Result of the Saturday August 23, 2014, MLS game between Toronto FC and Chicago Fire played at BMO Field in Toronto at 7:00pm.

Toronto FC (all red, white names and numbers)

.......................12 Joseph Bendik
28 Mark Bloom...13 Steven Caldwell (cpt)...17 Nick Hagglund...2 Justin Morrow
23 Dominic Oduro...26 Collen Warner...Michael Bradley...21 Jonathan Osorio
...............18 Jermain Defoe...9 Gilberto

Subs:...1 Chris Konopka (gk)...7 Bright Dike (fwd)...8 Kyle Bekker (mid)...11 Jackson (mid)...15 Doneil Henry (def)
...16 Bradley Orr (def)...27 Luke Moore (fwd)
team officials:...head coach Ryan Nelsen

Chicago Fire (all navy, white names and numbers)

.................25 Sean Johnson
5 Lovel Palmer...20 Jeff Larentowicz (cpt)...4 Bakary Soumare...13 Gonzalo Segares
11 Sanna Nyassi...30 Razvan Cocis...22 Matt Watson...7 Alex
...........24 Quicy Amarikwa...19 Harry Shipp

Subs:...28 Kyle Reynish (gk)...6 Patrick Ianni (def)...8 Grant Ward (mid)...12 Logan Pause (mid)...15 Matthew Fondy (fwd)
...21 Chris Ritter (mid)...88 Robert Earnshaw (fwd)
team officials:...head coach Frank Yallop

Game officials:...referee Daniel Fitzgerald...referee's assistants Joe Fletcher and Bill Dittmar...fourth official Silviu Petrescu
...(neon yellow shirts, black shorts and socks)

