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MLS Game Summary - Real Salt Lake at Toronto



(Saturday, April 19, 2008)

From The Sports Network

Final Score: Toronto 1, Real Salt Lake 0

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Toronto FC improved to .500 for the first time in franchise history with a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake in its home opener on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.

Former French international Laurent Robert scored the game's lone goal on a free kick in the first half to lead the new-look Toronto squad to its second consecutive victory.

New additions this month - left winger Robert, attacking midfielder Amado Guevara and right winger Rohan Ricketts - added much-needed creativity to the Toronto attack in their first game together on the pitch. The additions of the three experienced veterans are turning TFC's early season weakness - its midfield play - into an apparent strength moving forward.

The game started with Toronto controlling the play in the first 45 minutes, allowing Real Salt Lake just one weak shot on goal by midfielder Javier Morales.

TFC broke through just after the half hour mark when Guevara was taken down just outside the RSL penalty area by defender Matias Mantilla after working a give-and-go with Danny Dichio to get free, earning a free kick.

Robert took the chance, firing a shot just to the right of the seven-man wall and past RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando. It was the 32-year-old veteran's first Major League Soccer goal after being signed by the Canadian club at the beginning of this month after being freed from his contract by the last-placed club in the English Premier League - Derby County.

TFC came close to doubling its lead just before the break when fullback Marvel Wynn drove in on goal from the right side and fired a hard shot on Rimando. The veteran 'keeper dove to his right to make the save with Dichio knocking the rebound over the crossbar.

Real Salt Lake, which was coming off a 4-0 domination of D.C. United in its last league fixture, came out like a different club in the second half, showing much more energy in an effort to get back in the game.

The Salt Lake City squad had a flurry of shots blocked away in the box just after the break after a Morales comer kick, but where unable to get a quality chance on goal.

RSL forward Kenny Deuchar headed a Morales cross from the left side of the box right at TFC goalkeeper Greg Sutton about 10 minutes later. The Canadian international 'keeper did well to make one of his three saves in the game.

Dichio had a chance to give Toronto an insurance goal after being set up by Guevara in the box in the 70th minute, but defender Nate Borchers slide and knocked the ball out before get could get a shot off.

RSL's next best chance to equalize came in the 85th minute when forward Robbie Findley got behind the defense, but a sliding play by defender Marco Velez knocked the ball out over the endline before the speedy U.S. international could get a shot off.

Toronto will try for its third straight league win next Saturday when it hosts Kansas City while RSL plays at D.C. United later the same day.

Game Notes: Sutton earned his first shutout of the year and second as a member of TFC. ... Toronto FC improved to 2-0-1 vs. Real Salt Lake all-time ... Toronto is now 6-7-3 all-time at BMO field, earning six of its eight all-time wins at home.

04/19 15:11:27 ET