Toronto FC, looking for a fresh start in the month of July, have already managed to lose their first two fixtures after a 4-3 defeat to Minnesota United.
A very poor stretch in the first 45 minutes combined with a sloppy start to the second half, pretty much ended Toronto FC on Tuesday night. A late pair of goals from Jordan Hamilton and Sebastian Giovinco only reminded supporters of the theme for this season; too little, too late.
Absolute terrible defending from Nick Hagglund and Eriq Zavaleta allowed Darwin Quintero a clean run towards the Reds’ box. The only result had to be a chip over the two defenders and Clint Irwin, to give Minnesota an early lead.
Five minutes later, the TFC back-line would get caught out once more. Zavaleta and Hagglund stayed back as the full-backs created a high line. As a result, Francisco Calvo lobbed a ball from the midfield, for Miguel Ibarra to send past an effortless Irwin.
Just before halftime, Justin Morrow scored a lucky goal as a header from Jonathan Osorio, which was meant to send Hamilton through, instead awkwardly connected with Minnesota defender Brent Kallman. The ball then deflected right in front of the Minnesota net, allowing Morrow to slide in for the goal.
Nobody on Toronto could stop the incredible push from Quintero in this fixture. The second and third goals were essentially replicas of the first; a run past poor challenges and a clean chip over Irwin. No joke, that’s how the former Club America forward earned his hat-trick.
Shortly after Quintero made it 4-1 to the home side, a beautiful set-up from Nicolas Hasler allowed Giovinco to put on a quick move in the midfield. The Atomic Ant then sent a blistering shot from way out into the bottom corner behind Bobby Shuttleworth.
Two late opportunities for Toronto FC both came from Gregory van der Wiel crosses. The first one resulted in a huge save from Shuttleworth off a touch from Ryan Telfer.
The second was a beauty of a ball from the Paris Saint-Germain product to find Hamilton, who sent it home deep into injury time for his first goal of the campaign. Ultimately though, TFC could not find their first win of the month which they so desperately needed.
- 60.6 percent possession
- 5 shots on target
- 41.7 percent shooting accuracy
- 70 percent tackle success rate
- Key Player: Giovinco
- 31 tackles won
- 14 interceptions
- 6 shots from outside the box
- 3 yellow cards
- Key Player: Quintero
Advanced Stats (WhoScored)
- A big night for Hamilton who finished with four shots — including two on target — one key pass and a great goal to top it all off. This database gave the Canadian a 8.14 match rating, which was best on the team.
- Maybe van der Wiel is a better option off the bench. The Dutchman came on in the 52nd minute to register a tackle, with a pair of interceptions and an assist. Not to mention he also had a sublime 96 percent pass accuracy.
- A poor performance from Irwin in net. A series of the same styled chip shots going in was actually unbelievable to watch, for both good and bad reasons. His 5.55 rating was the lowest score on the pitch and was well deserved.
Overall Match Facts
TFC Substitutes: Gregory van der Wiel, Jay Chapman, Ayo Akinola, Alex Bono, Liam Fraser, Ryan Telfer and Tosaint Ricketts.
Minnesota Substitutes: Tyrone Mears, Collin Martin, Frantz Pangop, Wyatt Omsberg, Mason Toye, Matt Lampson and Eric Miller.
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium
Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Around the MLS
- FC Dallas 3-2 Atlanta United
- Seattle Sounders 2-1 Colorado Rapids
- Real Salt Lake 4-2 Sporting KC
An updated MLS table can be found here.
TFC just can’t find ways to win fixtures. It’s as simple as that.
Early on in the season, the thought was that the Champions League distraction played a huge part in domestic results. However, the wind has now blown over and the Reds are still losing contests. They give up goals too early or too late, and only turn on the switch when the game is already lost.
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It’s a huge mess that really can’t be sorted out at the moment. A lot of players looked very disgruntled on the pitch in Minnesota, especially Giovinco. The break for the All-Star Game will give players time to clear their heads or come back from injury, but that might not be enough to provide a turning point.
The season might already be lost. Results really need to start picking up for the Reds, beginning in the next contest against Sporting KC. Anything other than a win or a draw and supporters should really throw the towel on the MLS campaign.
Teams are starting to run away at the top of the Eastern Conference, while Toronto FC continue to sit near the basement. Hopefully something comes from the Canadian Championship.
What did you make of Tuesday’s 4-3 loss in Minnesota? Can you still see Toronto FC making the playoffs, or is the season already over? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.