Toronto FC: Wake me up when the season ends

KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 23: Sporting KC fans cheer as Dom Dwyer #14 scores on a penalty kick against goalkeeper Joe Bendik #12 and Toronto FC during the game at Sporting Park on May 23, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, KS - MAY 23: Sporting KC fans cheer as Dom Dwyer #14 scores on a penalty kick against goalkeeper Joe Bendik #12 and Toronto FC during the game at Sporting Park on May 23, 2014 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

After another draw from Toronto FC, this time in Kansas City, the chances of them missing the playoffs have only increased.

“We discover and invent new ways of finding out the same things” – Hal Hartley. Right now, you imagine the majority of Toronto FC fans are nodding in agreement at this quote.

The Canadian duo of Jonathan Osorio and Jordan Hamilton found the net for the Reds on Saturday night. Both players have been in magnificent form over the past few fixtures.

However, as the TFC story goes for 2018, their two goals were nullified by Sporting KC, who scored a brace themselves. By the time the final whistle had blown, TFC had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

It didn’t start off all that promising, either. A bullet of a cross from Jaylin Lindsey found the head of Johnny Russell, who sent it inches wide of Alex Bono’s uncovered far post.

Moments later, a dreadful turnover from Marco Delgado led to USMNT international Graham Zusi ripping a shot at Bono, that caught the Syracuse native off guard. However, the scoreline remained 0-0.

Toronto found some momentum of their own on the 25-minute mark. A sprint from the midfield led by Sebastian Giovinco ultimately created a one-touch sequence between the Atomic Ant, Justin Morrow and eventually Osorio, who drilled the opening goal home.

However, the case of nothing much happening to follow up a TFC goal struck yet again. This seriously went on all the way until the 57th minute, when KC’s Gerso Fernandes went down in the box after being humorously challenged from Eriq Zavaleta. Ilie Sanchez stepped up and drilled home from the spot, to tie the fixture at 1-1.

The second goal for Sporting summed up everything that’s wrong with TFC at the moment. No heart to win the ball in the midfield left Zavaleta and Nick Hagglund alone at the back. Zavaleta simply breathed as a through ball for Russell went beyond him, and Hagglund is just too slow and weary for the club.

Russell sent in the second Kansas goal just by rolling it slightly to the left of Bono. Two Sporting players is all it took to expose around five-to-six players wearing red in that sequence.

Toronto always find a way to tease the possibility of a win to the supporters by tying the fixture, and then leaving it at that. Michael Bradley won a challenge off of Wan Kuzain to allow Hamilton to score an incredible goal from the middle of the park. But, again, the Reds couldn’t do anything more after that.

Key Stats

Toronto FC

  • 3 shots on target
  • 80.8 percent pass accuracy
  • 62.5 percent tackles won
  • Key Player: Osorio

Sporting KC

  • 91.7 percent tackles won
  • 54.2 percent possession
  • 18 total shots, 5 of which were inside the box
  • Key Player: Russell

Advanced Stats (WhoScored)

  • Greg Vanney needs to play Giovinco in more of a creative role. The importance of the Italian’s build-up created the first goal. Playing Gio as a striker, however, limited the former Juventus forward to a 25 percent shooting percentage in this one.
  • Another great game for Gregory van der Wiel, who shall not go unnoticed. Finished with threes all over in categories such as tackles and interceptions. The Dutchman finished with a 7.06 match rating.
  • Bradley is staying consistent in a lot of departments. The American finished with two tackles and the same amount of interceptions with a solid 90 percent pass success rate. The skipper’s heat map showed that he stayed very true to his position and role, which is really nice to see.

Overall Match Facts

TFC Substitutes: Clint Irwin, Ashtone Morgan, Jay Chapman, Ayo Akinola, Nicolas Hasler, Ryan Telfer and Tosaint Ricketts.

Sporting Substitutes: Adrian Zendejas, Khiry Shelton, Seth Sinovic, Graham Smith, Emiliano Amor, Colton Storm and Kharlton Belmar.

Venue: Children’s Mercy Park

Attendance: 21,064

Official: Jose Carlos Rivero

Around the MLS

  • Atlanta United 2-0 Philadelphia Union
  • New England Revolution 0-0 Seattle Sounders
  • Montreal Impact 2-1 Colorado Rapids
  • Houston Dynamo 3-0 Minnesota United
  • Real Salt Lake 2-0 FC Dallas

An updated MLS table can be found here.

Gathering Thoughts

Toronto are going to need one hell of a push to dig themselves out of the hole they’re in right now.

More of the same came from this fixture. Nothing to really analyze or harp on. Deep down, TFC know what they need to do.

More from Toronto FC

The one thing to keep an eye on is off-season moves. Because of a disastrous MLS campaign so far, supporters could potentially be seeing a whole new set of bench players with a couple of starters mixed in if Tim Bezbatchenko can stay true to his word.

Nothing has came to the surface yet, but Ager Aketxe has disappeared from the TFC lineup after being a regular in almost every competition for Vanney this year. Speculation suggests Aketxe is back in Spain right now, getting a medical done.

If you’re still watching the product on the pitch, Toronto travel to Florida to take on Orlando City next Saturday, July 14. Everybody should keep up to date on all of the current TFC rumors right here on Tip of the Tower, because this summer could be a big one.

Next: Selling Ager Aketxe makes sense

What did you take away from Toronto FC’s performance on Saturday? Do you hold out realistic hope of the making the playoffs, or are you already looking ahead to next season? Share your thoughts on this fixture in the comments section below.