San Jose Earthquakes at Toronto FC
Kickoff: 10 a.m. PT at BMO Field, Toronto, Ont.
Television: Comcast SportsNet California, TSN
Radio: 1590 KLIV (English), 1370 KZSF (Spanish)
Places to Watch
Jack’s Neighborhood Bar & Lounge (San Jose), Hyde Park Lounge (San Jose), Double D’s Sports Grille (Los Gatos), Danny Coyle’s (San Francisco), SF Soccer Cafe (San Francisco)
Toronto FC Scouting Report
Toronto FC was one of the last three teams to play its MLS opener, losing 3-1 at Seattle Sounders FC on March 17. TFC’s lone goal came from former Quake Ryan Johnson, already his third of 2012 in all competitions. The Reds were also forced to watch German midfielder and team captain Torsten Frings leave the game in the 24th minute with a hamstring injury.
Despite that result, TFC was still the talk of MLS last week, following a 2-1 triumph over the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy in CONCACAF Champions League action at The Home Depot Center on March 14. The Reds thus advanced 4-3 on aggregate to the semifinal round as the lone remaining MLS representative. Johnson and Nick Soolsma accounted for the two TFC goals.
The first meeting, played at Toronto’s Rogers Centre in front of 47,568 spectators, had ended in a 2-2 draw after the Galaxy rallied from an early two-goal deficit, with Landon Donovan equalizing in the 88th minute, to hold the slight edge heading toward their home leg in Carson. Johnson opened the scoring in that one as well for TFC, in the 12th minute, with top draft pick Luis Silva doubling the advantage five minutes later.
After opening the home portion of its league campaign against the Quakes on March 24, TFC will next face another home-and-home series against Mexican outfit Santos Laguna on March 28 and April 4, with the winner moving on to the CCL finals.
The Toronto FC head coach is Aron Winter. The former Dutch national team player (84 caps, Euro 88 title) is in his second season in charge of the Reds.
Milestones and Streaks
- Quakes goalie Jon Busch is one start away from 200 for his 11-year MLS career.
- Defender Jason Hernandez has both appeared in 99 matches and started 99 times for the Earthquakes since joining the club ahead of the 2008 season.
Quakes-Toronto FC Connections
- On July 14, 2011, the Earthquakes acquired defender Nana Attakora, forward Alan Gordon and midfielder Jacob Peterson from Toronto FC in exchange for forward Ryan Johnson, allocation money, and an international player slot. Gordon’s only season in Toronto was 2011, when he played eight games before being traded to San Jose. He scored one goal in two appearances for the Quakes after coming over, and missed the remainder of the season through injury. Gordon began training with the Quakes again just this past Monday, March 19. Johnson played in San Jose from 2008-11, scoring 17 goals in his Quakes career, including a team-best 11 in 2009. Attakora and Peterson (Sporting KC) are no longer with the Quakes.
- Johnson, Quakes midfielder Khari Stephenson and TFC defender Dicoy Williams, all born in Kingston, Jamaica, have all suited up for the Jamaica national team. Johnson has seven goals in 18 career appearances for the Reggae Boyz, while Stephenson has three goals in 26 games played, and Williams has nine appearances.
- San Jose midfielder Sam Cronin was selected by Toronto FC with the second overall pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, and started 30 of 33 games played with TFC before being traded to the Earthquakes on June 21, 2010. Cronin scored his only MLS goal thus far (6/13/2009 vs. NY) as a member of TFC, adding five assists.
- Fellow rookie midfielders Sam Garza of the Quakes and Luis Silva of TFC were standout teammates at UC Santa Barbara during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Los Angeles native Silva (No. 4) and Garza (No. 6) accounted for two of the top six picks during the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. TFC midfielder Eric Avila is another California native from San Diego who played at UCSB (2005-07).
- Quakes midfielder Simon Dawkins (Edgware) and TFC defender Richard Eckersley (Salford) were both born in England.
- San Jose’s trip to Canada will mark the first homecoming of four this season for Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop and assistant coach Mark Watson. Yallop is an English-born (Watford) Canadian who grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and earned 52 caps for the Canada national team before serving as its head coach from 2004-06. He is 3-2-5 all-time as a head coach against Toronto FC, and 3-2-7 against Canadian opposition in MLS matches. Watson, now in his third season on Yallop’s staff, was born in Vancouver. With 77 appearances for Canada, he is the third-most capped player for his country.
@SJEarthquakes – Official account of the San Jose Earthquakes (#SJEarthquakes)
@QuakesMatchday – NEW! this season, follow for live updates on game days
@TorontoFC – Official account of Toronto FC (#TFClive, #TorontoFC, #TFC)
MLS MatchDay 2012 – The official Major League Soccer app, providing up-to-the-minute score updates, in-game highlights, news and more.