Osorio a bright spot in another TFC letdown - Goal.com



Osorio a bright spot in another TFC letdown

Jun 1, 2013 10:00:00 PMCanada
The 20-year-old Canadian midfielder scored his third goal in just 313 MLS minutes in a 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.TORONTO -- When the games become as predictable as they have for Toronto FC this season, it's the silver linings that become the storylines.

On Saturday, TFC once again gave up a heartbreaking late equalizer to drop points to an Eastern Conference rival -- this time, for the second instance this season, it was the Philadelphia Union on the opposite end of Toronto's late-game collapse.

It was the latest in a string of frustrating endings for the club, but hardly anyone at BMO Field was shocked that the Reds threw the game away in the dying moments. What was surprising was the at-times dominant play of the TFC midfield, a young corps led by rising star Jonathan Osorio.

The 20-year-old Canadian once again put in a tidy shift for the Reds, his first full 90-minute match for the club in league play since signing on as a rookie in the preseason. He scored the game's opening goal, his third of the season, continuing his upward trend from raw youngster to established MLS-level talent in just a few short months.

"He's fantastic," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said of Osorio in the post-match press conference. "It was a fantastic performance. It was a lovely goal, a really well-taken goal. He's maturing so quickly as well and it's really good for Canadian football and the Canadian national team that you've got a player who can, at such a young age with such little experience, show the maturity he does in his performance."

Despite the plaudits of his manager, Osorio was more focused on the disappointing result that his personal performance. As a local who has stood and cheered for TFC in the stands just as recently as last season, Osorio wants the team to turn around its fortunes more than most.

"I'll look back at this sometime this season [and] celebrate it, but right now no because the fact is that we tied and it's two points that we lost," he said of his latest goal. "Here we are in the last 10 minutes again, we should have won and we let it slip, again."

If Toronto is going to reverse its losing ways, it'll be through young talent like Osorio, Nelsen said. The coach hopes that other young players on the team will eventually follow Osorio's lead.

"He has a little swagger about him and he's one of the nicest guys [and] one of those most hardest working guys on the team," Nelsen said. "It's really nice to see a young man mature like that, especially for Canada."

Still a couple weeks shy of his 21st birthday, Osorio is fast becoming known for his spirited goal celebrations. On Saturday, he performed an archery-style celebration in front of BMO Field's south end that had reporters inquiring about its origins.

His answer showed just how young he still is.

"I just play FIFA a lot," Osorio explained, "so I'm trying to get all those celebrations out of the way."

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