TFC stays unbeaten at BMO by downing Revs

Chad Barrett (GettyImages)

By KURTIS LARSON

A towering header from Chad Barrett in the 52nd minute proved enough to keep TFC undefeated at BMO Field and the Revolution winless in their last seven MLS games. The 20,672 on hand saw TFC keep their undefeated streak alive at five games in all competition while the shutout also saw the Revolution advance a scoreless streak to three games. 

While Toronto FC were playing without Julian De Guzman and Dwayne De Rosario, New England was given a boost heading into the match with the return of Shalrie Joseph to the lineup.  Joseph's return wasn't enough for the Revs as Barrett buried the match's only goal when he met a Sam Cronin corner to open the scoring. 

Joseph looked slow and ineffective in his first game back after spending time in the MLS substance abuse rehabilitation program. His inability to help on defense left a gaping hole between New England's mids and backs that Barrett and second-half substitute O'Brian White constantly exploited.

Preki had harsh words concerning the Grenadian international and MLS following Joseph's sudden appearance in the starting 11. 

"Nothing surprises me in this league," he said. "I think this should have been taken care of in different ways. It was good for them but we made sure we were strong and that we overcame all those things."

Chad Barrett proved to be a handful for New England's back line, constantly getting behind Cory Gibbs and Pat Phelan. In just the first minute Barrett found himself alone with Revs keeper Preston Burpo after receiving a through ball from Amadou Sanyang. Barrett raced on to the pass but Burpo was up to the task to keep the score at zeroes early on. 

Preki shuffled his lineup once again replacing Nana Attakora with Nick Garcia and giving 18-year-old Fuad Ibrahim a run up top. New England set up in a 4-5-1 playing Toronto evenly through the opening half hour and creating half chances while Toronto looked to get in behind and combine up top on the counter attacks. Both teams opened the contest with excellent scoring chances that would have seen either side take control early. 

The back-and-forth first half nearly saw the Revs go up in the 11th minute when Marko Perovic found room on the left. Perovic whipped a cross into the box that found Kheli Dube rushing in at the penalty spot. Dube's lunging attempt glanced off TFC keeper Stefan Frei who was perfectly positioned for the crucial early-game save. 

"I was just very fortuante that he put it close to me," Frei said of the point blank save. "It was too close for me to even get my hands up. I just tried to make mysefl big and it was enough to get the ball clear."

"It was not the most pretty game you will ever see." Preki said. "You've seen two teams that cam and fought and two teams that have been depleted with guys. We knew from that perspective that it was going to be tough."

TFC's back line held solid through much of the game. The combination of Adrian Cann and Nick Garcia shut down New England's sluggish attack with Cann winning virtually every aerial battle and Garcia having arguably his best outing in a TFC uniform. 

"I think the lads did a great job," Cann said. "We came through with the full three points and everyone gave it all they had so we came through with the victory."

Preki again used White off the bench, inserting him into the lineup for Ibrahim at the half. TFC switched to a 4-4-2 that showed immediate signs of life beginning with Barrett's game-winning goal in the 52nd. White and Barrett continued the threatening partnership they've enjoyed of late with White consistently holding balls up and distributing to Barrett throughout the second 45 minutes. 

"If they want me to come off the i'll come off the bench," White said. "I'm always ready and, as a team, we're getting closer together and working for each other."

New England had limited chances in the second half, most of which came off harmless set pieces from outside the area. The Revolution's best chance came in the 82nd minute off a corner kick when Joseph had a clean look at a header that missed over the top. 

TFC sits just a point back of New York for second place in the East while the Revs continue their slide. New England will try and snap that drought next weekend at home against the New York Red Bulls. TFC will look to take advantage of the upcoming week off before heading across the continent to San Jose.

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16 Responses to TFC stays unbeaten at BMO by downing Revs

  1. Dustin says:

    “Preki had harsh words concerning the Grenadian international and MLS following Joseph’s sudden appearance in the starting 11.”

    What was he reffering to? Was Joseph not supposed to be there and then suddenly show’d up?

  2. DLewis10 says:

    I think he felt that Joseph should have served more time for his substance abuse.

  3. i know you're busy ives, but come on... says:

    Too bad Preki didn’t have harsh words for this poorly written article. It is not difficult to read your work and fix mistakes before it’s published…

  4. Dustin says:

    Man I’m clueless…I didn’t even know he was out on substance abuse whatever.

  5. franky says:

    Sam Cronin playing equals tfc win. Not surprising. Clearly our teams best player

  6. Skinn says:

    First off, Ives didn’t write this. Second, I’ve noticed this before with this writer’s work. He needs a good copyeditor.

    In terms of analysis, I thought Joseph controlled the midfield. It wasn’t his fault (nor a gaping hole in front of the NE back 4) the allowed Barret BEHIND the defenders.

  7. To Skinn says:

    If you think Shalrie Joseph controlled the midfield, You have no idea what this man was capable of early in his career. He looked slow, tired and disinterested. He only connected 50 percent of his passes, non of which were dangerous.

  8. To skinn says:

    NE’s backs and midfielders weren’t compact at all and they looked completely disorganized. How many 2 on 1 breaks did Toronto have in the second half? Did you guys watch the game? It’s embarrassing NE beat us 4-1 earlier in the season.

  9. wrong says:

    If you think Joseph controlled the middle so much..why did NE get next nothing in terms of scoring chances after the 10th minute?

  10. Shalrie says:

    He was referring to how I basically appeared straight out of rehab and the league just let me suit up no questions asked. I don’t think any teams were aware I was returning. Sorry about that.

  11. Preki says:

    I agree with most of the stuff. NE were shut down by Cann and White and Barrett were monsters. The writing is also fine you haters.

  12. DLewis10 says:

    Toronto should have won this game by even more.

  13. A Guy says:

    Ya, NE were never really in it. A few early chances but after that TFC really should have won this 3-0 easy…Joseph did not look like himself. Was he high????

  14. ajaxjambo says:

    Sam Cronim is NOT TFC’s best player by any means. Looks a step slow in his feet and in his napper. Impressed by Petersen and continue to be impressed by Cann.

  15. Hello says:

    ajaxjambo – Cronin can be a good player off the bench. That’s about it.

  16. Seriously? says:

    What do you mean by “served more time”? It’s not like Shalrie failed a drug test, he entered rehab (whether on his own, or being pushed, who knows?). It certainly wasn’t failing a test for PEDs, or he would have been suspended by the league. Maybe he had a problem with pain killers, from trying to play through all his injuries. That’s all speculation, but he wasn’t suspended, or it would have been known.

    I can understand if Preki was frustrated if it wasn’t known that Shalrie was available, but it’s not like Joseph was ‘serving time’.