1st Half:...game starts 7:08pm...TFC defends south end on this warm and overcast evening with the sun occasionally coming out in the first half in the north west.
1 min...Fire Amarikwa in middle sends short pass to right for Fire Nyassi who rolls 15 yard shot from right that goalie dives forward to smother at 4 yards.
2 min...Fire Alex 30 yard forward pass down middle rolls wide right of net.
2 min...TFC (Fire Bakary Soumare OWN goal) GOAL...TFC Jonathan Osorio sends through ball pass up left wing from 50 yard line that finds charging TFC Justin Morrow who sends in cross from 18 yards on far left that Soumare jumps and heads from 6 yards on left that tips over goalie Sean Johnson and TFC Gilberto into right corner of own net.
3 min...Fire Nyassi cross from 25 yards on right lands on top of net.
4 min...TFC Oduro run down right and pass from 35 yards over to TFC Gilberto whose 20 yard shot from left is by sliding Fire Palmer in block attempt has goalie fly to push ball wide right of post.
5 min...TFC Warner cornerkick from right bends behind net before it comes back in play so play is flagged down.
8 min...TFC Oduro is called offside on give and go when he gets pass at 12 yards on far right.
9 min...Fire goalie rushes to 15 yards on right and outjumps TFC Defoe to catch Fire Soumare's headed backpass from 25 yards.
13 min...Fire Segares is injured by TFC Defoe high kick to chest in center circle.
16 min...TFC Gilberto wins freekick on trip by Fire Nyassi running along 22 yard line.
17 min...TFC Gilberto blasts 22 yard freekick down middle off player wall and deflects away from box on left.
18 min...Fire Watson pushes TFC Caldwell over and off ball at center line on left and run into 3 on 3 and 25 yard shot deflects off defender and bounces low and goalie catches near left post.
19 min...Fire YELLOW card...Palmer earns it for trip on TFC Morrow rushing down left to Fire 18 yard line.
20 min...TFC Morrow 25 yard freekick from left near sideline has Fire Amarikwa head ball from 15 yards high and wide right.
20 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from right has TFC Hagglund one-touch shot from 12 yards and defender dives forward at 6 yards to head away partial clearance and play is whistled down.
21 min...TFC sub...Henry replaces Caldwell.
22 min...TFC Defoe is called on delayed offside when ball comes to him at 45 yards and goal is called back.
22 min...Fire Watson bends low 30 yarder from left through player traffic that goalie stops on right post.
23 min...Fire Soumare is injured in center circle when TFC Gilberto backs into him as he jumped for ball.
25 min...Fire Nyassi wins cornerkick on cross near right cornerflag by sliding TFC Osorio.
26 min...Fire Alex cornerkick from right is short and his cross when he gets ball back at 22 yards on right has TFC Hagglund head away at 6 yards even with left post.
26 min...Fire goalie clearance from 22 yards hits TFC Defoe and earns Fire throw-in on deflection to left.
28 min...TFC Bradley rolls pass from 25 yards up middle to TFC Oduro and shot from 15 yards on right is past diving goalie but Fire Palmer clears from left post.
29 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from right is over goalie at 6 yards on right post and TFC Gilberto heads 7 yarder in middle wide left of post.
30 min...TFC Bradley 45 yard freekick from right has defender in crowd of players head away from 12 yards in box.
31 min...Fire Alex injures TFC Oduro on body check in center circle.
32 min...Fire Alex rolls ball forward on left to Fire Amarikwa who rushes in alone but has to chip retreating TFC Henry at 12 yards and shot high and wide right as goalie came out on left to cut down his angle.
35 min...Fire Palmer long cross from 35 yards on right has TFC Hagglund pop up header from 8 yards in middle of box and Fire player rolls center pass and another player taps ball back for Fire Alex to shoot low 22 yarder from left that has TFC Bradley clear from just inside box but his pass is intercepted. Fire Palmer gets pass back and cross from 35 yards on right has Fire player on left chip 30 yarder that bounces through box and TFC Morrow clears from 8 yards on right.
37 min...Fire Nyassi can't win Penalty kick on TFC Henry check inside TFC box on right and TFC wins throw-in.
38 min...Fire YELLOW card...Alex earns it for push on TFC Osorio at Fire 50 yards. This was at least the third time Alex had made this kind of play which had only resulted in freekicks up to now.
39 min...TFC Defoe is checked off ball on edge of Fire box.
40 min...TFC Oduro wins cornerkick on deflection off defender on his 15 yard shot from far right.
40 min...TFC Bradley cornerkick from right has goalie punch ball away in crowd of players at 10 yards.
42 min...Fire Cocis scissor tackle on edge of Fire box to stop TFC Bloom before he can get away shot.
43 min...Fire Shipp 30 yard freekick from left has TFC Hagglund clear.
44 min...Fire Amarikwa is injured near center line by TFC Henry.
45 min...TFC Bloom check on Fire Alex on left causes him to push ball over TFC end line for goalkick.
46 min...half ends 7:54pm.

Halftime Entertainment: there was the usual pizza giveaway, video of TFC staff training Aboriginal coaches, Drumsticks ice cream giveaway, and Scott's Lawn Lounge seat upgrade. There was a soccer mini game with children from Azzurri Soccer Club. The groundskeepers had just finished watering the field so the kids slipped at lot. The song played at least was the Shakira World Cup song "La La La" (more dignified that The Benny Hill Theme of year's past). There was an ALS Challenge involving members of the Red Patch Boys getting cold water dumped over their heads for fundraising for a cure for ALS. I could see Tim Leiweke from MLSE shake their hands after the challenge.

