Thursday, March 29, 2007

Toronto beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1

Toronto beat the New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Wednesday in the Carolina Challenge Cup.

New York: Ronald Waterreus, Marvell Wynne (Hunter Freeman 46), Jeff Parke (Joe Vide 91+), Carlos Mendes, Todd Dunivant, Caludio Reyna (Sinisa Ubiparipovic 61), Seth Stammler, Dane Richards, Dema Kovalenko, Dave van den Bergh, John Wolyniec.

Toronto: Greg Sutton, Andrew Boyned, Adam Braz, Jim Brennan, Ronnie O'Brien, Richard Asante, Jose Cancela (David Guzman 58/Miguel Canizalez 79), Richard Mulrooney, Loes Andrade (Chris Pozniak 22), Alecko Eskandarian, Edson Buddle.

Scoring Summary:
TOR -- Eskandarian (O'Brien) 9
NY -- Wolyniec (van den Bergh) 21
TOR -- Buddle (O'Brien) 36

Misconduct Summary:
TOR -- Boyens (caution) 14
TOR -- Braz (caution) 66
TOR -- Guzman (caution) 71
TOR -- Brennan (caution) 76
NY -- Wolyniec (caution) 79

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mo says Alecko is Staying and Mulrooney arrives and Busch departs

Comings and goings

The rumour mill surrounding Toronto's Alecko Eskandarian continues on, with more predictions that the forward will be leaving the club. Head Coach Mo Johnston again strongly denounced his departure saying, "Esky is going nowhere. He is very happy in Toronto and wants a new contract."

The only departure to speak of in camp is goalkeeper Jon Busch, who has been waived by the club after a short stay since being picked up on March 5 from Columbus.

Newly-acquired midfielder Richard Mulrooney arrived to Charleston Friday morning and will now get acquainted with his new teammates. Mulrooney jumps right into the thick of things with Saturday's 6 p.m. ET match against Houston.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Season Season Tickets Sold Out.

Toronto FC announced Thursday that the team has sold out of season seats for the 2007 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. In five months, the team has sold a record setting 14,000 seasons seats for Toronto's new soccer club that will play at BMO Field at Exhibition Place. In addition, BMO Field has also sold out its executive suites.

Toronto FC also announced preliminary ticket details for two half season game packs for this upcoming season. A Premium Pack and an International Pack will go on sale Monday, April 2 at 9 a.m.

The Premium Pack includes games against the 2006 MLS Champions Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls and the coveted match versus the LA Galaxy on Sunday, August 5. The International Pack includes all of FC's international friendly matches and five regular season matches against MLS teams. Teams participating in the international friendlies will be announced shortly.

Premium and International Packs can be purchased by phone at (416) 360-GOAL (4625) or online at Purchases must be made by credit card. Both Packs are priced at $528 each.

"We've had phenomenal momentum since launching Toronto FC last May and the response we've got with respect to season seat sales tells us that soccer fans across the GTA are excited about their new team," said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. "We're confident that fans will see some great soccer at affordable prices and our half season ticket packages provide flexibility and variety to satisfy the growing appetite for professional soccer in Toronto."

Toronto FC working through injuries


BRADENTON, FLA. — When he isn't working with his players on the field, Toronto FC head coach Mo Johnston often has his cellphone to his ear during workouts.

As the Major League Soccer expansion team approaches its season opener against Chivas USA in Carson, Calif., on April 7, there is still work to be done in putting together a team.

One of the concerns is a series of relatively minor injuries that have hampered several players' training.

"It's starting to get to be a bit of a joke," Johnston said.

It is something he said he will try to address as the opening game approaches.

"We're in the market for another defender," he said.

The team worked out for two weeks at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and will resume training on Monday in Charleston, S.C., where it will play three exhibition games the week after.

Someone who has yet to play is midfielder Maurice Edu, the first-round draft pick from the University of Maryland, who was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his pelvis in November.

"We knew what we were getting," Johnston said, "we knew the injury and it won't be long until he's in there."

Defender Marco Reda, who has been hampered by a thigh injury, said this week that he feels he will be ready for the season opener. Johnston called the injury "disappointing because we're trying to work on our back line."

Then there is striker Conor Casey, who Johnston said "has picked up a couple of little things, nothing too serious. Hopefully, he will be on the field come Charleston."

Midfielder said his knee injury is coming along and he expects to be able to play in Charleston.

Johnston likes the makeup of the team, but he would like to have had more time to have all his regulars available "at the same time, and then working with them. We just wish we had a little bit more time to prepare."

On the positive side, Johnston said, "We're moving forward and right now we don't look like an expansion team, with the players we have."

He did allow that his team looked like an expansion team in being held to a 0-0 tie by the U.S. under-17 team this week. But there were missed chances, and, he said, "We could have dug deep and won easily."

In Charleston, two of the three games will be against MLS teams, including Johnston's former team, the New York Red Bull, on March 28. He plays down that matchup.

"That doesn't bother me," he said. " I'm not interested in any other team in the league but Toronto FC."

The other MLS opponent will be MLS Cup champions Houston Dynamo on March 24. The other game will be against the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer League First Division on March 31.

The team will train at Charleston Southern University and the games will be played at the Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Busy week for Jon Busch

From NEIL DAVIDSON & Canadian Press

It's been a whirlwind week for goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Placed on waivers last Thursday by the Columbus Crew, Busch was seething at what he perceived as unfair treatment by the MLS team. A week later, he was wearing the uniform of Toronto FC and pitching a shutout for 45 minutes as the expansion team blanked the University of Connecticut 4-0 in an exhibition game Thursday in Bradenton, Fla.

