By RYAN JOHNSTON
TFC finally solve Whitecaps
TORONTO -- Canadian Kevin Harmse picked a patriotic occasion to score his first goal for Toronto FC as the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship opened with a 1-0 win for the home side against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Harmse, who made his first start under new coach Chris Cummins, headed in a perfect cross from fellow Canadian Dwayne De Rosario in the third minute for the only goal of the game. Amado Guevara also drew an assist on the goal.
"Harmse now gives me a massive problem," Cummins said when asked if Canadian did enough to earn another start. "He's gone in there and done a job. He's got about people and he's got in the box to get the winner."
The goal for Harmse was his first in a Reds uniform after joining the team just prior to the 2008 season.
“It was just a great cross from De Rosario and there is nothing better for a midfielder to do than to get in to the box and connect with he ball," Harmse said of his game winner. "The play happened really quick and I didn't even see De Rosario get the cross off but I was in the right place at the right time when it arrived in the penalty area."
The win was the first for Toronto FC in three tries against Vancouver. In the two meetings between the clubs last year Vancouver finished undefeated with a win and a draw.
"I was happy with the game but not the result," Whitecaps coach Teitur Thordarson said of the result. "We were unlucky early and as a result we had to chase the game."
Toronto will face the Montreal Impact in the second game of the Championship on Wednesday, May 13 at BMO Field. The Impact won the inaugural Nutrilite Canadian Championship in 2008 to qualify as the Canadian representative in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Vancouver's next group game will be against the Impact in Montreal on May, 20.
NOTES: TFC and Canadian defender Adrian Serioux was not in the lineup after suffering a back injury against Columbus on the weekend. Sam Cronin also picked up an injury over the weekend and was not fit to play on Wednesday night … There were a total of five Canadian players dressed for TFC on Wednesday … The announced attendance was 16, 011.
TFC LINEUP: Stefan Frei; Marvell Wynne, Nana Attakora-Gyan, Marco Velez, Jim Brennan (C); Amado Guevara, Carl Robinson, Kevin Harmse; Pablo Vitti (Ibrahim, 79), Chad Barrett (Dichio, 73), Dwayne De Rosario
TFC Bench: Greg Sutton, Danny Dichio, Sam Cronin, Emmanuel Gomez, Fuad Ibrahim, Rohan Ricketts, Johann Smith