RSL wary of Toronto FC sniper Jermain Defoe

Borchers: "He's like Robbie Keane with more pace"

Jermain Defoe

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USA Today Sports Images

SANDY, Utah — Toronto FC made a number of high-profile, high-cost offseason signings, including Michael Bradley and Gilberto.

But two games into the season, the signing of former Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe looks like the best move Toronto have ever made. In two games, Defoe has scored all three Toronto goals in a 2-1 win at Seattle and a 1-0 home win over D.C. United. His next opponents, Real Salt Lake, have definitely been paying attention.

“He's fast,” RSL defender Nat Borchers told reporters on Wednesday. “Speed kills in this game, and when you're able to time your runs well like he does, he's able to get into good spots and he's clinical. He's like Robbie Keane with more pace, and that's really difficult to account for.”

Keane was certainly on Borchers' mind after the Galaxy forward scored against Salt Lake in a 1-1 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday. First-year Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar did not fault his defense for surrendering a lead and settling for a tie for the second week in a row.

“Our defensive shape for most of the game … we were much more organized,” Cassar said, compared to RSL's close-run 1-0 win over the Galaxy on March 8. The problem for the Claret-and-Cobalt was more on the offensive end of things. “We were just a little bit off on our possession and our attacking ideas. We just need to do a little bit better with the ball.”

Cassar's players echoed those thoughts.

“We just weren't sharp in that second half, especially with our possession game,” Borchers said. “That's going to be the challenge this week in training: just to connect those passes and get more possession.”