MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
07/15/2014 4:15 PM
07/15/2014 4:22 PM
Vancouver (6-4-7) at Toronto (7-5-3), 8 p.m.
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Canadian clubs will do battle at BMO Field on Wednesday as surging Toronto FC plays host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
It will be the third meeting between the two clubs this season as they squared off in the Canadian championship in May. TFC emerged victorious from the two- legged affair, winning the first leg on home soil before edging the 'Caps in the return match on penalties.
The win sparked an impressive run for the Reds in league play as they have produced a 4-1-3 record since May 17.
Toronto earned a 4-2 defeat of the lowly Houston Dynamo last time out to rebound from a disappointing home loss to D.C. United. It was an especially impressive victory given that TFC overturned a two-goal deficit to win with four unanswered goals.
"We came out very slow and we put ourselves under a mountain to climb," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen told reporters after the match. "Then it becomes a balance of character, spirit and a belief that you are going to get back into the game. You can't go silly because when you are down 2-0, when you try and go for one goal you can often end up conceding and then the game is completely over."
Jermain Defoe continued his fantastic season by playing a pivotal role in the victory, scoring both the game-winning goal and the insurance goal against the Dynamo.
But the Englishman stressed that it was a total team effort that granted TFC all three points.
"Everyone played well and everyone worked hard for each other," Defoe said. "We have great team spirit. There are a lot of games to be played in a short period of time and everyone is working hard."
Toronto will face a Vancouver side that has claimed just one win from its last five league outings.
The 'Caps are coming off of a disappointing 3-1 home loss to Chivas USA, a result that saw the hosts squander a first-half lead by conceding three goals after the intermission.
Still, it was only Vancouver's fourth league loss of the campaign, and it was not warranted in the eyes of head coach Carl Robinson.
"I don't think we deserved to lose," Robinson told reporters after the match. "We were very comfortable in the first half, going one goal ahead. We played the way I wanted us to play without probably the cutting edge in the final third.
"We did everything correctly, and then the final little details in the (combination play) at the edge of the box weren't there. Disappointing. A kick in the teeth for me and for the guys in there after the work they put in, but I'll take the positives."
Chivas USA's go-ahead goal and insurance goal came late in the affair after Vancouver had been reduced to 10 men through Jordan Harvey's 69th-minute red card. Robinson still felt as though the 'Caps were the better team despite playing a man down.
"Even going down to 10 men, I thought we were the better team and we controlled possession," Robinson said. "We had a number of chances, but we didn't take those chances. Fair play to Chivas, they take the three points and they get out of here."
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