TFC white-hot against D.C.

Toronto FC Amado Guevara and D.C. United Andrew Jacobson battle for the ball during a game in...

Toronto FC Amado Guevara and D.C. United Andrew Jacobson battle for the ball during a game in Toronto on Aug. 15, 2009. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Sun Media)

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

In the end, youth was served on a day when Toronto FC served notice that it was bent on making its first post-season.

For once, the locals didn't have to answer questions about a lack of finish or field queries regarding their defensive capabilities.

Visiting D.C. United never did muster any, sustained attack and except for a handful of opportunities that went awry, the Reds were well deserving of their 2-0 win.

The win vaulted TFC ahead of D.C. United and into third place in the East. It also ended a seven-game winless skid, including three Major League Soccer matches, dating back to July 11 against San Jose.

With nine games remaining, including six on the road, TFC needs at least four wins to book itself a playoff spot for the first time in its three-year existence.

In the aftermath of Toronto's eighth win of the season, O'Brian White, 23, added his name to the team's record book. The Jamaican-born, Scarborough-raised White started his first game in MLS and scored his first goal on a clinical right-footed thrust that found the top-right corner of the net.

Not that TFC was in danger of losing the game, but White's marker provided the key insurance goal in the 65th minute after Dwayne De Rosario opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season in the 30th minute.

"It was great to get that first goal,'' the soft-spoken White said. "To know that the goal gave us that 2-0 lead was big because we definitely needed the three points."

White acknowledged the warm response he received from fans and the reception he got from his teammates following his career-first goal.

As a memento, White was given the game ball.

As many as 30 family members were in attendance to see White, whose career was in doubt as early as last year when he tore knee ligaments.

"I know my teammates were happy for me because they've seen me go through all the therapy,'' White said.

In the opening half, White found himself unmarked inside D.C. United's box, but a lack of touch led to a wayward shot.

Undaunted, he capitalized when De Rosario triggered the sequence on a corner kick.

"At halftime, I wasn't worried about missing that first chance,'' White said. "You just have to keep your focus."

Clearly, the focus for the Reds is on making the playoffs. The team now has the luxury of playing once a week and establishing a consistent practice routine.

YOUTH MOVEMENT

Chris Cummins went with a 3-5-2 approach and decided to showcase his team's young faces. By his count, seven players aged 23 or younger received minutes.

"It's a risk,'' Cummins said. "But they've got legs and energy. To play in MLS, you need to be a good athlete. You need that balance with experience in the right places."

About the only bad news to emerge yesterday was the yellow card issued to Jim Brennan, who now will miss next Saturday's game at Chivas USA for picking up his sixth infraction of the season.

FRANK.ZICARELLI@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos