By: Mike Newell
Things looked to be going against the home team early as Alejandro Moreno scored off bad TFC defending in just the second minute, however former Chivas striker Alan Gordon tied the game in the 36th minute off a whipped in set piece from midfielder Jacob Peterson.
Much of the buzz around the stadium had little to do with the match however as club supporters were still coming to grips with the Dwayne De Rosario trade. The reaction seemed to be split down the middle, one half believing that the trade needed to be made as the player was asking for money the club could not pay. The other that the club has once again let the supporters down by trading the club Captian, best player and home town boy. Coincidentally both Danleigh Borman and Tony Tchani, the players that were sent in return for De Rosario from New York made their club debuts in the starting 11.
The first half was a display of sloppy football by the home side, a poor giveaway and bad marking by the usually reliable Adrian Cann allowed Moreno to dribble though the defence for the opening goal just 2 minutes in. In his post match comments Head Coach Aron Winter was shocked at his club’s sluggish start in the first 25 minutes “We seemed to be asleep for the first 15 minutes. We had two new players in the team and they struggled for the first 10-15 minutes”. As TFC struggled to complete even the simplest of passes Chivas heaped on more pressure and could have made it two as Justin Braun missed a good headed opportunity. The California side were soon made to pay for their missed chance as off a free kick Jacob Petersen delivered an excellent ball into the box were Alan Gordon was left unmarked to head home the equalizer.
This seemed to spark the home side as they started to have better control of the ball and in the 44th minute looked like they had taken the lead when new Captain Maicon Santos headed in from close range. However the goal was disallowed by the side judge as he called the play offside, though the replays showed otherwise.
The second half was evenly played though lacking a cutting edge for a decisive goal. The introduction of club designated player and Canadian international Julian De Guzman at half time was a welcome and unexpected sight for Reds fans who were now looking for a new home town hero. He came on to a loud ovation and made a difference in the team’s ability to keep possession of the ball, though his lack of match sharpness showed at times. He commented after the game that “There were a couple of early runs in the game where I felt the physical side of things needed to be worked on but that will come naturally,” But I was very pleased to have 45 minutes with no pain, and the knee feels great.”
The only significant chance of the second half came in the 66th minute as Santos would miss a glorious chance after he beat the onside trap and was sent in alone on Goats keeper Dan Kennedy. Santos rounded Kennedy however it allowed time for former TFC defender Andrew Boyens to put him off and slide his effort wide of the post.
As referee Toledo blew for full time the attention once again shifted to De Rosario. Winter wanted to make it clear that “We gave him a very good offer for 3 years but he turned it down”. He also added that the former Captain requested to be traded during training camp as he wanted to be made in to a DP and make the larger salary. When pressed on how the club will use the extra cap room or who will be brought in to help score goals, Winter indirectly answered by saying the club will explore their options over the next few weeks. He also inadvertently hinted that the opening of the European transfer window will be a prime target. Although in the immediate future no signings were planned.