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Toronto FCAndy Welsh (right) celebrates Danny Dichio's goal in the ninth minute against the Colorado Rapids during MLS soccer action in Toronto Saturday, June 2, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Adrian Wyld) (Adrian Wyld/CP)
Toronto FCAndy Welsh (right) celebrates Danny Dichio's goal in the ninth minute against the Colorado Rapids during MLS soccer action in Toronto Saturday, June 2, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Adrian Wyld) (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Mr. 24th Minute

TFC's Danny Dichio recalls ending a goal drought Add to ...

Winless to start the season and badly in need of a goal with Chicago descending on BMO Field.

Danny Dichio knows all too well what Toronto FC is feeling headed into Saturday's game.

In 2007, a freshly minted Toronto franchise was 0-4-0 when the Fire came to visit May 12. TFC had been outscored 10-0 going into the game.

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Five years on, Toronto is 0-5-0 and has been outscored 10-2.

Dichio, now head coach of TFC's senior academy team, put the franchise on the scoreboard for the first time when, falling backwards, he poked in a low cross from Edson Buddle.

Fans celebrated by flipping commemorative seat cushions — someone's ill-conceived idea of a promotion — like frisbees onto the pitch.

The goal came at 23:13 and fans at BMO Field celebrate that score every home game with a tribute song to Dichio in the 24th minute.

“It was a special one, not only for myself but the club as a whole,” the 37-year-old Dichio said Friday.

Adding to the drama, the six-foot-three target man was sent off later for an altercation in a wild-and-wooly game that featured 43 fouls and two red cards.

“It was a real day to remember,” he added.

His one regret is his family was not there to see it. They were still packing up in England.

TFC was Dichio's 10th club following stints with Queens Park Rangers, Barnet, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion, Derby County, Millwall and Preston North End (England) and Sampdoria and Lecce (Italy).

It could have been Chicago.

Dichio spent time on trial with the Fire — he also had an offer from D.C. United — but ended up in Toronto after a call from then coach and GM Mo Johnston.

Five years and 166 MLS goals later after Dichio's ice-breaker, Toronto FC is again struggling offensively.

“I thought about it the other day,” Dichio said. “This is Chicago coming again and we haven't got a win so far and we haven't scored many goals.

“So maybe this is our lucky team we need to do it against.”

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