Toronto FC: No entertainment against Orlando City

Michael Bradley of Toronto FC drives the ball during the second leg match of the final between Chivas and Toronto FC as part of CONCACAF Champions League 2018 at Akron Stadium on April 25, 2018 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
Michael Bradley of Toronto FC drives the ball during the second leg match of the final between Chivas and Toronto FC as part of CONCACAF Champions League 2018 at Akron Stadium on April 25, 2018 in Zapopan, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

Another MLS fixture only added to Toronto FC‘s dreadful summer, as they lost 2-1 to fellow Eastern Conference strugglers Orlando City SC.

Dominic Dwyer and Chris Schuler scored Orlando’s goals in this one. The brace proved just enough to hold off Toronto FC, who scored another late goal in stoppage time from none other than Nick Hagglund.

It only took 20 minutes for TFC to go under pressure. Chris Mueller was given too much space to make a run from the mild of the park. From there, the midfielder made a move into the box and sent a shot just over Alex Bono, but in the process swung all the momentum in City’s favor.

A minute later, the Reds tried to hit the Lions on a quick counter that had Justin Morrow squaring a cross for Sebastian Giovinco. However, the Italian’s shooting percentage only dipped more, as his low attempt rolled away.

Giovinco attempted another shot from midfield moments later, but again, no luck came for the Atomic Ant. Dwyer then grabbed his first real chance at goal as Eriq Zavaleta tried to match pace, but failed. The attacker got a good shot on Bono that was then followed up by a dangerous rebound into the box.

Dwyer went for goal again from the edge of the box. A similar rebound from Bono ensued, and nobody came close to marking Schuler as he sent home the easiest header of his life.

As the second half began, it was only more of the same from Toronto FC. A pass from Mueller somehow found oceans of space behind the Reds’ central defence, thus allowing Dwyer to hit a stunner of a ball past Bono to make it 2-0.

To give credit to TFC, they amassed a good amount of chances as they attempted to respond. The best one came from Giovinco, as Michael Bradley lobbed the forward into a one-on-one with Earl Edwards, who sprinted off the line to give Seba no time to find the shot.

Nicolas Hasler made a strong effort on Dwyer, who hit Toronto on the counter with a turn of serious pace. The Liechtenstein born midfielder sprinted all the way back to his own box and made the tackle.

The only goal from the Reds actually looked really sublime. Giovinco won a free-kick on the diagonal portion of the box. His cross towards the net gave Hagglund a chance to power through a pair of defenders to give a first-time hit to the back of the net in injury time, to make the final score 2-1.


Toronto FC

  • 53.5 percent possession
  • 16 shots with four on target
  • 25 percent team shot accuracy
  • Key Player: Giovinco

Orlando City

  • 76.5 percent tackle success rate
  • 18 shots with seven on target
  • 38.9 percent team shot accuracy
  • Key Player: Dwyer

Advanced Stats

  • Playing Giovinco in an attacking role isn’t working at the moment. Finishing with a 1-to-8 shot success rate is not good. Greg Vanney needs to let the Italian drop back to a CAM role, which will give him more freedom and time on the ball.
  • Give some credit to Zavaleta, who finished with four tackles, two interceptions and six clearances. Despite the yellow card, it looked as if the 25-year-old was giving some good effort to the fixture.
  • Absolutely silent from Jonathan Osorio. The Canadian finished with one shot and 73 total passes. Similar to Giovinco, Osorio needs to either be playing one role or the other. Vanney is asking too much from a player who has just sparked this season.

Overall Match Facts

Toronto FC Substitutes: Clint Irwin, Ashtone Morgan, Jay Chapman, Jozy Altidore, Ayo Akinola, Liam Fraser and Tosaint Ricketts.

Orlando City: Joe Bendik, Dillon Powers, Josue Colman, Shane O’Neill, Cameron Lindley, Donny Toia and Stefano Pinho.

Attendance: 23,420

Venue: Orlando City Stadium

Official: Allen Chapman

Around the MLS

  • NYCFC 2-0 Columbus Crew
  • New York Red Bulls 3-2 Sporting KC
  • LA Galaxy 3-2 New England Revolution
  • Montreal Impact 2-0 San Jose Earthquakes
  • D.C. United 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

An updated MLS table can be found here.

Gathering Thoughts

The issue revolves around three major factors: putting players in their proper roles, finding form and getting players back.

More from Toronto FC

Altidore on the bench was a huge sign of encouragement. Chris Mavinga remains sidelined, while Morgan regularly features on the bench which leads into the next point.

Injuries have caused all of the experimentation in the lineup. There’s Giovinco shifting roles, determining how high to play the defensive midfielders and the constant switch between Bono and Irwin.

There’s much more as well. It’s only leaving a massive amount of confusion among the players, and maybe Vanney himself. Most of all, it’s losing the faith from supporters as the team falls further away from a playoff spot — stay tuned.

Next: 3 TFC players worth selling in the transfer market

How concerned are you right now as a Reds fans? Share your thoughts on the fixture and the overall status of Toronto FC in the comments section below.