Player ratings: Chicago-Toronto

Chicago 0, Toronto 0
Sept. 8, 2010

Summary: Toronto came out much more aggressive than Chicago, controlling play but not getting a lot of good chances out of it. TFC had a couple of shouts for a penalty on two close ball-to-arm plays, each of them a 50-50 call. Also, Toronto was whistled for 13 fouls before Chicago picked up its first two calls in first-half stoppage time. But Chicago created the only good scoring chance — only shot on goal, in fact — of the first half.

In the second half, Chicago got an even better chance, but Freddie Ljungberg put a shot wide with only the keeper to beat. The game opened up around the 70th minute, with Toronto putting a couple of good shots on frame. But the game petered out to a dull conclusion.

Side note: Toronto’s commentary crew is excellent. They’re well-prepared with facts on players for both teams, and they work them seamlessly into the commentary. They’re generally relevant facts about the players’ form, not weird personality tidbits on players who have no personality. Terrific stuff.

Conditions: Pleasant, mid-60s.

CHICAGO: Mike Banner replaced the suspended Gonzalo Segares. Collins John got a run in place of Brian McBride. Marco Pappa played for Guatemala on Tuesday and was kept out of action.

6 Sean Johnson (GK): Had some confusion with Robinson in the box that resulted in a rushed clearance that hit Brown in the arm. Little else to do in first half. Big save on White in 74th.

6 Steven Kinney (RB): Little trouble on his side.
5 Dasan Robinson (CB): Some unsteadiness but no harm done. Suffered many fouls, which is odd for a central defender.
5 C.J. Brown (CB): Kicked in the head and bled profusely. Lucky not to concede a penalty when ball hit arm in box.
6 Mike Banner (LB): See Steven Kinney.

6 Patrick Nyarko (RM): Terrific through ball for John. Less of a factor in second half.
6 Logan Pause (CM): Positive play getting ball forward.
5 John Thorrington (CM): Subbed out at half.
4 Freddie Ljungberg (AM): Not much of a factor. Scuffed shot wide on 1-on-1 chance against Frei. Subbed out in 76th.
6 Nery Castillo (LM/F): Set up Ljungberg for golden chance and forced Frei to punch a well-taken free kick over the bar.

6 Collins John (F): Dangerous runs. Made way for McBride in 82nd.

Subs:
6 Wilman Conde (DM): Subbed for Thorrington at half.
NR Calen Carr (F): Subbed for Ljungberg.
NR Brian McBride (F): Subbed for John.

TORONTO: Dwayne De Rosario, Julian de Guzman and Nana Attakora returned from international duty, while Jacob Peterson played out of position up front with Mista nursing an injury. Ty Harden was preferred to Nick Garcia.

7 Stefan Frei (GK): Good 15th-minute save on John. Alert on through balls, cut down angle on Ljungberg breakaway.

4 Maksim Usanov (RB): Comical misplay when trying to move forward into attack. Obvious yellow card puts him over the limit — he’ll be suspended for the next game. Preki didn’t wait that long, taking him out in the 79th.
6 Nana Attakora (CB): Steady enough.
6 Adrian Cann (CB): Timely interventions.
6 Ty Harden (LB): Announcers constantly fretted that he was playing out of position, but he didn’t seem out of place.

6 Nick LaBrocca (RM): Active in attack. Good high shot from distance tested Johnson.
5 Julian de Guzman (CM): Steady if not spectacular.
6 Dwayne De Rosario (AM): Frustrating offensive night by his high standard but worked hard defensively.
6 Dan Gargan (LM): Willing to cover a lot of ground to get involved in attack. Long throw-in nearly put in by White.

5 Jacob Peterson (F): Couldn’t get into flow in unfamiliar role. Subbed out in 57th minute.
5 O’Brian White (F): Crashed into defenders for fouls. Subbed out in 84th.

Subs:
6 Maicon Santos (F): Had been a fitness question mark coming into game but made a positive contribution to the attack.
NR Nick Garcia (RB): Replaced Usanov.
NR Joseph Nane (M): Replaced White.

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