Toronto FC 1, LA Galaxy 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
It has been a good couple of weeks for Toronto defender Drew Moor. After welcoming his newborn child Joseph to the BMO faithful on Saturday night, he popped up in the 76th minute to score the game winner with a diving header to give TFC a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
Both teams fielded depleted squads due to injuries and international duty, but Toronto benefitted from the return of talisman Sebastian Giovinco to fitness after he left the team's previous league match due to injury. TFC also handed a first start to homegrown striker Jordan Hamilton, while midfielder Benoit Cheyrou slid back into midfield for his first start since early April, taking over as marshall in front of the back line in Michael Bradley's absence. The Galaxy, without Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane due to Copa America Centenario and the European Championships, respectively, were also without midfielder Steven Gerrard and striker Giovani dos Santos, who both reportedly have picked up injuries of late.
Both teams entered the game winless in their past four matches, and that lack of form showed as the chances were few and far between. Cheyrou and Giovinco both had moments of fine play, which gave the home side the edge in possession and chances created, but the European duo were unable to orchestrate the breakthrough until the game's final quarter of an hour.
After a good bout of possession, the ball fell to Cheyrou 40 yards from goal, and the Frenchman played a perfect chipped ball into the box to defender Eriq Zavaleta. Zavaleta flicked it on in traffic to Moor at the back post, whose diving header back across goal showed the poise of a striker.
- WELCOME BACK BENOIT: Boy did TFC miss that guy. Benoit Cheyrou was at the center of everything good for Toronto on Saturday night. This was the Frenchman's first start since the fourth game of the season, and he showed no signs of rust after the long layofff. He marshalled the space in front of the defense with aplomb and showed real class choosing his passes springing the TFC attack. His ball into the box led to the game's lone goal, and TFC will be glad his name will be available on the team sheet moving forward.
- HELLO MR. HAMILTON: Jordan Hamilton, Toronto's much anticipated homegrown signing, finally made his full debut Saturday night. Head coach Greg Vanney said he earned the start thanks to his two-goal performance against Montreal in the Amway Canadian Championship on June 1. With the powerful 20-year old now an option up top moving forward, things are certainly looking up for TFC, who snapped a four game winless streak.
- TENSION IN TINSELTOWN? LA has now gone five games without a win. Time to panic? Probably not. But this team needs to find a way to win when its best XI isn't on the field. Even without the likes of dos Santos, Keane, Zardes, and Gerrad, it could be argued that this club still boasts one of the best and most experienced lineups in the league. In order for LA to make a run this year, guys not mentioned above are going to need to step up.
- TOR: Tuesday, June 21 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:30 pm ET, TSN, MLS LIVE)
- LA: Saturday, June 25 at San Jose Earthquakes (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE)