June 29, 2012
RIME OF THE MODERN MARINER
Red Bulls wary of an improved Toronto side under its new coach
By Kristian R. Dyer
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – This isn’t your mother’s Toronto F.C.
The Canadian club might have the worst record in Major League Soccer, sitting on just eight points through 14 games but as things stand right now, Toronto F.C. is not the same team that started the season pointless through the first nine games. In fact, over their last five outings, Toronto has accumulated eight points, representing all their points this season. “The Reds” seem to be hitting some sort of a stride right now ahead of their Saturday 7 p.m. match with the Red Bulls.
“They’ve been playing way better, scoring goals but [they are] also conceding goals,” captain Thierry Henry said.
“I don’t think their record reflects how they’re playing right now. It’s going to be a tough game as it is every time you go out there. They’re making it difficult for the team they’re playing against at the moment. We’re going to have to work hard, be compact like we have been recently although we conceded two goals against D.C. I hope people don’t expect us to go out there and kill them, it won’t be an easy game.”
On Wednesday night in Montreal, a 3-0 win over the Impact underscored just how good Toronto can be. Under new coach Paul Mariner, the club is playing better and more cohesive soccer and looks to be more organized then during the Aron Winter years.
Over the past five league games, Toronto has managed two wins and a draw. The team's only loss during this stretch came on the road, a 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City.
Red Bulls coach Hans Backe realized that Toronto, despite being cellar dwellers, won’t be an easy game, even going so far as to compare it to a match against one of the league’s marquee teams.
“I don’t think so, Toronto has now scored eight goals in three games, picking up points and they’ve been very unlucky in these tied games when they concede goals in extra time,” Backe said.
“It will be exactly the same game when you compare it to LA or [Real] Salt Lake.”