2nd Half:...starts 8:10pm.
45 min...Fire YELLOW card...Soumare earns it for body check on TFC Oduro at Fire 22 yard line while running up right wing.
45 min...TFC Warner 30 yard freekick from right has TFC Henry in crowd of players head ball down from 8 yards that bounces wide right of post.
48 min...TFC Morrow pass to TFC Defoe but defender clears off Defoe at 12 yards and ball deflects for goalie to catch.
49 min...TFC Oduro rolls pass from 22 yards in middle to right and TFC Oduro 15 yarder from right over net.
50 min...Fire Nyassi rolls cross from 25 yards on right is into box and TFC Bloom clears away.
54 min...Fire Palmer rolls centering pass from 25 yards on right has Fire Nyassi shoot over net from 12 yards. TFC Morrow is injured on play.
56 min...TFC YELLOW card...Warner earns it for sliding tackle on Fire Amarikwa at TFC 22 yard line on left.
57 min...Fire sub...Ward replaces Shipp.
.........TFC sub...Jackson replaces the injured Morrow.
57 min...Fire Alex 28 yard freekick from left has Fire players pop up header at 16 yards and defenders clear from box.
58 min...Fire Larentowicz has freekick from 22 yards blocked by charging TFC Warner after Fire Alex taps ball over to him.
59 min...TFC Hagglund dives forward at 8 yards on left to head away Fire Segares cross from 20 yards on left. Fire players at 20 yards in middle pops up shot that TFC goalie punches away over jumping Fire Amarikwa at 4 yards and is injured.
63 min...TFC Defoe is again blocked from taking shot on edge of Fire box.
64 min...Fire Ward 25 yard shot deflects wide left for cornerkick.
64 min...Fire sub...Earnshaw replaces Nyassi.
65 min...Fire Ward cornerkick from left is short give and go not worked into box before TFC Osorio clears with header.
66 min...Fire Cocis off-balance 35 yard chip from right bounces to goalie.
66 min...Fire Sagares cross from 25 yards near left end line has TFC Hagglund kick clearance from 3 yards on left post.
68 min...Fire Ward cornerkick from left has TFC Bloom head ball away from left post but play is whistled/flagged down.
69 min...Fire Robert Earnshaw GOAL...Fire Matt Watson at 30 yards in middle pushes ball over to Fire Grant Ward who crosses from 28 yards from right past retreating TFC Nick Hagglund at 8 yards and has Earnshaw fly forward and down middle and head 6 yarder to left side of net past goalie Joe Bendik guarding right post.
71 min...TFC Warner 30 yard freekick from right has Fire Palmer kick ball at up at 8 yards and goalie punches away on left post. TFC Osorio crosses low from 18 yards on left that deflects off defender and Fire Cocis heads back to goalie for catch from 10 yards on left.
71 min...Fire Ward cross from 28 yards on left is just over goalie and Fire Earnshaw both in 6 yards box and out right side of box. Ball crossed in from 25 yards on right side has TFC Henry and Fire Amarikwe bump together at 8 yards and referee awards TFC freekick.
74 min...Fire Watson long cross from 35 yards on right has TFC Jackson head ball away on left just inside box.
75 min...Fire Earnshaw spins and shoots 28 yarder from left well over net.
75 min...TFC sub...Moore replaces Defoe.
77 min...TFC Gilberto gets 15 yard shot that pops up on block by defender and deflects over to TFC Oduro who runs forward to 10 yards on right and low cross has defender clear from 6 yards.
78 min...TFC Gilberto GOAL...TFC Doneil Henry blocks shot by Fire Razvan Cocis at 10 yards and ball deflects off him and upfield to TFC Gilberto at TFC 50 yards who taps pass back to TFC Luke Moore who then sends pass forward from 65 yards for charging Gilberto who receives ball at 40 yards and rounds goalie at 15 yards on move to right and rolls ball into empty net from 8 yards eluding sliding Jeff Larentowicz.
80 min...TFC Bradley 28 yard freekick down middle is high of net.
81 min...TFC Gilberto taps short pass forward from 45 yards for TFC Osorio to start break on left and Fire Larentowicz deflects his 18 yard shot just wide right of post for cornerkick. Fire Palmer is hurt earlier on play in bump of heads with Fire Larentowicz.
82 min...TFC Warner cornerkick from right is headed away from box from 6 yards in middle.
83 min...TFC Oduro low cross from 25 yards near right cornerflag has goalie on knees catch ball at 4 yards.
85 min...Fire Alex cross from 28 yards on left has TFC Hagglund head ball away from 8 yards even with left post.
85 min...Fire Ward cross from 25 yards on right has retreating TFC Jackson in middle at 7 yards head ball through box over left end line preventing Fire Earnshaw from connecting on flying header on left.
86 min...TFC Bloom wins cornerkick after long run on left and cuts along end line towards goal and Fire Palmer tap away from 10 yards.
86 min...TFC Osorio cornerkick from left is over players and out right for Fire throw-in.
89 min...Fire Quincy Amarikwa GOAL...Fire Lovel Palmer on rush on right stops and TFC Mark Bloom runs by him. He turns and crosses from 22 yards on right that has Fire Robert Earnshaw miss bicycle kick at 8 yards while even with right post and ball bounces to left where Amarikwa waiting on left boots 8 yarder high into short left corner of net.
90 min...TFC Moore backwards header down middle from 15 yards in middle is caught by goalie just wide right of net.
90 min...Fire YELLOW card...Segares earns it for pulling down TFC Oduro on right end line.
92 min...TFC Warner 22 yard freekick from far right has nearest defender clear but TFC Osorio has 20 yard shot down middle partially blocked and goalie catches wide right of net.
92 min...TFC Henry and Fire Ward are in pushing match at TFC 30 yard line.
93 min...Fire Alex 35 yard freekick from right has goalie punch ball away in crowd of players at 6 yards but play whistled down right away.
94 min...game ends 8:59pm.

