In one of their grittiest performances this young season, Toronto FC earned a hard fought point on the road Saturday night against the Earthquakes in a 1 – 1 tie. Striker Alan Gordon notched his second goal in as many games to give the Reds the lead at 27 minutes. That held up for only eleven minutes until Simon Dawkins got the equalizer for San Jose. The two sides continued a tough physical battle the rest of the way, with referee Ramon Hernandez reaching into his pocket to caution four players from each side. There could have been more.
Points on the road are hard to come by but more important than that, the 2011 edition of a remodeled Toronto team showed signs of developing into the type of football playing team new coach Aron Winter is striving for.
But not everywhere on the park.
Winter is still searching for his titled starters, mainly along the backline.
Defender Nana Attakora is looking less likely to fit the coaches plans in the middle alongside Adrian Cann. Benched at the half Attakora drew the coach’s specific scorn in a post match television interview blaming lax defending for the San Jose goal.
Winter is looking for more dimension from his defenders. He got it from recently acquired Danleigh Borman who teamed well adding to the attack out of the back with another new addition, Alen Stevanovic up front.
In the Winter system staunch defending is not enough. Where some people might praise Adrian Cann for playing a “stick in” type of defensive game, the coach seems unimpressed. That too, he let be known post match.
TFC will get little rest and even less training time to work on any repairs before their next match. They return home to face LA Galaxy Wednesday night.