While former Tottenham Hotspurs star Jermain Defoe has emerged as one of the league's top scorers, Toronto FC hopes its newest acquisition can give defenses something else to think about.
A day after acquiring former 13-goal scorer Dominic Oduro, Toronto looks to extend its unbeaten streak to four while denying the visiting San Jose Earthquakes their third consecutive victory Saturday.
Defoe helped extend Toronto's undefeated MLS run last Saturday with his second two-goal performance in a 3-2 home win over Columbus. Doneil Henry headed in the go-ahead score in injury time after the Reds started their comeback on Defoe's tally in the 81st minute.
Although Toronto (5-4-1) has the league's third-fewest goals with 14, it has scored seven times while going 2-0-1 in its last three games despite Michael Bradley being with the U.S. World Cup team.
Defoe, in his first season with the Reds after a lengthy career in the English Premier League, ranks in the league's top 10 with six goals. He also has scored four times in four games at BMO Field.
With the rest of the team combining for just eight goals, the Reds made a move to get some help Friday when they acquired Oduro from Columbus in exchange for winger Alvaro Rey.
The speedy forward from Ghana has 46 goals over nine MLS seasons, but has not scored in 11 games in 2014. However, he totaled 31 goals in his previous three seasons with Chicago and Columbus.
Oduro is expected to be available against San Jose (4-4-4).
"He is a player that has a tremendous amount of speed, and adds a lot to a team's attack," general manager Tim Bezbatchenko told the team's official website. "His experience in MLS is another important factor as he has proven that he can consistently score goals in this league from a variety of positions."
The Reds will try to bounce back after Wednesday's 1-0 loss gave Montreal its second straight Voyageurs Cup, but they're 0-2-3 in five all-time home meetings with the Earthquakes.
San Jose, playing without star Chris Wondolowski due to World Cup duty, is looking to build on its first win in five road games this season after rallying for a 2-1 victory at FC Dallas last Saturday.
"It's hard to win games on the road in this league," coach Mark Watson said. "I just think it'll be a big boost for our confidence, especially the way it happened."
Atiba Harris had his second goal in as many games to key the Earthquakes' third victory in four matches. He also has two goals and two assists in his last four games against Toronto dating to his time with Chivas USA.
Goalkeeper Jon Busch and the San Jose defense have been tough during this 3-1-1 stretch. They've allowed three goals with two shutouts even though defenders Victor Bernardez (international duty) and Tommy Muller (back spasms) are out.
Toronto, meanwhile, could be missing midfielder Bradley Orr after he suffered a hamstring injury last Saturday.
- Sports & Recreation
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Jermain Defoe
- Toronto FC
- Dominic Oduro