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    Canadian Content MLS Round 16 – How did the Canadians do this week?


    James Grossi

    Kianz Froese

    Froese made his sixth appearance of the season for Vancouver in their 1-2 win away to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, coming on for Kekuta Manneh in the 71st minute.

    Taking up a right-sided midfield position, the Cuban-born attacker was very active down that side, making a nuisance of himself with his energy.

    That ability would prove useful on a quick Vancouver break, racing to give Octavio Rivero an option to the right, receiving a slip pass and beating Luis Robles with a low right-footer across to the left-side of goal.

    Froese began the play himself, intercepting an under-hit New York ball in the centre-circle before rushing forward to score his first MLS goal.

    Having celebrated that moment, Froese would retain his composure, tracking all the way back to pressure Manolo Sanchez after Pa Modou Kah whiffed on a header. That effort took a little off the shot, allowing David Ousted to make the needed save and preserve the victory.

    He scored on his only shot of the night, completing five of his six passes, adding two interceptions and a recovery, while winning a foul.

    Froese was interviewed post-match.

    Jonathan Osorio

    Osorio started his tenth match of the season for Toronto FC's 0-2 loss to New York City this round – it was his fifth-straight start having recovered from an injury and lack of form that saw him miss out on three matches.

    Stationed on the left-side of the midfield, Osorio was a force all match long, showing some of that excellent footwork in tight spaces to play away from pressure and keep the ball moving. Over the past few weeks, Osorio has been looking more and more comfortable in the renovated TFC midfield. There were times earlier in the year when he looked a little lost for ideas, unsure of how to get involved after ceding dominance to the likes of Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco; that is no longer a concern.

    Tucking in a little from that left-flank, Osorio was regularly on the ball, misplaying just six of some thirty-plus attempts, and his picking of passes have taken on an interesting shape. Consider the ball that he played to Bradley that led to a Luke Moore chance: Osorio shapes as though he is going to play a cross-field ball, instead he cuts the follow-through, stabbing a ball forward.

    That sort of disguise on a through-ball helped Toronto work through a dense New York midfield regularly, though it did not result in any goals.

    The Toronto, Ontario-native may have won a penalty call on another day, taking a hefty shove in the back from defender RJ Allen on one play.

    He was caught a little flat-footed on an Eriq Zavaleta that led to New York's second goal, the pass was intercepted by Mix Diskerud and worked over to David Villa, who notched his second of the afternoon.

    Osorio would show some more good footwork at the edge of the area late to find Giovinco, but his effort was blocked.

    The midfielder added three recoveries, two tackles, and an interception to his stat-line, conceding a foul and winning two in a combative match.

    Ashtone Morgan

    Morgan made his eleventh start of the season for Toronto in their loss to New York City, picking up a slight knock in the process that would keep him out of TFC's midweek clash with Montreal the following round.

    Manning the left-back spot, Morgan was forceful all night, repeatedly sending crosses in and linking up or providing an option in attack.

    One cross fell to Justin Morrow at the back-post, but he could not settle it for a shot, while another ball in, after Giovinco had played him down the left, was met by Bradley, only for Josh Saunders to come up with a huge save on the TFC skipper.

    The Toronto, Ontario-native was harshly shown a yellow card in first half stoppage-time for a challenge on Mehdi Ballouchy, when the midfielder recklessly slid into Morgan, who pulled out of the tackle. It was his second booking of the season.

    He would hang one more ball up to the back-post for Moore, forcing a defensive-header out of Chris Wingert, who nearly beat his own keeper in the process.

    Like Osorio, Morgan was caught a little slow on New York's second goal, allowing Tommy McNamara to get goal-side in the build-up that eventually found Villa on the attacking-left in space.

    He would come off in the 83rd minute for Robbie Findley, having completed 26 of his 41 passes, racking up four recoveries and three tackles, committing two fouls and winning another.

    Cyle Larin

    Larin made his ninth start of the season for Orlando City as the fell 2-0 away to Montreal on Saturday – it was his twelfth appearance of his rookie season.

    Through the opening passages, Larin had a flurry of chances, getting on the end of a Rafael Ramos cross with his head, touching it wide as he was clattered by Montreal keeper, Evan Bush. Shortly thereafter, he would make a neat delayed run to get ball-side on the experience Laurent Ciman, deflecting a Brek Shea cross over the bar.

