Archive for the ‘Toronto FC’ Category

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It takes a full team that’s committed from the first day of preseason to buy in, and be a successful MLS club. LAFC are 7-1-1 on the season, and sitting pretty at the top of the MLS table. LAFC can flick a switch and score in bunches.

Yes, it’s early, but Bob Bradley’s side are easily the team to beat. Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, and Christian Ramirez are leading the way on offence, but LAFC are equally talented on the back line with a pair of defenders that provide a strong veteran presence.

Steven Beitashour, and Jordan Harvey bring the kind of leadership, and MLS experience that a lot of MLS teams simply don’t have. LAFC’s full backs know what it takes to win. They’re out to prove that they still have a lot of left in the tank. Not only is LAFC a thriving on the pitch, but they are a well connected side off the pitch.

“Yeah, I think we’ve been gelling,” Beitashour explained. “Obviously that comradorite and having a year together, and really getting familiar with your teammates. In Bob’s (Bradley) system, I think it’s a very unique style. There’s a specific way he wants to play, and I think now, we’re really comfortable with it. You can see that, in the way that we’ve started so far.”

It also helps to have early season MVP candidate, Carlos Vela who has already scored 10 goals this season. A team that has the quality, and depth that LAFC has, doesn’t need a lot of opportunities to score.

Vela, and Rossi have combined for 16 goals, and 6 assists.

Having the ability to throw Vela, and Rossi at opposition defenders is a great problem to have for Bradley and his coaching staff. It’s also a luxury to be able to compete against the duo each day in practice.

“Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun playing with them, and going against them,” Harvey told Har Journalist, in Vancouver. “I think that’s something that kind of gets overlooked. As defenders, we get to go against some really special attackers every day in training, and that really helps us out. When we step on the pitch, we’ve been playing against the best players, I feel like, in MLS. When you come on, it makes your job a little bit easier, and you know what to expect a little bit more.”

While both Beitashour, and Harvey have spent considerable time playing in Canada, they have always played in a similar natural full back role. Now that they’re in Los Angeles, that role hasn’t changed much. The duo is still offensive minded, with a few additions.

“You’ve seen us both play for long enough, you know our roles,” Beitashour joked.

It’s not enough to rush up the pitch and contribute on offence. That’s already expected from a modern full back. The ability to add another offensive dimension without jeopardizing your defence, is what separates outstanding full backs.

“It’s similar to what we’ve been doing our whole careers,” Beitashour said “At the same time. I think there are moments when we are tucked in more, and almost playing, like a central role. Maybe in the past it’s more stay wide, get up, and get down. Over here, I think we’re tucked in a little more, and able to connect with passes. When we don’t have the ball, we’re also offensive marking, and preventing any counter-attacks that could happen.

“I would agree,” Harvey said.

The 32-year-old, Steven Beitashour, and 35-year-old, Jordan Harvey, are the type of MLS veterans you need to win an MLS championship. They put the work in each day, bring a positive mindset, and want to help the next generation.

Together they are hoping they can help LAFC reach the ultimate goal this season.

“The ultimate goal is MLS Cup,” Beitashour smiled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Team Caleb with Toronto FC’s 6th overall selection Griffin Dorsey from Indiana University at the 2019 MLS SuperDraft in Chicago. Friday, January 11 – Photo: Har Journalist

CHICAGO – The picks are in and the first two rounds of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft are in the books. Toronto FC, Whitecaps FC and the Montreal Impact all added talented young players to their rosters, but it was Griffin Dorsey and Team Caleb that stole the show.

Toronto FC’s 6th overall selection gave them the highest pick among the Canadian trio. The Reds selected midfielder Griffin Dorsey from Indiana University.

The 19 year-old Dorsey, immediately showed his leadership, compassion, and character as he shared his special moment with his 8-year-old friend, Caleb from McCourtsville, Indiana.

Caleb is a devout Indiana Hoosier soccer fan who has faced a variety of challenging illnesses in his young life. He loves soccer, but isn’t able to play the sport. It was a no brainer that Dorsey wanted to invite his biggest fan to the MLS SuperDraft.

“I met him through IU,” Dorsey said of Caleb. “He started supporting us and we got him into the locker rooms and he moved our whole team. He moved me, and it’s an honour to be able to share this with him.”

