By Cory Schulz
The home opener for Toronto FC was everything that Aron Winter, the players as well as the 20, 086 supporters at BMO Field could have hopedfor; a convincing 2-0 win over expansion side, Portland Timbers. After a disappointing 4-2 loss at the hands of their new Canadian MLS rivals last week, Toronto bounced back with two goals from first year man Javier Martina. Martina converted Captain Dwayne De Rosario’s pass in the 14th minute, giving TFC an early lead which they never relinquished.
Martina signed with the club earlier this year after spending most of his time playing for the Ajax youth squad, a team that was also coached by the world-renowned Dutch International, Aron Winter. Martina’s contract with the Amsterdam club expired last year after suffering a serious ACL injury which left a big question surroudning his future at the Dutch side.\
Martina later scored again in the 70th minute after latching onto a Stefan Frei goal kick and volleying a first time shot past Portland substitute keeper, Jake Gleeson. Although Portland did have more of the possession, Toronto played a controlled game and kept to their game plan. Portland striker Kenny Cooper was relentless on the attack, creating chaos for TFC’s back line throughout the game as he was able to draw several fouls in key positions.
Adrian Cann was moved back into the centre back from the left, a position he played all of last season and is naturally suited for. Mikael Yourassowsky came in and started at the left back position and provided a much needed spark, one that was missed during last weeks match versus Vancouver. However after receiving his second yellow card for time wasting, the Reds were forced to play the last six minutes plus injury time with ten men.
Newly signed Serbian International Alen Stevanovic, the 20 year-old who joined Toronto last week from Italy’s Serie B team Torino F.C., made his season debut in the second half, coming on as a substitute for midfielder Nathan Sturgis. Due to fatigue, the young Serb did very little to impress, however, Aron Winter remained optimistic and suggested that fans can expect better things as the season progresses.