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Highlights and context: Toronto FC gives Ryan Nelsen first MLS coaching win

Mar 9, 2013, 4:57 PM EDT

Robert Earnshaw

Ryan Nelsen, who won a bunch as a player in MLS, has his first victory as a coach in the league. His team did the “hang on” thing at the end, but no matter.

Toronto FC downed Sporting Kansas City, 2-1, on the Rogers Centre’s dreadful, old school artificial turf. Robert Earnshaw (pictured), the club’s new Welsh striker, put away both goals in his second consecutive impressive performance for the Reds, whose fans have reason to be encouraged.

The team played well last week, not necessarily stylishly, but with resolve in a tight season opening loss at Vancouver. Today, they had a 2-0 lead midway through the second half – and three points from the first two rounds are not bad at all for a club still in remake mode.

There are still plenty of cracks to patch up. TFC’s defensive coordination between midfield and the back wasn’t what it needed to be late.

And what was Danny Califf, veteran center back that he is, thinking in the second half as he continued to protest a yellow card handed him deep in SKC’s end? Califf was well out of position as the ball moved forward, and the goal that let Kansas City back into the game is 100 percent on him.

As for Kansas City … yuk. We’ll have more on that later.

Full match highlights are here:

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  1. simonbruyn - Mar 9, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Toronto was historically bad last year. Though it’s not the most fun to watch, a strong defensive formation with speed on the counter attack could be the way forward for Toronto becoming respectable again

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