With a half dozen starters missing either through international duty or injury, Toronto FC’s fringe players were given a chance to impress yesterday.
Playing against an equally patchwork L.A. Galaxy squad, rookie defender Julius James and veteran striker Jeff Cunningham distinguished themselves with goals. But while James was modest in triumph, Cunningham couldn’t help but take a symbolic poke at his own coaching staff once he’d scored.
Toronto dominated a porous-looking L.A. side for most of 90 minutes, much of it played in a steady downpour. Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit, who is recovering from knee surgery, was quite literally hopping mad for most of the second half. Throwing his crutches down on the L.A. bench, Gullit jumped in place and screamed angrily at his side. He received a soggy collective shrug in response. Toronto won 2-0. They could easily have added four or five more if several sitters were put on the L.A. net, rather than just to either side of it.