2) Pablo Piatti scores twice in Man of the Match performance
When Pablo Piatti joined TFC back in February as a designated player, there was a lot of understandable anticipation. Unfortunately for everyone concerned, he missed the start of the season as a result of a hamstring strain.
Piatti finally made his debut in Orlando during the MLS is Back tournament, but the early returns weren’t much to write home about. As it turned out, all he needed to do was return ‘home’ to show TFC fans what he was capable of.
The 31-year-old finally announced himself on the MLS stage Wednesday night, as he opened the scoring with a 30-yard heat-seeking missile into the top right hand corner of the net. It was a touch of magic at just the right time, perfectly highlighting why TFC had signed him.
The celebration was memorable, as Piatti raced to the sideline to embrace TFC’s massage therapist and acupuncturist Marcelo Casal. The Argentinian said after the game that Casal had offered him support during what was a tough first few months with the club.
Galvanised by his first goal for the Reds, Piatti wasn’t finished, as he scored again 10 minutes after half-time to double the home team’s lead. As with the first goal, Jonathan Osorio was involved in the buildup, hinting at a dynamic partnership between him and Piatti in midfield.
Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney was understandably delighted with Piatti’s performance. As reported by Curtis Withers of the Canadian Press via CBC, Vanney said:
"“I thought he was excellent. His movement was really good, his timing was good. “The speed at which the ball moved all night was the key to everything, so it was very easy for guys to set up in the right spots. When you do that then everybody becomes more effective, and that was part of it for Pablo.”"
Now that the floodgates have opened, it’s just a matter of Piatti continuing to justify the faith of everyone around him. If he does, TFC have an excellent chance of playing in a fourth MLS Cup final in five years.