Unsettled draw inToronto FC

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:05 PM ET

TORONTO -- Toronto FC's Scarborough Connection came through for the hometown, but it's the ugly goal the club gave up yesterday that will haunt it this week.

Three minutes from a shutout win and the perfect finish to the day for Dwayne De Rosario and Adrian Serioux, team jitters came to the fore and allowed FC Dallas to escape with a 1-1 draw. TFC didn't have a shot on goal in the second half, while winless Dallas took advantage for its first point of the year.

"I could see a little bit of anxiety creeping in amongst our guys, certainly in the last 10-15 minutes," coach John Carver said.

"As a coach, there's nothing you can do. It's down to the individuals at that point. But it's very disappointing because there was a vast improvement in our play from last week (a 2-0 home-opening loss to Seattle)."

That's two games at BMO in front of 20,000 plus and just one point, but the fans couldn't argue about TFC's first-half effort. De Rosario and Chad Barrett nearly had the club's first ever opening minute goal and the former knocked in a bullet throw-in from Serioux in the 17th minute.

"We don't connect often," defender Serioux said of getting involved with the offensive-minded midfielder, who also changed MLS clubs to play at home this year. "We can (call) it the Scarborough Connection. We're roommates and we have midnight talks about that sort of thing."

Serioux's accuracy and flat delivery make his throws as dangerous as a corner kick.

"We have some set pieces like that, where we try and hit the first man, but (Dallas) kept on cutting it out," Serioux said. "If that's not an option, I usually just try and whip it into the box, cause a scatter and hope someone gets on the end of it like DeRo did."

De Rosario was moved up in the offensive scheme behind forward Chad Barrett, where Carver thinks he can concentrate on goals and worry less about defence.

"I'm glad I got my first goal, but I'm disappointed in the result," said De Rosario. "But we're playing the same team next week (in Dallas). We know what they bring to the table now and they haven't see our full potential, yet.

"Our intensity was better, but soccer is a game of chances and if you don't finish, the other team comes back and punishes you."

De Rosario's hamstring was bothering him just before Pablo Ricchetti's tying goal, one of a series of mishaps for TFC on the play off Eric Avila's long corner.

"Sam Cronin was in a little tight, there might have been a shove on Jimmy Brennan, but we didn't defend the second ball," Carver said. "When the first ball goes over your head, you can't stand around, you have to pick up your man."

The goal also spoiled the BMO Field debut of goalie Stefan Frei. Teenager Fuad Ibrahim did well in Rohan Ricketts's midfield spot before cramps set in late in the game, while hard-luck Barrett had some of the best chances to bury Dallas.

"In fairness, Chad did work very hard," Carver said. "I said to him before the game, 'I'm staying with you.' "

LANCE.HORNBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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