for this game

Ricketts scores twice as Toronto FC keeps playoff hopes afloat

Oct 18, 2008 - 11:02 PM By Bart van Veghel PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

TORONTO (Ticker) -- With Chicago already having clinched a playoff spot for the 10th time in 11 MLS seasons, the Fire entered BMO Field facing a desperate Toronto FC team that was hanging onto a mathematical chance of qualifying for the playoffs.

Rohan Ricketts helped keep alive those hopes with two goals as Toronto FC recorded a 3-2 victory over Chicago on Saturday.

Remaining unbeaten in its last four games (2-0-2), Toronto will need to win at San Jose next Saturday for a shot at its first postseason appearance.

"We've given ourselves a chance," Toronto coach John Carver said. "That's what I told the boys in the room. I said, 'Give yourselves a chance because you've earned it with the way you played the past few weeks.'

"We'll wait and see what happens tonight and tomorrow. This sets us up nicely for a huge game in San Jose on Saturday."

Toronto opened the scoring in the 12th minute off the right foot of striker Amado Guevara, who took a centering pass from Chad Barrett and calmly curled the ball over the outstretched arms of the Chicago goalkeeper Jon Busch, burying it in the top right corner.

Toronto was later awarded a penalty shot in the 18th minute when Fire defender Wilman Conde pulled down a streaking Marvell Wynne. Ricketts stepped up to take the penalty, only to be stopped by Busch. Fortunately for the hosts, the ball bounced back toward Ricketts, who out-raced a sliding defender for his third goal of the season.

"I was happy that the goalie saved the penalty because it gave me another chance to score," Ricketts said. "There was a defender coming but fortunately I was a bit ahead of him. The goalie did well to make the save, but I got lucky."

Chicago pulled back a goal in the 25th minute, when Cuauhtemoc Blanco took a pass at the top of the box, looked off a defender and coolly sent the ball down the left side for a streaking Justin Mapp. Mapp notched his second score of the season by beating FC goalkeeper Greg Sutton low to the near post.

As the first half came to a close, Ricketts again found the score sheet in the 45th minute, unleashing a laser volley into the top left corner after a ball was knocked onto his path from midfielder Carl Robinson. Ricketts tied a team and career high with his second multi-goal game.

"The second goal wasn't creative, it was lucky," Ricketts said. "I guess I got a lucky two goals tonight. I just took the ball in off the pass, spun the defender and let loose."

Chicago continued to inch closer as Blanco recorded his seven goal in the 59th minute, rocketing a right-footed shot to the top left corner from 20 yards out after striker Brian McBride propped the ball up perfectly for the Mexican international.

Despite pressure from the Fire over the last 15 minutes, Toronto (9-12-8) was able to hold on for the win, improving to 6-2-7 at BMO Field.

Chicago (12-10-7) will close out its season on Thursday vs. New York before opening the playoffs October 30 against New England in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

"I don't think we can look towards New England before we fix the issues we've had the last couple of weeks," Chicago coach Denis Hamlett said. "We have a massive game against New York this Thursday and we need to get our three points and get home field advantage. Our focus is New York."








  • MLS
    CHICAGO 2
    TORONTO FC 3 FINAL

    Oct 18 5:40 PM
  • 20
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    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Fire 2, Toronto FC 3  2nd - 89'Oct 18 5:34 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 2
    TORONTO FC 3
    CHICAGO GOAL: Cuauhtemoc Blanco in the 59th minute

    Fire 2, Toronto FC 3  2nd - 59'Oct 18 5:04 PM


  • MLS
    CHICAGO 1
    TORONTO FC 3 HALFTIME

    Oct 18 4:35 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    TORONTO FC 3
    TORONTO FC GOAL: Rohan Ricketts in the 44th minute

    Fire 1, Toronto FC 3  1st - 44'Oct 18 4:35 PM


  • MLS
    CHICAGO 1
    TORONTO FC 2 20:00 LEFT, 1ST HALF

    Fire 1, Toronto FC 2  1st - 25'Oct 18 4:11 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 2
    TORONTO FC 1
    CHICAGO GOAL: Justin Mapp in the 25th minute

    Fire 2, Toronto FC 1  1st - 25'Oct 18 4:11 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    TORONTO FC 1
    TORONTO FC GOAL: Rohan Ricketts in the 18th minute

    Fire 1, Toronto FC 1  1st - 18'Oct 18 4:08 PM


  • MLS UPDATE
    CHICAGO 1
    TORONTO FC 0
    CHICAGO GOAL: Diego Gutierrez in the 12th minute

    Fire 1, Toronto FC 0  1st - 12'Oct 18 3:58 PM