Several teams from St Catherine have made bright starts to the 2016 ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup, catching the eye of St Catherine Football Association president Peter Reid. Jonathan Grant, St Catherine High and St Jago High have all won their first two games, and Reid is encouraging them to keep going. He expressed the hope that the St Catherine teams would stay in contention. “I’d say it’s early days,” he cautioned, “but put your head in front and people will have to catch you.” So far in the Manning Cup Group G, St Jago have beaten Calabar and Campion College. Meanwhile, Jonathan Grant High and St Catherine High have each won twice in Group D. He also noted that several of the players on these teams have emerged from age group competition staged by the association. “Congratulations to the management and staff of the St Catherine teams,” he said while watching a Manning Cup game this week at the Prison Oval in Spanish Town, “but we have been doing our part in that.” “We have our Under-15, our Under-17,” he related, “and the boys would matriculate into the Manning Cup.” Speaking about the St Jago team that edged Calabar 1-0 in the match he was watching, he said: “I see about six boys who came through a programme and that would spread all throughout the different schools.”
Higuain opened the scoring in the 44th as Milton Valenzuela collected a long diagonal ball from Artur near the endline and sent a cross back for the Argentina veteran to fire home a shot that Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono couldn’t control.It was a fitting first goal of the season for Higuain, who engineered a series of dangerous Crew attacks in the first half to set the tone for the visitors’ victory.Zardes, acquired from the Los Angeles Galaxy in an offseason trade, doubled the score less than a minute into the second half, sliding a shot past Bono from a well-timed pass from Pedro Santos.That proved enough as Toronto saw two chances go begging in the second half, when Sebastian Giovinco’s curling shot in the 65th minute and Ager Aketxe’s long-range effort in the 78th both hit the woodwork.“Wonderful,” Crew captain Wil Trapp said. “The performance was excellent. The first half was really good, from a possession standpoint, creating chances, defensively being agile.“We did a wonderful job. And then second half we score early. We lost a little bit of the grip, but the intensity and ability to battle through a tough environment, tough team, was excellent.”For Toronto, the deflating defeat spoiled a day that started with a pre-game ceremony presenting the three trophies won by Toronto last season: the MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield as the team with the best regular-season record and the Canadian championship trophy.Giovinco thought that look back to the past may have been detrimental.“We continued to show the trophies, to think about what happened last year. This is not good,” he said. “We have to think this year is a very difficult year … “We have to change mentality.”More concerning, Toronto’s Victor Vazquez limped off in the 53rd minute, raising injury worries as Toronto look toward their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final tie with Mexican side Tigres that begins on Wednesday.Toronto captain Michael Bradley said the team must regroup.“There is no place else to look other than at ourselves,” Bradley said. “This is what a lot of days will be like. We put this behind us quickly, get ready for a huge game on Wednesday.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Federico Higuain opened the scoring as Columbus Crew beat Toronto 2-0 in the first game of the 2018 Major League Soccer season © GETTY/AFP/File / Kevin C. CoxMONTREAL, Canada, Mar 3 – Toronto FC’s MLS Cup title defence got off to a rocky start Saturday as they fell 2-0 at home to Columbus Crew in the first game of the 2018 Major League Soccer season.Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes on either side of halftime lifted Columbus, who gained a measure of revenge after they were eliminated by Toronto in the Eastern Conference championship tie in last season’s MLS Cup playoffs.