By KURTIS LARSON
Toronto FC took a massive step in getting back to the CONCACAF Champions League shutting out the Montreal Impact at Stade Suputo in Canadian Cup play on Wednesday night by a score of 1-0.
Head coach Preki made a total of six changes to a lineup that defeated Chicago 4-1 on the weekend resting a number of starters ahead of a league game Saturday. The win pushed TFC to six points from two games putting them in the drivers seat to make it back to the Champions League this season.
Toronto controlled play from the beginning looking like the far superior side with Montreal having little possession and failing to create any real scoring opportunities. Toronto's Julian De Guzman looks to be regaining the form that earned him top honors at Spanish side La Coruna. The Canadian international was masterful on the ball creating and getting out of tight spaces with quick passes and an ability hold off defenders.
De Guzman was tireless in his efforts clogging up the middle of the park and distributing from front to back and side to side. A second-half goal from Dwayne De Rosario was enough on a deflected shot from Chad Barrett midway through the second half to put Toronto into the lead 15 minutes from time. Barrett, a half-time sub, received a Nick Labrocca pass at the top of the box before splitting a pair of Impact defenders. His low hard shot forced Montreal keeper Matt Jordan into a save however the deflection fell to De Rosario's feet who blasted it into the net.
The home loss knocks Montreal out of Canadian Cup contention as the Impact now travel back to Vancouver Saturday with a game in Portland on Wednesday. Two difficult games away from Saputo might see the Impact drop down the table with both Carolina and Miami within striking distance.
Toronto travels to LA Saturday to face the undefeated Galaxy who are out to one of the best starts in MLS history. Following a game at The Home Depot Center Toronto heads north for a Canadian Cup game in Vancouver on Wednesday. A win in Vancouver will see TFC lift the trophy for a second consecutive season while a Whitecaps win will make things very interesting when Vancouver visits BMO on the last day of the competition.
NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
Canada will name its roster for an upcoming friendly in Argentina tomorrow. Names expecting to be on the list include Toronto FC's Julian De Guzman and Dwayne De Rosario. During television coverage of TFC vs. Chicago over the weekend, commentators mentioned that the club would release the pair for the game in Buenos Aires.
In an interview, De Guzman hinted he would be going, saying “being able to play in Argentina against one of the top teams in the world is a special thing for anybody in their soccer career." If both suit in the May 24th friendly they will miss a May 22nd league match against New England at BMO — a game with massive implications considering Toronto FC's road woes. Rumblings from the CSA has Canadian media speculating we can expect Paul Stalteri, Will Johnson, Adam Straith, Jaime Peters and Rob Friend on that list as well.
David Hoilett (Blackburn)– Started and factored in to a late winner vs. Aston Villa, helping Blackburn secure the 10 spot in this year's Premier League. The young Canadian forward found himself on the end of a cross that deflected off a Villa defender and past Brad Friedel.
Simeon Jackson (Gillingham FC)– Went 90 minutes for the League One side that saw a final day defeat to Wycombe Wanderers relegate them to League Two. The Canadian forward missed on two occasions, one of which was an open net.
Atiba Hutchinson (PSV Eindhoven)– Signed by PSV from Copenhagen at the end of April. Signed a three-year deal and is set to join the club at the start of next season. PSV's coach: "He is dynamic and athletic, an all-around midfielder."
Rob Friend (Monchengladbach)– Entered as a 71st minute sub against Bayer Leverkusen in a 1-1 draw. The draw ended Leverkusen's chances of entering next year's Champions League.
Adam Straith (Energie Cottbus)– Went 90 minutes for Bundesliga 2 side Energie Cottbus in a 4-1 win over Ahlen. The win helped Cottbus finish in the upper half of the table.
Jaime Peters (Ipswich Town)– Went 90 minutes for Ipswich in the Coca-Cola Championship in last week's 3-0 loss to Sheffield Utd. The loss saw Ipswich finish 15.
What do you think of TFC releasing players for the Argentina friendly? Does TFC have the Nutrilite wrapped up this early in the competition?
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