for this game

Dichio helps Toronto FC down Wizards

Apr 27, 2009 - 1:27 AM TORONTO (AP) -- In one crazy weekend, Toronto FC lost its coach and wound up in first place.

Danny Dichio's first goal of the season gave Toronto FC a 1-0 victory over Kansas City on Sunday, ending the Wizards' unbeaten run at four games.

Goaltender Stefan Frei recorded his second consecutive shutout as Toronto (3-2-2) moved one point ahead of Kansas City (3-3-1) and Chicago and atop the Eastern Conference.

"It's been a traumatic week but the guys and the coaching staff have handled it magnificently," Toronto's director of soccer Mo Johnston said.

It was the first game for Toronto since coach John Carver's sudden resignation Saturday. Assistant Chris Cummins served as interim coach Sunday.

Johnston learned of Carver's decision Thursday and said Carver's discontent with MLS had been brewing for two or three weeks and acknowledged that there were "certain things" related to Carver's health that contributed to his resignation.

Johnston said Cummins and fellow assistant Nick Dasovic will likely take over on an interim basis but said the official announcement won't come until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Toronto's starters huddled on the field before the opening whistle, a moment of team bonding after a tumultuous couple of days.

"We knew there was a lot of speculation going on, a lot of talk off the pitch," captain Jim Brennan said. "I just wanted to make sure we were all together."

Cummins was impressed at the way Toronto handled the coaching change.

"You look at the players and everybody thinks, 'How are they going to react after what's happened this week?,'" Cummins said. "It just says it all out there. It's all about the club, it's all about the team. It's not about individuals. It's not about me sitting there now, it's about the team."

Dichio scored the only goal in the 54th minute, taking a pass from Sam Cronin at the edge of the six-yard box and tucking a low shot into the far post, past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

"Just before there was a cross that the old Danny Dichio would have put away," Dichio said. "I was disappointed with that but (the ball) went out wide, lingered out there for a bit and then Sammy put a great ball in and I just managed to get a little hook on it and it went in the bottom corner."

Wizards coach Curt Onalfo said Dichio's size and strength make him a formidable opponent.

"He's extremely physical," Onalfo said. "He wears you down and, when he gets chances, he usually buries them. That's the sign of a good goal scorer."

Toronto nearly scored again one minute later when Pablo Vitti beat his man inside the penalty area but shot just wide.

Kansas City's Claudio Lopez almost tied it in the 90th minute but Frei pushed his shot over the bar.

"That was a world class save," Onalfo said. "Claudio hit it perfectly and Frei made a great save."

Each team had just one shot on goal in the first half, but fine saves by Frei and Hartman kept it scoreless.

Hartman was called into action in the 34th minute, diving to stop a powerful shot from Amado Guevara after Dichio chested the ball down at the edge of the penalty area.

Davy Arnaud, who beat Frei twice in Toronto's 3-2 win on Mar. 21, had Kansas City's best chance in the 44th minute, but Frei saved Arnaud's low shot at the far post.

Kansas City midfielder Jack Jewsbury did not play after suffering a concussion in Thursday's win over New York.