About Author: Aman Dhanoa

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Aman Dhanoa has a BAA in Journalism from Ryerson University and is currently the Sports Editor/Reporter for the South Asian news site Oye! Times (oyetimes.com). Dhanoa is also the co-host of 500 Level – Toronto Sports Talk, a weekly podcast available on iTunes. He is passionate about all sports but in regards to soccer he has covered the Toronto FC beat as well as the Canadian men’s national team.

Posts by Aman Dhanoa

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Herdman “really disappointed” with Canadian women’s loss to the U.S. on home soil

Canada's Desiree Scott, left, tries to challenge American Tobin Heath. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER/PAUL GIAMOU

Canada’s Desiree Scott, left, tries to challenge American Tobin Heath. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER/PAUL GIAMOU

The atmosphere was something special; a sold-out BMO Field was the stage for Canada and the United States’ rematch from the London Olympics.

Despite the record turnout the result was once again a losing one for Canada, as the U.S. took over in the second half and utilized its transition game to score three goals in the final 20 minutes to pick apart the Canadian defence, winning 3-0.

Canada managed to neutralize the Americans’ two stars — Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan — in the first half as the U.S. barely created any opportunities. Canada was not able to create much either but, eventually, the U.S. broke Canada down and that left coach John Herdman disappointed.

“The last 30 minutes of the game really caused us a few problems. The U.S. finally got Morgan released and that was the game plan — to keep Morgan and Wambach quiet,” said Herdman.

“We said that the U.S. will hurt us in transition. They score an average three goals against Canada a game throughout our history and did it again today, so I’m really disappointed to be honest.”
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Quon explains her decision to swap her U.S. jersey for a Canadian one

Rachel Quon

Rachel Quon

Although Sunday’s “rematch” against the United States is significant in the collective conscious for Canadians, national women’s national team coach John Herdman is looking at the match differently.

Herdman has stated that, despite this being an important match that stirs up emotions from last summer, the ultimate goal is to prepare for the women’s World Cup in 2015, which will be hosted by Canada. As a result, he will utilize a different look to gauge what kind of group he has moving forward and that includes moving younger and newer players into the line-up.

One possible addition to the roster has stirred up interest and questions more than any other – possibly because she is born in the country of its upcoming opponent.

Canada raised some eyebrows by adding U.S.-born-and -raised Rachel Quon to the roster for Sunday’s friendly. She currently plays with the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League and has represented the U.S. on U-17 and U-20 World Cup teams.

It was announced earlier this week that Quon, 22, has a family connection that allows her to play for Canada — but why did she decide to make this move despite already being a part of best programs in women’s international soccer?
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Canadian women enjoy celebrity status ahead of Sunday’s BMO Field showdown with U.S.

Christine Sinclair at a fan rally in Toronto. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Christine Sinclair at a fan rally in Toronto. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Ten months ago, the Canadian and the United States’ national teams played in what was arguably the most exciting match in women’s soccer history. In the Olympic soccer semifinal, the red and white, no matter how resilient, came up short in extra time.

Especially tough to overcome was the controversy of a referee’s decision that put the U.S. level with a few minutes remaining. The drama of a heart-wrenching but inspiring loss is still fresh today for the Canadians but also its fans. Canadians were so captivated as to what transpired in London last August that the women’s national team has suddenly found itself with a country filled of supporters and a full house on home turf. Over 20,000 fans are expected at BMO Field on Sunday afternoon as the two countries meet for the first time since the semi final.

There’s no doubt about it – this is new territory for the women’s program. All this attention has some of them feeling like celebrities and a little overwhelmed by all the attention.

“We get reminded about it every time we bump into people in airports. People won’t leave it alone – it’s unreal,” said national coach John Herdman after a spirited practice in front of a few hundred fans on Thursday night.
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After Friday’s results, Canada knows it must get at least a draw in Honduras

Olivier Occean… baffled by the red card he was issued. PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER

Goals — check.

Three points — check.

So why is Canada left with a bittersweet taste despite a 3-0 victory over Cuba and sitting tied with Panama atop Group C? It will be the inordinate amount of missed opportunities against a Cuban team with no subs and out of its element on a cold autumn night that will have Canada ruing its chance to run up the score even more than it did.

Canada now has 10 points and is two points up on Honduras after a 0-0 draw in Panama City. So did the team do enough to put itself in a good position heading into the final group match?
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O’Dea: Toronto FC “is mentally weak”

Darren O’Dea

Same old story.
 
Toronto FC was looking to bounce back from its dismal effort and the tongue-lashing dished out by coach Paul Mariner after Wednesday night’s dismal performance in a 2-1 loss to Chicago Fire at home.