Busch, 30, spent five years in Columbus, where he was an all-star in 2004 and finalist for goalkeeper of the year. He won one cap for the U.S. national team.

While knee injuries restricted his play in both 2004 and 2005, Busch was 35-24-23 for the Crew. He holds team records in games (84), wins (35), saves (367) and shutouts (25).

But coach Sigi Schmid elected to go with Bill Gaudette and Will Hesmer this season. Both had injuries during the pre-season so Busch played five of six exhibition games, thinking all was well. Instead he was axed.

Busch told the Columbus Dispatch that Schmid had not talked to him once during the pre-season.

"It's done with," he said in an interview from Bradenton. "I've said my piece. It was unprofessional the way it was done. That's it. I've moved on. I'm in a much better place.

"If you would have caught me last week, I would have spent an hour explaining everything. But it is what it is. That's part of sports."

Busch says he is ready to help Toronto any way he can. The other goalkeeper of note in camp is Canadian international Greg Sutton.

At this stage, the five-foot-10 165-pounder is not thinking about what role he will be playing.

"I'm focused on just coming in, getting healthy, staying healthy and seeing where it leads me," he explained. "I just enjoy being out on the training field with the boys and putting in the work. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I'm on the field.

"Last year when I got injured, I was miserable. So I'm just happy to be back out there. I've basically just told Mo (coach Mo Johnston) if he wants me to play, I'll play. If he wants me to help Sutton along, I'll help Sutton along. I'm here for the team."

Busch's play was limited by injuries to the same knee the last two seasons. The first time he had a player fall on him from the blindside and the second came when he came out for a cross and stepped in a player's foot.

"The doctor said it was two freak incidents. I've been 100 per cent since December. It feels great. .. . I have no issues, no limitations."

Busch, who recalls playing in Toronto against the Lynx during his A-League days, says he looks forward to playing for Johnston.

"He's a players' coach. That's one of the biggest things you look for," said Busch, who also has warm words for Toronto assistant Bob Gansler and his tactical skills.

Already Busch likes what he sees with Toronto FC.

"It's really a great bunch of guys. It's very similar to the boys in Columbus."

And while Busch and his wife leave friends in Columbus, he likes the idea of playing in a hockey town.

"I'm a huge hockey guy. So I think I'm going to enjoy it."

Toronto shut out Connecticut 4-0

From Toronto Media Relations:

Toronto FC arrived back in the Sunshine State on Monday March 5th for another two weeks of training at the Bradenton IMG Academy.

Thursday, the team played its second game at the Academy against the University of Connecticut and finished 4-0 winners under ideal conditions, sunshine and no wind.

Newly acquired Goalkeeper Jon Busch started the first half for the squad, along with a veteran eleven.

Toronto was on the board in the 27th minute when Alecko Eskandarian made a nice weaving run inside the box to beat keeper Matt Sangeloty to open the scoring. The former D.C. United player was the victim of a nasty looking sliding tackle in the centre circle minutes later. He did stay in the game but was substituted out in the 32nd, that saw Abbe Ibrahim enter the game. Eskandarian left with slight cramping in his calf as a result of the challenge. The first half ended with Busch making a nice save near the end of time.

There were no changes to start the second half of the match, except in goal where Greg Sutton took over the duties.

TFC hit the scoresheet again in the 54th, as Ibrahim finished off a nice passing play from Paulo Nagamura, and Edson Buddle.

After Toronto went up 2-0 - a mass substitution was made as the entire 11 was subbed off to make way for some fresh legs, made up mostly of the young players.

Andrea Lombardo scored for the second game in a row in the 70th when he put in a long pass from Ivan Cadavieco who has just joined the team on a trial.

The final touches were put on this match ten minutes later, as Canadian U-20 product A.J. Gray sent in a great cross from the right that was put in by the Spanish born Cadavieco to make it a 4-0 final.

"I was very impressed with the way Jon Busch handled himself, I thought he was very professional, "said Head Coach Mo Johnston. "We're playing competitive, and not giving up goals which is always good."

Johnston would like to have a fully fit team, and at the moment he doesn't with Ronnie O'Brien (knee), Marco Reda (quad), and Maurice Edu (pelvis) all out of action.

On Tuesday, Toronto played their first game of this trip against Creighton. Andrea Lombardo was the goal scorer in that one as well as Sutton and Tomer Chencinski combined for the shutout.

Carl Robinson has joined the team for this leg of camp before he heads back overseas to attend to Wales National Team duties.

"On the ball he's quality, he strolled through it, he's playing at 50%", said Johnston. The coach also had high praise for Nagamura, and some of the younger players that are "coming along nicely".

The players were given Thursday afternoon off to enjoy the pool, or the beach. Training resumes at 10am Friday morning, and there are no more games scheduled until Monday March 12th, when they face the U.S. U-17's.

Toronto FC Starting XI: GK - Jon Busch (Greg Sutton 46), Andrew Boyens, Adam Braz, Chris Pozniak, Jose Cancela, Jim Brennan, Paulo Nagamura, Maycoll Canizalez, Carl Robinson, Alecko Eskandarian, Edson Buddle

Substitutes Used: Stephen Lumley, Jamaal Smith, Hunter West, Richard Asante, Joey Melo, A.J. Gray, Abbe Ibrahim, Ivan Cadavieco, Andrea Lombardo, Conor Casey

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Toronto beat Lynn University 3-2 in Florida

Toronto FC recorded a 3-2 win against Lynn University in Sunrise, Fla., Edson Buddle scored a hat trick.