By Jason De Vos TSN
DEVOS: TORONTO FC FINALLY DEFENDING AS A TEAM
Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen claimed the first victory of his young managerial career on Saturday, as his team came out on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline against MLS Eastern Conference favourites, Sporting KC.
There were plenty of positives for Nelsen to take away from the game; two well-taken goals from striker Robert Earnshaw; an exciting debut for new signing John Bostock, who earned the penalty kick that led to Earnshaw’s second goal; a two-way performance from left midfielder Reggie Lambe, that saw the Bermudian team up with left fullback Ashtone Morgan to stifle the play of Sporting KC star Graham Zusi.
Most impressive for me, though, was the team’s work-rate and attitude towards defending as a group. For the first time in what seems like years, Toronto FC has collectively found the will to fight for each other.
That work-rate and attitude must come from the head coach, who sets out the team’s tactical formation and game plan. It is no coincidence that Ryan Nelsen, an excellent defender himself, has already had a big impact on Toronto FC’s approach to defending as a team.