Final Score:.....Toronto FC.......2..........Chicago Fire...........2........

Attendance was announced as a sellout at 22591 on this mild evening. Our tickets allowed us free admission to the Canadian National Exhibition. Getting to the game was difficult as the subway wasn't running between Eglinton and Bloor on the Yonge line (yes again!) which meant detours for me.

Man of the Match (who is always a TFC player) was announced as forward Gilberto. That is his first goal scored at BMO Field since his signing in the off season. It was an easy choice as he scored their non 'own-goal' and had the best chances of any of the TFC forwards.

I didn't see this result coming! I thought I'd finally be giving some respect to Gilberto who played a lot better than the other two designated players.

Fire's newly signed Robert Earnshaw (who hadn't even been assigned a number by the MLS online program on Thursday) scored after only 5 minutes. He was the leading scorer on TFC last year with eight goals but was let go so TFC could spend on Designated players. Actually Earnshaw scoring prescence had fizzled near the end of the season after returning from injury. I thought he was a poor man's Jermain Defoe as they are the same size, quickness, and look somewhat the same.

Fire's Quincy Amarikwa who played for TFC for part of 2012 scored the tieing goal.

TFC Jermain Defoe played 75 minutes but didn't get a good chance on goal because his shots were blocked or he was checked off the ball.

TFC Michael Bradley had been blasting shots off target all through the warmups today and he even stayed late and was still shooting high or wide so his freekick at 80 minutes didn't surprise me when it was high and wide left.

The Fire eventually settled in after the own goal at 2 minutes although they didn't get a shot on net until 22 minutes.

TFC were limited in their choices of substitutes because defender/captain Steven Caldwell had to be replaced by Doneil Henry at 21 minutes. Caldwell was returning from injury and aggravated the quad terror that kept him out of the last seven games. Defender Justin Morrow was injured at 54 minutes and had to be replaced. That may have held back their last sub until 75 minutes--bringing in forward Luke Moore for the ineffective Jermain Defoe. Moore set up the TFC last goal within three minutes.

TFC Mark Bloom was returning from an injury that had caused him to miss their last six matches with an MCL strain. He played great with good defensive moves and some long runs down the wing.

The returning TFC players meant Luke Moore, Jackson, and Doneil Henry were sent to the subs bench and Dwayne De Rosario didn't even make the bench.