“I think he wanted to be here, but I also wanted him to be here. It was an honour.”

“He’d come to all the home games. He ended up coming to the college cup in California, and he was with us all the way through the season. He was in the locker room, around the team. He was doing everything with us. It was awesome to have him around.”\

In Dorsey, Toronto FC is getting a footballer that is much more than the beautiful game. Dorsey cares, and he wants to use his abilities on and off the pitch to help others. The hard work begins now, and Dorsey will be ready to show Toronto FC what he can do.

“I can’t wait to get started, get to work, and meet the guys on the team that I’ve looked up to. I want to be a professional soccer player. Here we are living the dream, and I can’t wait to start the hard work.”

When the Colorado native does crack TFC’s lineup, you can be sure Caleb will be there supporting him just as he did during Dorsey’s time at Indiana.

“I would hope so,” Dorsey smiled. “I definitely hope he comes up for sure.”

Vancouver Whitecaps FC had a bit of a wait until they made their only selection of the day. The Caps selected  Georgetown University centre-back Brendan McDonough.

In 63 appearances and 52 starts for the Hoyas, McDonough contributed two goals and two assists in four years at Georgetown.

“Brendan is a centre-back that has a good margin to progress,” Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters at the SuperDraft. “He’s a player that catched our eye when we were looking at the combine, and even before. He’s a centre-back that has the ability to play in back-four or a back-three. We like speaking with him to also learn about the person. He’s comfortable on the ball, he’s aggressive defensively, so we’re proud to have him.”

“We knew at the 35th pick, we had to pick the best player possible, and he was always number one for us in that type of round. We’re happy with that pick.”

The 22 year-old McDonough was not in attendance at the MLS SuperDraft. Whitecaps FC fans can expect to see him when training camp begins in Vancouver on Monday, January 21.

“He’s very happy to come to Vancouver” Dos Santos echoed.

Although Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal did not stock pile draft picks, it was a strong MLS SuperDraft for Canadian born players as three were chosen among the first 10-picks.

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FC Dallas 4th overall selection Callum Montgomery from the Victoria Highlanders at the 2019 MLS SuperDraft in Chicago on Friday, January 11 – Photo: Har Journalist

Victoria, B.C. native, Callum Montgomery was the highest Canadian selected. The former UNC-Charlotte centre-back went 4th overall to FC Dallas. After meeting with FC Dallas at the MLS combine. He had a bit of an inkling that Dallas might be his destination.

“I was a late bloomer,” Montgomery admitted. “My career developed at different times. I wasn’t part of Whitecaps residency program or their residency team. Growing up, I played for the Victoria Highlanders which was a great success and a great team. I had a wonderful experience with the Victoria Highlanders. I’m just really excited to be with FC Dallas and hopefully contribute.”

“I hear Dallas is a great city. New coach coming in. It’s an exciting time for the club. I think it’s going to be an unbelievable experience. They have some centre-backs I can learn from and grow my game every single day. That’s my mentality. I want to get better every single day. I’m really excited and just looking forward to the home opener.”

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The 2019 MLS SuperDraft in Chicago on Friday, January 11 – Photo: Har Journalist

In a year where we saw a Union dissolve all of their MLS SuperDraft picks, it just goes to show that the MLS SuperDraft is still an important day for the next generation of MLS footballers. You only have to see the generosity from Griffin Dorsey.

Notes: The Montreal Impact selected Maryland’s Amar Sejdic 34th overall. Toronto FC also took Adam Wilson 39th overall from the University of Louisville. Vancouver and Montreal did not make a first round MLS SuperDraft selection.

 

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Whitecaps FC vs Toronto FC match breakdown.

https://bit.ly/2OHMAKn

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Canadian Championship Final match breakdown between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Canadian Championship Final first leg match breakdown between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC.

https://bit.ly/2AXG6S2

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Red Nation Online for my Canadian Championship Final preview between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Toronto FC.

https://bit.ly/2vMBoAN

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TORONTO, Ontario – Please visit Red Nation Online for my story on the Canada vs Jamaica announced friendly fixture.

http://www.rednationonline.ca/Articles2016/CanMNTtofaceoffagainstJamaicainToronto.aspx

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