The team definitely rebounded with a better overall team game but the Philadelphia Union (7-13-5) snatched victory out of TFC’s grasp with a goal in the game’s final minutes, allowing the visitors to escape BMO Field with a 1-1 draw. TFC (5-17-7) rued the missed opportunities in a strong first half and lacked the mental toughness once again in the late stages of a game that erased the advantage supplied by Eric Hassli in the 58th minute.
 
TFC’s winless streak has now reached nine games and the team remains entrenched in the cellar of the Eastern Conference. Read the rest of this entry »

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Panamanian keeper: “We were not paying attention and fell asleep”

Jaime Penedo

The tables have turned.

Entering Friday night’s match, the pressure was riding on Canada but now the boot is now on the other foot as Canada sits atop Group C in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying after a 1-0 win over Panama.

Sitting in first place coming into the match, the Panamanians would have been comfortable with a draw. But with wave after wave of the Canadian attack in the first half, the Canaleros looked certain to wilt under the pressure. But Panama responded with a better effort in the second half —but yet a cheeky quick free kick proved to be the difference as Panama fell to second in the group.
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Dunfield’s late header allows TFC to snatch point in Houston

Terry Dunfield

Terry Dunfield used his head again to rescue another late result for Toronto FC.

Despite running the balance of play and looking like they were on their way to locking up a relatively easy three points, the Dynamo and their fans looked stunned the Reds escaped with a 1-1 draw at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday night.

Dunfield was left unmarked in the centre of the box and had little trouble driving in a header on a long cross over top of the defence from defender Darren O’Dea. Goalkeeper Tally Hall got a hand to the ball but it went up and hit the crossbar before falling into the back of the net.
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TFC wins the match, but loses Koevermans

Toronto FC coach Paul Mariner returned to Foxborough, Mass. where he spent five fond seasons with the New England Revolution, but probably could not wait to leave as the clock ticked down on another nerve-racking match.

It was a tale of two halves for the Reds, with Luis Silva scoring in the eighth minute to give his team the early lead. TFC clung to that slim 1-0 lead through 90 minutes and a total of 12 minutes of stoppage time – five in the first half and seven minutes after the final 45 – to hold on to a 1-0 road victory.

The teams met for the second time in three weeks after 2-2 draw on June 23 at BMO Field. After TFC scored two first-half goals, the Reds blew their lead with the tying goal coming in the fourth minute of stoppage time. There was no disappointment this time around — barely. With each mounting attack from the Revs in the second half it seemed to be a matter of time before TFC’s backs were broken yet again. But Milos Kocic was fantastic in goal for Toronto and made several big game-saving stops to earn his third clean sheet of the season.

Despite picking up three points the Reds did suffer a big loss with Danny Koevermans injuring his left knee late in the first half and had to be stretchered off the field. The injury looked serious and it would be a huge blow to the Reds if the Dutch striker is out for any extended length of time. Koevermans has had a deadly strike rate in MLS having scored 17 goals in just 25 matches since joining Toronto midway through last season.
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Plata-less TFC makes its point in Dallas

Paul Mariner

After suffering through the worst start in Major League Soccer history, Toronto FC continued its resurgence under new coach Paul Mariner.

The Reds were not able to pull out a win but still managed a positive result on the road to earn deserved 1-1 draw against FC Dallas in hot and humid conditions in Frisco, Tex. With the temperature hovering at 35 C at kickoff, both sides started with great pace but the game slowed down dramatically by the final whistle was blown.

With the draw, Toronto (2-10-4) is now unbeaten in five matches while Dallas (3-9-6) continued its struggles and is now winless in 12 games.
 
The Reds returned to the scene of its 3-0 triumph over the Hoops in what was a must-win finale of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage last fall. In that match, forward Joao Plata played his best game in a TFC uniform by setting up Koevermans for the first goal before burying two second-half strikes to book a spot in the CCL quarter-finals.
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TFC watches two-goal lead slip away in the Houston heat

Will Bruin

Glass half empty or glass half full?

That is how many will view the effort put forth by Toronto FC on the road in what was a thrilling and entertaining 3-3 draw against the Houston Dynamo, Wednesday night.

Considering the team’s season so far, it was a big surprise, and that’s putting it mildly, to see Toronto FC come out with an inspired, offensive first half effort to hold a 3-1 lead at the break — especially after the Reds lacklustre start in its last match in Kansas City on Saturday night.

But it all came undone as poor defending gave Houston the opportunity to steal a point at home on a hot, humid night in its brand new BBVA Compass Stadium. The heat played a factor in the match and at kick-off the temperature was 29 C but with the humidity it felt closer to 39 C.
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