This was the first MLS game officiated by referee Daniel Fitzgerald from North Carolina. He had to break up some pushing matches but never lost control of the game. He game out four Yellow cards--three to the Fire.

TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said before last week's game against Sporting Kansas City that it was a "must win". I didn't think he needed to say that as beating the first place team away from home would be hard to do at the best of times. It was tonight and their next home games against fellow Eastern teams lower than them in the stadning that should be declared "must win" games.

Most TFC fans would be thrilled if they hang on to third place and avoid the one game play-in game between the fourth and fifth place teams to enter the two game series of the playoffs.

This result was the 14th tie for the Fire in 26 games. They also have only four wins but have lost only six times. Last week they lost on the road against Montreal Impact--the only team lower than them in the standings. Six losses is among the best in the league but only earning one point for every tie costs them in the league table.

Rocket Robin

stats from MLSsoccer.com
Match Information

Goals and Assists
3'   TOR  Bakary Soumaré (OG) 
70'  CHI  Robert Earnshaw       Assisted By: Grant Ward 
79'  TOR  Gilberto              Assisted By: Luke Moore 
90'  CHI  Quincy Amarikwa       Assisted By: Lovel Palmer 

20'     CHI  Lovel Palmer          Reason: Foul 
39'     CHI  Alex                  Reason: Persistent Infringement 
46'     CHI  Bakary Soumaré        Reason: Foul 
57'     TOR  Collen Warner         Reason: Foul 
90'+1'  CHI  Gonzalo Segares       Reason: Foul 

Toronto FC:    9-8-6  33 pts.
Chicago Fire:  4-6-14 26 pts.


Toronto FC – Joe Bendik; 
Mark Bloom, Steven Caldwell © (Doneil Henry 22’), Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow (Jackson 58’); 
Dominic Oduro, Michael Bradley, Collen Warner, Jonathan Osorio; 
Jermain Defoe (Luke Moore 77’), Gilberto 

Substitutes Not Used: Chris Konopka, Kyle Bekker, Bradley Orr, Bright Dike

Chicago Fire – Sean Johnson; 
Gonzalo Segares, Bakary Soumare, Jeff Larentowicz ©, Lovel Palmer; 
Sanna Nyassi (Robert Earnshaw 65’), Razvan Cocis, Harry Shipp (Grant Ward 58’), Matt Watson, Alex; 
Quincy Amarikwa

Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Chris Ritter, Logan Pause, Matthew Fondy, Patrick Ianni 


Team Statistics

TOR                           CHI
 11    Shots                   10 
  2    Shots on Target          3 
  4    Shots off Target         3 
  5    Blocked Shots            4 
  6    Corners                  4 
 15    Crosses                 22 
  3    Offsides                 2 
 20    Fouls                   21 
  1    Yellow Cards             4 
  0    Red Cards                0 
431    Total Passes           360 
 83 %  Passing Accuracy        80 % 
 54 %  Possession              46 % 
 66    Duels Won               41 
 14    Tackles Won             12 
  1    Saves                    1 
 17    Clearances              26 

Referee  Daniel Fitzgerald 
Assistant Referee  Joe Fletcher 
Assistant Referee  Bill Dittmar 
Fourth Official  Silviu Petrescu 

Toronto FC starters

Chicago Fire starters

Fire Harry Shipp (19) and Quincy Amarikwa (24) take opening kickoff.

TFC Dominic Oduro (23) on right sideline.

TFC Michael Bradley (4) passes to Mark Bloom (28)

TFC Gilberto (9) takes freekick.

TFC Jermain Defoe (18) and Gilberto (9) take second half kickoff.

TFC Gilberto (9) tries to cut around Fire Jeff Larentowicz (20).

Fire Grant Ward (8) takes cornerkick.

TFC Michael Bradley (4) will take freekick with Luke Moore (27) as a distraction.


My selfie of TFC defender Nick Hagglund and me inside the Food Building at the CNE on Wednesday the 20th.

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