Revolution-Toronto FC Preview
While Paul Mariner hasn’t led MLS-worst Toronto FC to victory in
two games at the helm, the club seems to be heading in the right
direction under its new coach.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise to the New England
Seeking its second win, Toronto tries to stay unbeaten in six
home games against the road-weary Revolution on Saturday.
Since setting a league record by losing its first nine games,
Toronto has gone 1-1-1 over its last three. It beat Philadelphia
1-0 on May 26 in its final game under former coach Aron Winter
before losing 2-0 at Sporting Kansas City last Saturday in
Mariner’s first match.
Toronto (1-10-1) went on to earn its first road point Wednesday,
recording a 3-all draw with Houston. Forward Danny Koevermans’s
second goal in the 45th minute gave his club a 3-1 lead before the
Dynamo scored twice in the second half.
Toronto was without Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva and Nick Soolsma
after they were arrested for public intoxication earlier in the
“We always come to every game to win,” defender Ashtone Morgan
said. “We were up 3-1 at half, and we thought we were going to be
in cruise control. … We gotta take what we get.
“It’s been a rough week for us but we stay positive and it feels
really good. … We’re leaving here with a point and move on to
Saturday’s game against New England.”
While Toronto is still getting acclimated with Mariner, forward
Ryan Johnson has already seen a difference since his promotion from
director of player development.
“We’re sticking together, we’re sticking to the game plan of
what Paul tells us to do,” Johnson said. “We’re creating chances at
the same time, we’re defending well. The more time we get in the
system – the more that we can learn it – the better we’ll get as
the games go on. So hopefully, the next game, instead of this being
a tie, this can be a win for us.”
A win Saturday would surely be extra special for Mariner, who
spent six years as an assistant with the Revolution from 2004-09,
helping lead them to three consecutive MLS cup appearances.
“I know that’s something he’s been wanting and hoping for the
last couple years is to get his own team and to be in charge of his
own team,” New England goaltender Matt Reis told the team’s
official website. “I’m excited for him in that regard, but at the
same time, we’d definitely like to put it to him, beat him and have
a beer and a laugh afterwards.”
Reis made three saves for the Revolution (5-7-2) during last
Saturday’s scoreless draw with Columbus, earning his third shutout
and 58th of his career. Reis, though, has allowed a combined five
goals in two career visits to Toronto.
The Revolution have dropped six of seven on the road in league
play, including four in a row while managing three goals. They’ve
gone 4-26-9 as the visiting club since the start of 2010, and are
0-2-3 in five matchups in Toronto.