TFC show some heart finally fighting back against the Galaxy and Gordon shows his value to this team.
I really hope that the readers on the eastern side of the country you stayed up past your normal bedtime on Saturday night to watch either, or hopefully both, of the Canadian teams in MLS action. Toronto FC found themselves as massive underdogs going into their road match against the Los Angeles Galaxy while Vancouver White Caps were focused on trying to snap their winless streak against rivals Seattle Sounders FC.
The first game that I am going to talk about, since I watched more of it, is the Toronto FC match. The sense among most TFC fans was that this was not going to be a good outing for the team and they were just hoping to keep things close. Recent history though would suggest that when these two teams meets it is likely to end in a draw but if you look at the forms of the two teams Toronto's chances looked slim. The Galaxy came into the match unbeaten in 7 games and on their second longest run in franchise history without conceding a goal. So when Chris Birchall opened the scoring only 2 minutes into the game I for one was thinking here we go again assuming that things were going to get ugly for TFC. Things would settle down though and TFC slowly seemed to be getting in to the game. A bad tackle from Beckham would see him get a caution just before the half hour mark and a lot of TFC fans were left wondering how he managed to avoid a red card as he would be spoken to about 2 fouls later in the game without receiving a second yellow. It really did seem like he was getting the old super star treatment and not being punished for his actions. The tackle also resulted in Toronto having to make one of its two first half changes as Tony Tchani seemed to pick up an injury and had to be replaced by Plata. Jacob Peterson would also have to leave the game before the half when his hamstring appeared to tighten up. He was replaced by Gordon who was returning to the TFC lineup after missing several games with a groin injury. In Gordon's absence TFC's attack looked weak and lacked any real punch but his return to the lineup paid off quickly. The first half ended with LA up 1-0 but it was no where near the dominant performance that many would have expected.
In the second half Toronto continued to fight back and show that they were not going to be pushovers. It was nice to see the team playing with some real heart and acting like they wanted to go out and try to salvage a result. In the end their effort paid off as Gordon marked his return to the lineup with a 68th minute goal that leveled things. It looked like TFC had done enough to earn a draw but in the 90th minute Juan Pablo Angel scored a heart breaking goal that seemed almost certain to send the Galaxy on to all 3 points. In the past Toronto would have folded like a cheap tent under that goal and not had enough about themselves to even try to fight back. They have a proven history of lacking any sort of performance in the clutch moments of matches and stoppage time goals have been few and far between for the club since their inception. On this night though things seemed to be very different as TFC bounced right back from going down 2-1 and went right to work trying to pull it back in stoppage time. Just as it seemed like time was going to run out on the Gordon again proved his value to the team as he scored his second of the game against his former team. Gordon managed to volley home the ball in to the top corner in what would have been one of the best MLS goals I have seen in a long time if not for one that took place in the Whitecaps game.