Big money off-season acquisitions Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley each scored a goal to push Toronto FC to a 2-1 win over Whitecaps FC in the first leg of their Voyageurs Cup semi-final.
Vancouver coach Carl Robinson fielded a line-up that featured plenty of youth, as the ‘Caps have a MLS game in Columbus on Saturday. Defenders Steven Beitashour, Jay DeMerit, Andy O’Brien and Jordan Harvey sat out, along with Whitecaps starting goalkeeper David Ousted.
17-year-old Marco Carducci (pictured) made his professional debut between the sticks for the ‘Caps.
The Vancouver side had an average age of 21.7 years old at kick-off and they looked on edge for the first half an hour.
Defoe opened the scoring in the 28th minute on a nice feed by Bradley, as the English international got by the Vancouver defence and beat Carducci on a low shot to the right side of the net from about 10 yards out on the left side. Defoe will make $6.18 million dollars this season for TFC .
Bradley sealed the game in the 89th minute, as he led a rush up the middle of the pitch, completed a nice 1-2 with Defoe and beat Carducci low to the left side from 15-yards out. The American international will earn $6.5 million dollars in 2014.
Substitute Kekuta Manneh managed to bury a key away goal for the Whitecaps in stoppage time as the Gambian pounded a stray ball low past TFC ‘keeper Joe Bendik from a dozen yards out.
The ‘Caps also had quality scoring chances from Russell Teibert near the end of the first half and by substitute Omar Salgado at the 75 minute mark.
The second leg of the total goal, national championship semi-final goes next Wednesday at BC Place. It’s a 7:30 PM kickoff.