By: Cory Schulz
Toronto FC picked up their first point on the road of this new season last Saturday as they tied the San Jose Earthquakes 1-1. Toronto has had previous success at Buck Shaw Stadium, outscoring the opposition 6-2 in the last two meetings. TFC Head Coach Aron Winter started the same starting eleven as he did against Chivas and it paid dividends against former Reds midfielder Sam Cronin and the Earthquakes, who came into this record fielding the same 1-1-1 record as Toronto.
This encounter started off smashingly for The Reds as they took the lead in the 27th minute when Alan Gordon scored his second goal of the young season after some nice work down the left side by Stevanovic and Borman lead to a ricochet in the San Jose box that Gordon slotted home.
Midfielder Simon Dawkins, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, scored his first MLS goal in the 32nd minute to tie the score at one. It was the first goal for the Earthquakes from someone other than Wondolowski since Sept. 15.
As has been customary thus far this season, Aron Winter made a substitution at the half and Julian de Guzman came on for his second appearance of the season, replacing Nana Attakora. Ty Harden moved into the centre of defense and Jacob Peterson dropped back into the right fullback position. The lineup changes seemed to have had the desired effect, as TFC did a good job of holding San Jose in check for the majority of the second half.
Frei kept the draw intact, coming up with a huge save on Chris Wondolowski in the 50th minute which was followed by Ty Harden’s block on the second chance effort by the other San Jose striker. In the 87th minute Toronto’s efforts seemed all for not as Wondolowski went down in the area, however the referee awarded last year’s Golden Boot winner with a yellow card for diving. The game ended in a 1-1 draw and for TFC fans, the game showed a lot of promise as the side began to look comfortable playing Aron Winter’s style of football. Given the number of new faces in the lineup and on the roster, a draw against a team many expect to battle for a spot in the upper echelon of the Western Conference, was a positive development for the Reds. Alen Stevanovic looked a lot more comfortable as he continues to adapt to the new system and the MLS in general. Danleigh Borman and Tony Tchani, the two players acquired in the De Rosario trade, were very influential throughout the match as they looked much more poised and integrated with their teammates.
The upcoming midweek match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at BMO Field will provide Toronto with an excellent opportunity to test themselves against a side that is considered to be, if not the best, then one of the top three in the league. This is the type of club Toronto is aspiring to become, and under the guidance of Coach Aron Winter and his staff, the future looks bright.