Toronto FC’s MLS campaign sank to new depths, as a 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas at BMO Field made it seven losses in 11 league games.
Early breakthroughs from opponents of Toronto FC this season have become the norm and it only continued on Friday night. This time it was Maximiliano Urruti with an 11th minute deflection, that ultimately cost TFC another domestic contest.
It seems as if one little slip in tactics for Toronto is all it really takes for opponents to take advantage. The Reds had their foot on the accelerator for the opening 10 minutes with great chances from Sebastian Giovinco; one from a free-kick and one first-time hit, but neither fooled Jose Gonzalez.
A beautiful piece of play from Kellyn Acosta saw the right midfielder jump more centrally towards the box. From there, a ripper of a shot sent Clint Irwin through a maze which was solved first by a deflection from Urruti.
Dallas have the best back-line in MLS so far this season, and there’s no doubt about that. A one-goal lead was a perfect scenario for them to sit back and defend.
However, the defending MLS champions were not to sit back themselves, as an attack led by Giovinco eventually led to the Italian being brought down in the box for a penalty. On the same note, penalties haven’t been top-notch for the Atomic Ant during this campaign, and he only saw another one denied in the 15th minute.
Auro’s pace and agility got him around Maynor Figueroa in the left-back position. The Brazilian sent in a cross for Victor Vazquez to head home, but again, another stop from Gonzalez sealed the play as Tosaint Ricketts couldn’t get a touch to the rebound.
Irwin’s big moment was a one-on-one save against Michael Barrios right before the end of the first half.
After a chance-filled opening 45 minutes, the Reds couldn’t carry this over to the second half. The only big opportunity was a free-kick from Giovinco on the edge of the box, but his low attempt sailed just wide of the post.
- 23 shots
- 9 shots on target
- 71 percent possession
- Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco
- 12 shots
- 3 shots on target
- 7 yellow cards
- Key Player: Reggie Cannon
Stats to Keep an Eye on (WhoScored)
- Giovinco was yet again the offensive powerhouse after his suspension, with Jozy Altidore missing from the lineup. He had 12 shots, including five on target, along with two key passes. Ricketts couldn’t live up to expectations next to Giovinco, with one and a half shots in truth.
- Ryan Telfer continues to impress in the high centre-back role. The youngster finished with four tackles, one interception and three clearances. Auro, however, was the Man of the Match defensively, with a 7.56 rating and a strong heat map for tracking back.
- Gregory van der Wiel is slowly improving his passing. The Dutchman had 56 total passes, with a 96 percent success rate. Other improvements need to follow from the former PSG product.
- Toronto as a team is only averaging 1.3 goals per fixture, which is nowhere near the number from this time last season. It’s also why there’s issues winning games for Greg Vanney’s men.
- Houston Dynamo 3-1 NYCFC
An updated MLS table can be found here.
What’s Next for the Reds?
More from Tip of the Tower
- Cam Phillips making his mark on Toronto Argonauts offence
- Toronto Argonauts: 4 storylines ahead of matchup against Redblacks
- Federico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FC
- Toronto Argonauts overcome Roughriders in entertaining Touchdown Atlantic
- Buffalo Bills: Von Miller drawing inspiration from Bruce Smith
Toronto will be hoping for better things next month, with an away fixture against the Columbus Crew to start things off on June 2.
It may sound redundant, but TFC need to find ways to put the ball in the net, even if Altidore and other key components aren’t in the starting 11. Giovinco carried the squad in terms of high-quality chances against FC Dallas, which would have been a good thing if the Reds won, but it shows a lot about team-depth when they lose.
More attention to detail needs to be applied from Vanney as well, especially with his central defence and back-line. Too many lapses from the back four should be covered if needed by players like Michael Bradley who station farther back, but nobody seems to be there. As a result, opponents are simply left alone right in front of the keeper.
Not to mention, the opening minutes really need to have Toronto FC either score a goal, or not concede one. Comebacks have also not been so strong, with key players seemingly missing from the lineup on a regular basis recently.
Overall, another month is ahead with to wipe the slate. Things got hectic with the Champions League and domestic play at the same time, but now is the stage to cool down. Focus on the league and improve small components that won the league last year.
Too much of the same from Toronto FC in this fixture? Do you feel they can clean the slate and perform better in June? Let us know in the comments section below!