Vitti scores first MLS goal as Toronto FC downs New York 2-0
Pablo Vitti says he can finally relax after scoring his first goal for Toronto FC, but his coach doesn't want him feeling too comfortable just yet.
TORONTO - Pablo Vitti says he can finally relax after scoring his first goal for Toronto FC, but his coach doesn't want him feeling too comfortable just yet.
Vitti scored for the first time in his Major League Soccer career and Dwayne De Rosario continued his torrid offensive play as Toronto downed the lowly New York Red Bulls 2-0 on Wednesday night at a muggy BMO Field.
"Delighted for Pablo to net his first goal," said Toronto FC interim head coach Chris Cummins. "He's over the moon obviously himself. He said 'I can relax now'. I told him he can't."
Vitti's goal, one that Toronto fans have been waiting for, came in the 28th minute on a nifty play from defender Nana Attakora.
With Toronto enjoying its first spell of sustained pressure, Attakora scooped a pass to Vitti in the penalty area. Red Bulls goalkeeper Danny Cepero charged towards the Toronto striker, who let the ball bounce once before heading home to the delight of the crowd of 20,902 fans.
"Finally when the goal comes, it's satisfaction," the striker said through an interpreter afterwards.
Cummins praised the play of Attakora, who was a threat all night.
"He was outstanding again. He can either play centre-half or can play right back and you see the kid, he's just improving all the time," Cummins said.
With Toronto clearly in control in the second half, De Rosario made it 2-0 by lobbing a ball over Cepero in the 59th minute off a left-footed cross from striker Chad Barrett.
"I think leading up to that we had a nice little sequence of possession. Chad touched it inside, great ball over the top with his left foot," De Rosario said. "I saw the 'keeper edging out and he kinda paused and I just flicked it over him."
Toronto was wearing pink jerseys in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation on Wednesday and have now won three in a row in all competitions. They beat New York 2-1 at home on June 11, before last week's near-impossible 6-1 win against the Montreal Impact.
De Rosario scored a hat trick in that game as Toronto claimed the Nutrilite Canadian Championship.
"We're bound to catch a little streak," said Toronto FC defender Adrian Serioux. "We're going to take this ball and keep on running."
The win vaulted Toronto (6-5-4) into second place in the East with 22 points.
Vitti's goal made up for a sluggish start by Toronto, which looked like it might have been suffering from a championship hangover after the win over Montreal.
"I don't think it was a great game. It was bit lacklustre in the first half," Cummins said. "But I thought it was a very good professional performance from the lads."
In the second half, New York (2-11-4) came out more inspired with Nick Zimmerman whistling a shot over the Toronto goal in the 47th minute.
De Rosario then struck for the home side and had another chance in the 61st minute, but his shot from well out went harmlessly over the bar.
The Red Bulls tried to make a game of it after that with Seth Stammler charging through the Toronto defence, but was denied a shot on goal by Attakora and Serioux in the 64th minute.
De Rosario nearly made it 3-0 in the 84th minute, but Cepero made a good save to push his shot over the bar.
Serioux was the assessed a yellow card in the 77th minute when a minor scuffle erupted.
De Rosario was subbed off in the 87th minute with what Cummins described as ?tightness? but said he didn't know where.
Vitti's strike in the first half seemed to wake up the home side and he went from goalscorer to playmaker in the 38th minute, sending a ball wide to Attakora. The defender controlled and cut towards goal, but his shot went low and wide.
It wasn't all smiles for Toronto as the first half closed, however, as Carl Robinson was handed a yellow card in the 41st minute for dissent.
Vitti could have doubled his goal total for Toronto FC in one half of play in the 43rd minute, fighting off a defender in front of goal before seeing his shot trickle past the post.
De Rosario, playing much more inspired after his team took the lead, gathered a pass on the edge of the New York box before cutting inside just before half time.
With the Cepero and the Red Bulls' defence completely committed to blocking his shot, De Rosario cut back against the grain but his shot was cleared off the line by New York defender Andrew Boyens.
The first half started tentatively for both sides with neither creating much of anything until Vitti's strike.
A New York corner in the 25th minute could have been dangerous, but Stammler skied a volley over Stefan Frei's goal.
Toronto finished the night with six shots on target to New York's two. The Red Bulls are now 0-15-6 in their last 21 road games dating back to last season.
Toronto's next game is Saturday night at Real Salt Lake. TFC will be on the road for 10 of its last 15 games.
Notes: Toronto FC will wear their pink jerseys in support of breast cancer research again when the San Jose Earthquakes visit October 10. ... Toronto FC was honoured before the game for winning the Nutrilite Canadian Championship last week. Toronto needed to win by a four-goal margin, otherwise the Vancouver Whitecaps would have claimed the national title on goal difference. ... Before the game, Toronto announced that the team traded Canadian international midfielder Kevin Harmse to Chivas USA. Toronto received a money allocation in return. Harmse, 24, played 30 games - including 20 starts - for Toronto since coming from the Los Angeles Galaxy in February 2008.