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TFC beats full-strength Red Star side


As preseason games go, Toronto FC’s 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade Sunday in Turkey was significant.

Usually, when facing European opposition in friendlies or preseason games, MLS teams are used to seeing squads filled with “B” team players and prospects. But Red Star Belgrade fielded what was close to a full-strength squad — and only used three subs, as if the Toronto FC match was a regular Serbian league game. The club resumes its Serbian league schedule Feb. 27 after the end of the winter break.

And manager Robert Prosinecki, a member of the Red Star European championship side of 1991, arguably the greatest Eastern European club side ever, was very unhappy after the loss to TFC.

“We have not played as we imagined,” Prosinecki, who captained Croatia after the breakup of Yugoslavia, told the official Red Star website. “Toronto has proven to be an aggressive rival.”

Not the kind of disappointment we are used to seeing from coaches after a friendly.

Matt Stinson,scored off a cross from trialist Javier Martina late in the first half in a game that saw TFC change over all 11 players on the pitch at halftime.

Keeper Stefan Frei were held out by TFC coach Aron Winter, as he used the game to watch his young hopefuls take on a very experienced Red Star side. Dwayne De Rosario wasn’t with the team as he’s on his way to Greece to meet up with the Canadian national team.

TFC defender Adrian Cann, who will join De Rosario Monday in Greece to prepare for Canada’s Wednesday’s friendly, played one half.

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One Comment

  1. Serb

    February 7, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Are you kidding me? Full strength Red Star side? lol…. they were missing half their starters if not more LOL

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