    The chances would continue in the second half, turning on a ball in the area and sending a left-footer wide – he could not quite wrap his foot around it, before chesting down a long ball from Luke Boden that he was unable to get on the end of under pressure from Ciman.

    A ball would run away from him in the 84th minute as he tangled with Bakary Soumare, and a chance was nicked off his boot by Ciman sixty-seconds later.

    The Brampton, Ontario-native would end the night with three shots, all off, having completed ten of his twelve passes, and made one clearance. He was offside twice and won a single foul.

    Will Johnson

    Johnson continued to work his way back into the Portland lineup, making a second-straight and third-overall start for the Timbers when they met Houston on Saturday night.

    Once more alongside Diego Chara at the base of the midfield, the Toronto-born Johnson showed glimpses of his old self, while also the occasional moment that he was still not fully up to pace.

    With both sides ostensibly playing five-man midfields, the match was a little muddled, the middle of the pitch clogged with bodies.

    And once Portland took the lead in the 34th minute through Max Urruti, Johnson tended to sit deep, protecting a lead at home.

    He completed all but eight of some forty-plus passes, adding eight recoveries, five interceptions, and a tackle to his night, winning a single foul as well.

    Johnson spoke about the team's mentality post-match: “Confidence is high, guys are playing well. The defense is getting shutouts and the attackers are finding enough goals for us to win games. It’s good. When you have that feeling, that confidence, it’s a nice thing but we’ve all got to understand it takes grinding and hard work. We are not just going to walk on the field because we have won a few games in a row and get a result. For me the biggest part mentally is we’ve stayed focused and we’ve taken it one game at a time to just get those three points.”

    Kyle Bekker

    Bekker made his eighth appearance of the season for FC Dallas in their Friday night 1-1 draw at Colorado.

    Coming on at half-time for Michel, Bekker took up a central position, picking up the first assist of his career with the most simple of passes, playing a short pass to Fabian Castillo on the left-corner of the box for the Colombian to do the rest.

    The Oakville, Ontario-native had one shot at goal himself a week after being denied his first goal by Stefan Frei, but his attempt was straight at the keeper after Michael Barrios had pulled back to him following a goal-kick that was flicked on by Blas Perez.

    He completed 17 of 23 passes, while making eight recoveries, a clearance, and a tackle.

    Patrice Bernier

    Bernier made his ninth appearance of the season for Montreal in their win over Orlando City, coming on in the 72nd minute for Marco Donadel.

    The Brossard, Quebec-native completed all but one of his twelve passes, sending a cross to the left-post for Maxim Tissot, who sent his header agonizingly wide, and then played one of his signature long balls to spring Dominic Oduro, leading to his goal in the 93rd minute. Bernier was denied an assist by Oduro's initial cross being cutout, before he beat the Orlando keeper.

    The veteran added a recovery and a tackle to his cameo performance.

    Maxim Tissot

    Tissot made his third start of the season for Montreal against Orlando.

    On the left-side of the midfield, Tissot was hammered in a challenge from Cristian Higuita through the early goings, and played a nice leading ball for Ignacio Piatti down the middle that just skittered away from him.

    The Gatineau, Quebec-native found himself wide open on another attack, but was overlooked by Piatti, who opted for a weak shot instead. He then failed to direct a header on target after Bernier found him attacking the back-post – his only attempt of the match.

    He completed 28 of his 37 passes, making six recoveries and a pair of tackles; winning and conceding a foul each way.

    Russell Teibert

    Teibert came on for Vancouver in the 88th minute for Nicolas Mezquida to make his fourth substitute's appearance of the season, bringing his season appearance total to fourteen ahead of the Gold Cup.

    With the Whitecaps having relinquished half of their two-goal lead, Teibert was tasked with closing out the few remaining minutes.

    The Niagara Falls, Ontario-native completed both his passes, suceeding in keeping New York from equalizing.

    The Rest

    Tesho Akindele, Jay Chapman, Kofi Opare, and Marcel de Jong were all available this round, unused substitutes on the bench for their respective sides.

    Each week (normally) James takes a look at the contributions of Canadians in the league. He can be followed on twitter @grawsee and more of his writing is available at Partially Obstructed View

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