3) Other game notes
Morgan become the 10th player to score a competitive hat-trick versus TFC, and the fourth to do so in one half. Perhaps unsurprisingly, nine of the games have ended in defeat and the other finished as a draw.
Patryk Klimala also had a productive afternoon for the Red Bulls, with three assists. For some perspective, the forward had seven assists in 29 league games — including 26 starts — last season.
Another indication of Toronto FC having more of the ball but being unable to take advantage, was the 27 clearances New York had. (The home side had 13.) TFC also had a 65-57 edge in duels won.
On an individual level, Ralph Priso-Mbongue and Jonathan Osorio tied for a team-high three tackles, although the former’s came in just 10 minutes of action. Jimenez showed how involved he was, as he led TFC with nine duels; O’Neill was second with seven.
The game ended with both Lukas MacNaughton and Kadin Chung on the field, as they made their respective MLS debuts. Last season, the defensive duo lined up together for Pacific FC against Toronto FC.
The Reds are now without a win in eight league games in a streak which goes back to last season, with four draws and four losses. Their last victory was against the Chicago Fire early last October, when they won 3-1 at BMO Field.
On the subject of BMO Field, attendance for the home crowd was announced as 23,121. Taking into account everything that has happened in the last couple of years, this was the biggest crowd at BMO Field for a TFC game since their first home game in 2020. (26,171.)
TFC’s next game will be on the road, versus Columbus Crew. It will take place on Saturday March 12, kicking off at 1:30 pm ET.
Quote of the day
Petrasso spoke to the media after the game about his debut and what it meant to play for his hometown club. As per Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, he said:
"“To be honest I was very nervous, but it was a dream come true. When I was a little kid, I was a ball boy in the MLS Cup playoffs and the MLS final when TFC won (in 2017). So I had that dream of playing on that field and playing with the players I’m playing with now, a lot of good players I look up to.”"
What is your opinion of Toronto FC’s home opener versus the Red Bulls? Is there anything in particular which stood out for you? Let us know in the comments section below.