Toronto FC young guns impress vs Sunderland AFC

Result and details of the Wednesday July 22, 2015 International Friendly between the MLS Toronto FC
and English Premier Sunderland AFC played at BMO Field in Toronto at 7:00pm.

45 min (2nd half)…TFC Jonathan Osorio GOAL…TFC Warren Creavalle passes forward on right
from 45 yard line, TFC Bright Dike rushes forward and deflects ball past Sund Wes Brown
at 20 yards and rescues ball on right end line and taps ball back to center of box. TFC Robbie Findley
jabs at ball at 10 yards, TFC Jay Chapman falls over fallen defender at 8 yards and Sun Adam Matthews
who’d was already on ground swept leg out to clear ball at 8 yards rolling it to Osorio on left and
he took 10 yard low shot through four defenders and diving goalie Costel Pantilimon at 4 yards gets
a hand to but tips it into right side of net.

64 min…Sunderland Jermain Defoe GOAL…Sund Liam Bridcutt rushes forward from 35 yards and taps pass
to Defoe at 18 yards. With defender on his back and not facing goal he tries to pass to charging Bridcutt
but ball is blocked by TFC Skylar Thomas. Defoe gets ball back and pivots around right and gets away low
shot before TFC Adam Bouchard can get foot in and the low 18 yard shot deflects off Bouchard at 16 yards
and bounces into left corner of net past diving goalie Alex Bono.

68 min…Sunderland Jermain Defoe GOAL…Sund Steven Fletcher on 2 on 1 run on left runs to 12 yards and
with goalie doing the splits on the left passes forward and to right to charging Defoe who rolls in shot
from 7 yards to open net beating retreating defender Skylar Thomas trying to break up pass.

Final Score:…..Toronto FC…………1………Sunderland AFC……2…….

Attendance was not announced but I noticed no one was seated on the west side 200 level and I expect
no one in the new east side addition at the 200 level. The south side where TFC supporters cheer was
less than half full (whoever was there tonight did not break into the 23rd minute ‘Danny Dichio’ song).
The more expensive seats were not filled much better. The north side endzone seats were occupied by the
rowdier Sunderland fans but in my midfield section there was about 60-40 Sunderand support. Attendance
may have been only 10000 to 12000. I’d heard this was part of the Jermain Defoe for Jozy Altidore trade
between the two teams back in January.

Well who won in this trade for just tonight? Defoe scored twice for Sunderland while Altidore did not
play nor was he among the thirteen TFC subs warming up. The tease ads had Altidore in the starting lineup
and Sebastian Giovinco not in them. He had been treated on the sideline in TFC’s Saturday game against
Philadelphia while play carried on but eventually returned to the game.

Most people would think the most direct comparison with Defoe on TFC was their signing of Sebastian
Giovinco. They are both forwards and quick, small sized guys who play even with the last defender.
Giovinco played the first 31 minutes and I feel a better fit for TFC as he’s younger and does pass
to set up others to score. He’s set a team record for assists and we’re only halfway through
the season. He had some good cornerkicks in his short time tonight. He had a shot just over
the bar at 25 yards and at 29 minutes made a perfect pass off TFC Marky Delgado which saw the ball
deflect out when Delgado crashed into the end boards.

Defoe had the biggest reaction of cheers and boos throughout the game for good and bad plays whether
the goals, flubs, offsides, or shots off target. Jack Rodwell had some good crosses into the box
for Sunderland.

Referee Sylviu Petrescu gave out only three Yellow cards that I counted—two to Sunderland. Two came
together at 26 minutes when Sun Sebastian Larsson and TFC Daniel Lovitz got into a wrestling match
as the ball rolled to the sideline in the only moment of the game that could be considered rough.

TFC started the game with an acceptable MLS game lineup but at 31 minutes made eight substitutions!
I wonder if this is part of the MLS player’s agreement for friendlies? It was a bit different a few
years ago when TFC played Liverpool and the subs were directly from the TFC Academy but there was
no TFC II (USL Pro) team back then. Some of the TFC II players had just returned from the PanAm
games after playing for Canada. (Chris Mannella and Molham Babouli). Some of the subs had played
in last night’s TFC II game vs FC Montreal. (Jordan Hamilton and Luca Uccello). Forward Bright Dike
was back in the TFC bench.

TFC gave four guys a chance to be captain tonight. Benoit Cheyrou (who has become captain when
Michael Bradley is away playing for the US national team—still in the Gold Cup) started until he was
one of the guys who left at 31 minutes. Jonathan Osorio took over when he came in during that
big switch. When Osorio left at 65 minutes Ashtone Morgan took over and when he came out at 74 minutes,
Chris Mannella who is the captain of TFC II wore it.

Sunderland who wear a red & white striped shirt with black shorts (judging by the replica kits worn
by their supporters) wore a green and dark green combo tonight.

Thankfully there was a highlite package online when I got home because Defoe’s goal at 64 minute had
the row in front of me standing to let someone bringing beer and food get by and I only saw the last
second of the ball going in. I couldn’t see the replay on the scoreboard looking into the blinding
setting sun. Also Sunderland didn’t have numbers listed in the program or online for some of their
non-starters. Ahh friendlies!

My ticket was cheaper with the early bird price than my regular season tickets although I think there
was deep discounting because I read a tweet of an ad where a pair of tickets were being given away for
the purchase of an extra large pizza.

Now these TFC II guys better get ready for their Friday game against Charleston Battery while the TFC
guys are on the road in Columbus on Saturday after most of them put in at most 30 minutes work.

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Robin Glover

Robin Glover

Robin has been writing about soccer in the Toronto area for message boards and his own website since the early 1990s in the days of 2400 baud modems to USENET sites. In the 2014 season he attended 76 games in various leagues that played in the GTA area.

Follow Robin on Twitter and on his website

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