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A Result to Build On: Toronto FC Score Late to Overcome the LA Galaxy

A couple of unlikely characters finally found the breakthrough for Toronto FC after weeks of scoring struggles.

Luke Galati

After over 300 minutes of scoreless soccer for Toronto FC, it would be a couple of centre-backs who finally broke the deadlock. After 76 minutes without a goal between Toronto and the LA Galaxy, the aftermath of a corner kick saw defenders Eriq Zavaleta and Drew Moor find themselves in the box.

Midfielder Benoit Cheyrou played a ball into them, which Zavaleta cleverly flicked into the path of Moor. He headed the ball across goal and into the back of the net for his second goal with Toronto FC.

The goal gave Toronto a crucial 1-0 victory over the Galaxy at BMO Field, breaking a four-game winless streak. Toronto FC will take three big points, evidently, but this wasn't likely the source they expected to finally produce some offence.

"I just had a feeling that [Zaveleta] knew I was there and it was a perfect header from him," said Moor of the setup before his goal. "I thought he and I were on the same page all night, even in the attacking half there, so it was a fun goal to score."

Zavaleta played striker at times when he was playing for Indiana University, something that certainly helped him assist today's goal. His awareness in the box led to a couple of other chances for Toronto FC prior to the goal.

Just a few weeks ago Zavaleta was on the outside looking in on the Toronto setup, and a player that many had highlighted as potentially surplus to Toronto's requirements. Instead, Zavaleta has started four of Toronto's last five games in all competitions. In that time Toronto has registered three clean sheets.

"He just plays what I think is good, intelligent centre-back play, I thought tonight was one of his good performances," said Vanney after the match of Zavaleta's play. "I think every night he's solid, but I think tonight was one of his good performances."

Most of the match was played in the middle of the park, as both sides struggled at times to break one another down. Once again, it was Cheyrou for Toronto who was dominant in the middle of the park. People around the club can't say enough about the Frenchman since he returned from injury.

Today he was once again at the centre of a lot of Toronto FC's best moves, and his passing and distribution created problems for the Galaxy. Off the ball, his leadership has been incredibly important for this team during a time when their captain, Michael Bradley, is off with the United States.

"He brings a nice calm to the group," said Vanney of what Cheyrou brings to the table. "He's very composed, he's very disciplined, he reads the game well. He moves a lot of guys around and he gives the group that is playing around him a lot of confidence and a lot of freedom to express themselves as players."

In the final third Toronto FC once again struggled at times. Both Mo Babouli and Jordan Hamilton did some good things alongside Sebastian Giovinco, but never really got enough service to threaten the Galaxy.

The good news is that Giovinco looks like he is rounding back into form after missing time with an adductor injury. He was a constant threat to the Galaxy attack, especially in the second half where he could have earned a penalty.

"It was two weeks not playing, it was definitely very difficult," said Giovinco after the match. "Now I am back to fitness and physically I feel great."

For Toronto FC, this win was undoubtedly important. Not just because they picked up another three points in a tight Eastern Conference, but also because it sets the tone for all of the soccer that the club has coming up. Toronto FC plays again on Tuesday in the Canadian Championship, then on Saturday in Orlando before flying to Vancouver to conclude to Voyageurs Cup final midweek, before a home game against the Seattle Sounders on July 2.

"It was a good performance to build off of," Drew Moor said of the match. "It's a busy couple of weeks coming up here and to win against a team like the Galaxy is a good way to start it."

Toronto FC hadn't beaten the Galaxy since 2008 in Major League Soccer play, and only three times in club history. The team has finally ended their winless streak against the Galaxy, their goalless streak and their four-game winless streak. A lot of demons were exorcised today at BMO Field, and now the team can start moving forward again.