TFC can't capitalize

Carl Robinson fights for the ball with John Cunliffe as the  Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes...

Carl Robinson fights for the ball with John Cunliffe as the Toronto FC and San Jose Earthquakes fought to a scoreless draw today at BMO Field. (Stan Behal/Sun Media)

DEAN MCNULTY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

It must have been the stifling heat -- 30C and sweltering humidity -- that made yesterday's Major League Soccer match between Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes excruciatingly hard to watch and harder to play.

The 0-0 result, however, had little to do with the heat, the humidity or the rain, as TFC coach John Carver made abundantly clear after the match in front of 20,264 at BMO Field.

"They are professional footballers," Carver said of his team. "I'm not about to make a call to the guy upstairs and ask Him to turn down the heat."

In spite of the conditions, however, Carver would not fault his starting 11 for the frustrating outcome.

"Listen, we threw everything at (San Jose) except the kitchen sink," he said.

And that was certainly true.

TFC outshot the expansion Earthquakes 11-4 and clearly dominated every facet of the game.

The fact that they were unable to put the ball behind San Jose's Joe Canon spoke more about bad luck than the keeper's skill.

"We had Amado Guevara, one of the greatest scorers in this league, taking a penalty kick" Carver said. "And he misses. When does that happen?"

TFC had other glorious opportunities.

Abdus Ibrahim, the 16-year-old phenom, missed at least three close-in shots in the first half alone.

He said after the game that as frustrating as it was for him, he felt bad for the team.

"We should have won that game easily," Ibrahim said. "But we did show that we can dominate an opponent."

And Guevara, who played a hard, fast game in spite of the conditions, had balls that normally go in the net go either wide or high on chances he had.

"It's obvious we need goal scorers," Carver said. "We are talking to several prospects, one in particular, who we think we can get in here."

TFC midfielder Carl Robinson said that the team has to take solace in the fact that it was superior to San Jose all over the pitch.

"I can't remember playing in a match that we were so much better that the opposition as (yesterday)," Robinson said. "In reality, the score should have favoured us by several goals."

Carver did express some unhappiness that the Toronto media appears to only write negative stories on the city's sports franchises.

"It's no wonder the hockey team, the (CFL) team and the basketball team aren't successful here," he said.

TFC has little time to recover from yesterday's result, however, as it meets the Montreal Impact on Tuesday for the NutriLite Canadian Championship at BMO.

A win is the only result that will put them in the CONCACAF Cup.

"Everybody on this team knows the importance of that game," Robinson said. "This is the kind of match that we all want to play in. We'll be ready."

Meanwhile, Ronnie O'Brien, former Toronto FC midfielder and a fan favourite when he played here last season, was booed every time he touched the ball yesterday.

The Irish national player, however, said he had the last laugh with the draw.

"The fans here are great; they are the best in the league," he said. "I took the boos as a sign of respect. I think if I played poorly, they would have had nothing to boo me for."


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