We break down Toronto FC’s disappointing 3-1 loss to New York City FC which sees them bow out of the MLS is Back Tournament.
The ominous skies that spanned over Orlando on Sunday night proved telling of Toronto FC’s fate, as the Reds fell 3-1 to a vengeful New York City FC team. Here are three takeaways from the match:
3. A night to forget
If the skies weren’t enough to make you feel a little uneasy about Toronto’s chances going into Sunday night, a quick glance at the lineup card might have put you flat on your back. Due to hamstring tightness, tournament darling Ayo Akinola was not available to Greg Vanney and his staff. In his stead, Vanney shifted Alejandro Pozuelo into the forward position and selected 17-year-old Canadian Jayden Nelson to make his MLS debut.
Immediately, it was obvious that something was up. New York looked a half step quicker than their opposition, as they darted in and out of Toronto’s penalty area early and often.
Their efforts culminated in a fifth minute goal from Jesús Medina, in which the Paraguayan was completely neglected at the top of the box. New York kept the pedal to the metal from then on, finding the back of the net again in the 55th minute, when Valentín Castellanos caught Omar González flat-footed and worked around him to laser a shot past Quentin Westberg.
It was after the Castellanos goal that Vanney went to his bench, but even the tournament debut of Jonathan Osorio couldn’t lift the spirits of his weary charges. Maxi Morales netted the third goal in the 81st minute, sealing TFC’s fate.
Although former New York man Patrick Mullins was able to pull one back for the Reds in the 87th, Toronto was utterly out-preformed on the night, as they were eliminated from the MLS is Back Tournament.