

Chris Wondolowski was just a goalpost away from scoring a hat trick today. He hit the post with an open net shot from 6 yards at 86 minutes. The Earthquakes defence was solid now allowing only one goal in three MLS games this season and the goal was on a Penalty kick. Their record was certainly helped by TFC only putting one shot on net.

Today's refereeing crew was All-Canadian. I got a return wave from Sylviu Petrescu whom I watch a few times per year in the CSL (Canadian Soccer League). He gave out only two Yellow cards in a rather tame but wide open game.

Man of the Match (which is always a TFC player) was announced as Reggie Lambe who played on the wing and took many of the cornerkicks. A heckler after the game was yelling from a few rows behind me in the stands "What had he done to deserve first star? Absolutely nothing!" amusing the security crew.

Toronto FC had never beaten the Earthquakes at this stadium in now their fifth game here. They have won twice in San Jose but the unbalanced schedule this year mean TFC doesn't make a road trip to play them.

The result was another case of a Western Division team beating an Eastern Division team as has happened the first two weeks of the season. I had predicted that TFC would make the playoffs in the very weak East. (almost like a first and second division). Next week's opponent Columbus Crew won their game later in the day 2-0 against the expansion Montreal Impact. Both teams have more points than TFC. [Later results in this third week have had Eastern teams post a 3 wins. 2 losses, 1 tie in games against Western teams which just drives the TFC playoff chances downwards.]

Last night it was announced that TFC goalie Stefan Frei had been injured in training and would miss 8 to 10 weeks with a broken fibula. The team borrowed an MLS pool goalie (Brian Rowe) to sit on the bench for today's game rather than one of their Academy goalies.

Unlike last year, Toronto FC won't be able to bring in Designated Players in the middle of the year if they have to turn their season around as they already have the maximum three on their roster that the league allows. Earthquakes have no Designated Players and their owner is supposedly waiting until they move into their new stadium next year.

I made sure that I left through the north gates today as the BMO bank handed out fridge magnets and I missed mine last year.

Returning home that evening I found that Canada's Olympic team had beaten the United States. TFC defender Doneil Henry scored one of the Canadian goals. TFC midfielder Matt Stinson played on the Canadian defence. Earthquakes defender Ike Opara is on the US team so was missing from today's lineup.

Rocket Robin

stats from torontofc.ca, MLSsoccer.com and espn.go.com

Major Events

Goals and Assists
SJ   9  Chris Wondolowski  (Sam Cronin)
SJ  56  Shea Salinas       (Marvin Chavez, Steven Beitashour)
SJ  68  Chris Wondolowski  (Rafael Baca, Sam Cronin)

Match Info
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Attendance: 20070

SJ  Ramiro Corrales  Time wasting  36
SJ  Steven Beitashour  Foul        51

Toronto - Milos Kocic; Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden (Aaron Maund 64'), Miguel Aceval, Ashtone Morgan; Julian de Guzman, 
Terry Dunfield (Danny Koevermans 46'), Luis Silva; Reggie Lambe, Ryan Johnson, Joao Plata (Nick Soolsma 85') 
... Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe; Logan Emory, Eric Avila, Efrain Burgos Jr.
San Jose - Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow, Ramiro Corrales; Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas (Simon Dawkins 85'), 
Tressor Moreno (Rafael Baca 57'), Marvin Chavez (Khari Stephenson 72'); Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski 
... Substitutes not used: David Bingham; Jean-Marc Alexandre, Jason Hernandez, Sercan Guvenisik.

General Game Stats
Toronto                 San Jose
 13    Attempts on Goal    11
  1    Shots on Target      6
  8    Shots off Target     5
  4    Blocked Shots        0
  9    Corner Kicks         5
  6    Fouls               16
 34    Open Play Crosses   12
  3    Offsides             4
  0    Yellow Cards         2
  0    Red Cards            0
 38    Duels Won           25
 60%   Duels Won %         39%
411    Total Pass         268
 71%   Passing Accuracy %  63%
 60.8% Possession          39.2%

TFC Terry Dunfield chats with SJE Shea Salinas during warm ups--maybe about their time spent with Vancouver Whitecaps last year.

TFC starters

Earthquakes starters

Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski (8) and Steven Lenhart (24) take the opening kickoff.

TFC Ashtone Morgan takes throw-in.

TFC Joao Plata runs towards the middle.

TFC Luis Silva (11) taps this freekick over to TFC Julian de Guzman (6) to blast shot.

SJE Shea Salinas has teammates congratulate him after scoring.

SJE Steven Lenhart rushes along sideline.

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