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CCL Leg 1 Game Recap: Toronto FC 2, Colorado Rapids 0

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Weather conditions were not ideal but both teams put forth a solid effort.

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

They say it got down to just 3 degrees in Commerce City tonight and that it felt like -16, so yeah it was cold. I tried to take some notes at first, but gave up and ended up just watched the game for the most part.

The Colorado Rapids played well in the first half and had a few good chances. The Rapids earned two corners in the first 15 minutes, and brought a lot of pressure. Their best chance was a Dominique Badji breakaway in the 27th minute. Badji waited too long to shoot and Alex Bono cut down the angle enough to come up with a big save. The Rapids weren’t really marking Sebastian Giovinco, and while he did get a shot right at Tim Howard towards the end of the half, he didn’t make them pay for that until the second half.

I thought Enzo Martinez played aggressively but smart and had some great tackles. Jack Price continues to control the midfield and serve up great passes (I was really impressed by him in Phoenix). Price was given a yellow card in the 28th minute for “unsporting behavior” but I didn’t see exactly what happened.

Toronto got on the board in the 55th minute when Jonathan Osorio headed a chip from Giovinco back across the goal. Howard was moving towards the player and Tommy Smith couldn’t get to it in time, so Toronto went up 1-0. TFC sealed the game when Giovinco volleyed the ball in from 12 yards out, and I’m still wondering why no one was on him.

Throughout the game, Edgar Castillo crossed the ball in the box time and time again. He looked fit and didn’t seem to run out of steam. Kortne Ford was all over the place making plays and putting in work. He had an especially great tackle against Jozy Altidore in the second half.

Toronto made their first sub at the 77th minute, and head coach Greg Vanney ended up using all three. Anthony Hudson, on the other hand, didn’t use any subs. In the post-game press conference, Hudson said that he felt that it was important for the guys to play through the fatigue and get in 90 minutes. I’m sure he also didn’t want to risk injury by subbing in cold players on a cold day.

Overall, I don’t think anyone had a bad game. I think some players were quieter than others (i.e. Marlon Hairston), and many of us felt like Badji’s missed goal was going to come back and bite them. I was surprised that Jack McBean seemed slower than I remembered him to be, but the more I think about it the more I don’t know that he’s a “dribble up and score” kind of guy - he’s more of a “get the ball to him and he’ll finish it” kind of guy.

I think we definitely saw a more attacking team and the Rapids have picked up some really great players. This was a tough pre-season test, but they’ve got another match in Toronto next week and I hope we’ll see some of the other guys like Shkelzen Gashi, Stefan Aigner, and Johan Blomberg.