MLS- Toronto FC

Koevermans sounds off on CCL atmosphere and officiating

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TORONTO – The scenes from Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal were unmistakable and unforgettable. 

The night began with Toronto fans' impressive march to the match down Bremmer Bolverard outside the Rogers Centre. As the game kicked off the 47,658 fans clad in red shook the dome and all but willed TFC to a pair of early goals. 

But next week, the scene will be different –in the stands anyway– at the Home Depot Center as just 7,500 will attend the return leg of the quarterfinal match-up due to a attendance agreement with Cal-State Dominguez Hills over the usage of the university's parking lots during the school year.

When asked, Toronto forward Danny Koevermans was unaware of the issue, but after a quick refresher of the rules that will cap the HDC's attendance from its 27,000 capacity, the TFC striker was flabbergasted.

"That is stupid, that is stupid, LA Galaxy is a big club in LA and they showed it because they have three big name players," said Koevermans. "So when it’s the CONCACAF quarterfinals, I think that it’s a stupid call because you what happens here and I think they can do it too. Especially with the game 2-2, it’s an all or nothing game and I think that it can also be 40k but they made a change so I think that maybe it works to our advantage, you never know."

Never one to mince words, the candid Dutchman had a few choice words for Jamaican referee Courtney Campbell, who awarded Koevermans a yellow card in the 58th minute for starting a scuffle with Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders at the edge of the box. The play seemed innocent enough initially as the Saunders ran to the edge of the box towards a charging Koevermans, but after the goalkeeper scooped up the ball, Koevermans was left incensed.

"[Saunders] put his cleats on our upper leg, so when I bumped into him straight away, I can understand. I was on the side of him. He just put his cleats on my upper leg, and so I was mad at that," said Koevermans, who charged Saunders after the play. "But this referee, these CONCACAF referees are such a joke, so then he gave me a yellow card for my reaction. That's okay, but then he should give him a yellow card too but he didn't do that. Stupid."

Although the veteran striker admitted that his behavior was less than becoming, Koevermans was still not pleased with Campbell's decision.

"My reaction is also not good, but what happens, happens so he has to give me a yellow card, but the keeper also," Koevermans later added. "Then he just waved way and the linesman also said ‘it’s in the game, it’s in the game” so we can’t do anything about it. They’re the boss and even if they’re wrong then they’re right."

Following his feisty moments with Saunders, Koevermans shined in the second half, nearly scoring on two occasions, a shot from midfield that challenged Saunders in the 64th and a chance in the 77th from close range that nearly missed the mark.

For Toronto to pull off the upset against the Galaxy and advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals next week, the Reds will need their talented striker to place shots on frame rather than painfully wide. The job for TFC is simple enough — they must earn either a victory or a 3-3 draw, which will pull the Canadian side ahead on away goals against Galaxy side that went unbeaten at home last season.

Despite the long odds facing his club, the boisterous Dutchman is confident that TFC can pull through.

"I hope we’re going to win. Every game is different. What happens tonight doesn’t change anything for next week. You never know anything can happen," said Koevermans. "A guy can slip away in the second minute and you’re 1-nothing up or 1-nothing down. We’ll see next week, we’re still in the race for a semi-final spot so we need to go in next week to win the game and we’ll see what happens."

  • Kasloco

    OK guys here’s what is going to happen since you haven’t realized it yet. AEG is going to build Farmer’s Field in downtown Los Angeles for the Rams. The AEG owned Galaxy will play their bigger more meaningful games and ones that normally would be attendance capped at HDC at the new stadium. If you don’t think this is the future you are not paying attention.


  • ryan

    Wonder why Dodger Stadium wasn’t considered. Smaller than the Coliseum, better neighborhood, and 30-40K in a 56K stadium would have worked.


  • Javier

    Right now there is no good solution to the Galaxy’s mid-week parking problem. There is no good alternative stadium nearby, and public transportation here is a joke. Don’t expect any new bus or rail lines to built either. Public transportation here takes years to build and is extremely expensive to build, and the money is just not there.

    The Rose Bowl and Coliseum could be alternatives but they’re really not good places to watch soccer.

    There is no good solution in the short term. In the long term if Farmer’s Field gets built in downtown the Galaxy will be able to hold games there. That stadium will be owned by AEG which also owns the Galaxy.


  • RightSaidReds

    Maybe 35,000 for Joe Public, but not 47,000. I was there last night and will be in LA for the second leg (enough TFC supporters going that there is a designated section). It will be quite the contrast in atmosphere regardless of the result…


  • KungFuSoccer

    Guess what. The Galaxy game isn’t sold out with the 7500 cap, even including season ticket holders. Im not sure the cap is the problem.

    I’m a season ticket holder, and think its a fantastic bargain. I don’t know why it hasn’t caught on. I can have season tickets for the same price as going to 1 or 2 lakers games. LA just doesn’t have a large hardcore fanbase. If 27K wanted to go to this game, management would find a way to make it happen, there just isn’t a demand.


  • Bob Dobalina

    There probably isn’t demand because the Galaxy don’t give a damn in promoting the match because of the 7500 fan restriction. What a sad situation.


  • Plato

    The Galaxy still has a strong base around the Rose Bowl. They should have played here like they do the friendlies. Awful decision by LA.


  • MLS

    You are correct Mista Dobalina…The marketing for CCL has been horrendous overall, even without the cap. If did any kind of promotion without the cap, there would be much more than 7500.

    What will they do if they make it to the final and have to play during the week???


  • Dax


    No, it was a provision in using the land when HDC was built.

    No, it is an attendance cap, not just parking. The bigger issue is the CSU system doesn’t want that many people on campus during weekdays.

    Hell no.

    The Coliseum Commission is impossible to deal with, and selling an extra 7,000 tickets isn’t worth the hassle (LAG isn’t going to sell a lot of tickets during the weekdays regardless where the match is). The issue will sort itself if the new AEG stadium is built in downtown (projected by 2016).


  • Blizzard

    That’s the key issue I believe. The CCL obviously has limited impact or interest in the LA market. Why is that?

    Koevs being astonished by the cap is one thing. Just how astonished will he be if the Gals can’t even sell 7500?

    I’ve heard that STH’ers all received a free ticket? Was that report correct. If it is in fact correct, it begs the quesiton as to just how many STH’ers the Galaxy have?

    Any estimates?



  • Blizzard

    He’s the guy who scored eight goals in ten appearances in 2011.

    Go fellate a drinking fountain Landon. ;)


  • SW

    The Roger’s Centre is a short walk from the central terminus of Toronto’s transit


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