TFC finding its way

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:35 PM ET

Toronto FC is getting closer to finding its form, an encouraging sign, considering the Aron Winter era is only four games old.

Despite a first half that gusted from mediocre to poor, the Reds took it to San Jose in California in the final half on Saturday night and deserved the 1-1 result.

There remain causes for concern most noticeably the defence had at least one massive breakdown for the fourth game in a row and the lack of finishing could prove problematic if it keeps up, but overall, the organization seems to be on the right track.

Without Dwayne De Rosario, there does not seem to be a game-breaker on the roster capable of scoring a boatload of goals, but for what seems like the first time in team history, there is a plethora of creative playmakers on hand.

Young Alen Stevanovic looked particularly dangerous, showing tremendous control with the ball and creativity, which gave San Joses defenders fits.

Stevanovic combined well with Danliegh Borman while Javier Martina can keep opponents on their heels on the other side.

Add in the running ability of defender Mikael Yourassowsky who looked good to start the season before missing the past two games due to a suspension and a coaching decision and for once, this looks like a group of Reds that can put some pressure on opponents.

However, Borman was exposed a couple of times when he had to defend and must improve in that area.

Wheres the finish?

The problem though, is while all that creating is nice, chances need to be converted. Alan Gordon has done well as a target man and has been another strong addition, but Martina can do more and new captain Maicon Santos has gone missing.

Santos played well in the past while situated furthest up the field, but he has looked completely lost in his new role in the midfield.

He rarely gets touches and has not had the space to unleash his rocket of a shot the past few games.

New role, new results

A change in roles has been far more beneficial for Jacob Peterson. Peterson underwhelmed in a more offensive role last season, but has been a steady, reliable player for his head coach Winter not that he has shifted to the defensive side of things.

Few saw Petersons improvement in a drastically altered role coming, but he has re-made himself into a solid supporting piece.

JDG coming along

Julian de Guzman looked closer to top form in his second appearance of the season, though he again had to come off of the bench because a full 90 minutes is not yet an option for him.

I feel good. It was my second 45 minutes in 5 months, De Guzman said after the game.

There was no pain in my knee and I have more confidence. I feel by the end of the month Ill be fully game fit.

De Guzman played very well in the midfield, especially breaking up plays and winning challenges.

De Guzman noticed the change in his teammates in the second half.

There was a difference, much higher spirit and determination, De Guzman said.

The way the team was able to react with more concentration, we were more disciplined. The game is 90 minutes not 45. To me the most important time in a game is the first 20-25 minutes. But with the type of second half we had today we can certainly have some positive results on the road this season.

Intensity upgrade

Another difference over last year with the Reds appears to be in the intensity department.

This edition plays very hard and has a chip on its shoulder. Opponents have become annoyed with the edge TFC is playing with, and thats a good thing.

If we want to compete in this league weve got to be physical, Gordon said.

Ive always played that way, and weve got other guys who want to do that as well.


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