Jozy Altidore

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Red Bulls 1-1 Toronto FC: TFC’s 6-game winning streak ends in thriller

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HARRISON, N.J. (AP) Benoit Cheyrou scored on a diving header in the 70th minute and Toronto FC salvaged a 1-1 tie with the New York Red Bulls on Friday night, ending the Canadian team’s franchise-record winning streak at six games.

Toronto FC (7-1-5) had three good scoring chances in the final 10 minutes for the first seven-game winning streak in the MLS since the 2012 season. Jozy Altidore‘s penalty kick was blocked by Luis Robles in the 81st minute. On the previous play, Altidore tried to chip the keeper but it went wide and Tosaint Ricketts was knocked down in the penalty area chasing the loose ball.

In the 84th minute, Ricketts controlled a long pass with his chest on a breakaway but his shot hit the crossbar. Then Ricketts appeared to score in the 89th but it was whistled back for an offside call.

New York (5-6-2) snapped a three-game losing streak. In the 38th minute, Sacha Kljestan’s free kick was headed across goal by Fredrik Gulbrandsen and Wright-Phillips finished it with a bicycle kick to open the scoring (WATCH HERE).

MLS (afternoon) roundup: TFC make it 6 in a row; Meram bags hat trick

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The 10th MLS Saturday of 2017 is nearly halfway complete. A quick roundup of the day’s early games…

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Toronto FC 3-2 Minnesota United

Don’t look now, but TFC are sprinting away from the rest of the pack in the Eastern Conference. Saturday’s victory over Minnesota, a back-and-forth affair that saw the visitors twice come back to level terms, pushes Greg Vanney’s side to 25 points, six clear of everyone else in the East (TFC have played three more games than third-place Orlando City SC, who are on 18 points). The most impressive part: they’ve won six straight games, including five in a just-completed 15-day period that saw a number of key players rested at various points.

It was anything but pretty on Saturday, but the Reds will take all three points and a day or two of rest now, thank you very much. Sebastian Giovinco opened the scoring, from the penalty spot, in the 20th minute, a lead which they held until the 52nd minute, when Kevin Molino equalized for the Loons. Just two minutes later, though, Christian Ramirez bundled the ball into his own net for a 2-1 TFC lead.

Molino would pull Minnesota level once again, this time putting home the rebound from his own missed penalty kick, but Jozy Altidore, who replaced Giovinco in the 44th minute, would not be denied in his efforts to set up Tosaint Ricketts for the game-winning goal in the 77th minute.


Montreal Impact 2-3 Columbus Crew SC

Justin Meram is a star, and it’s time that everyone realizes and accepts it. After bagging his first career hat trick on Saturday, Meram’s 2017 numbers are as follows: seven goals and four assists, from 11 games. He’s just one away from a new career-high goals tally, and currently on pace to fall just short of his single-season high in assists (13).

Each and every one of the goals were pivotal, by the way, as the 28-year-old Iraqi international put Columbus 2-0 before the half-hour mark before bagging the game-winner in the first minute of second-half stoppage time. Defending — particularly on set pieces — remains a gigantic problem for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but they sit second in the East regardless.


Colorado Rapids 3-0 San Jose Earthquakes

On today’s edition of MLS Makes No Sense Whatsoever… we have Colorado, who haven’t won since the opening day of the season — who, in fact, have won just a single point in their seven games since opening day — crushing fifth-place San Jose, 3-0.

Shkelzen Gashi bagged himself a brace (29th and 56th minutes) either side of Dominique Badji’s goal in the 35th minute, and just like that Colorado are level with Philadelphia Union (for the time being) as the sides with the worst point totals (7 from 9 games) in MLS.

Tonight’s MLS schedule

D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union — 7 p.m. ET
Orlando City SC vs. Sporting Kansas City — 7 p.m. ET
New England Revolution vs. Real Salt Lake — 7:30 p.m. ET
Chicago Fire vs. Seattle Sounders — 9 p.m. ET

Sunday’s MLS schedule

Portland Timbers vs. Atlanta United — 4 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy — 6 p.m. ET
FC Dallas vs. New York City FC — 8 p.m. ET

MLS Snapshot: A bit of Cup revenge for Altidore, TFC over Sounders

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The game in 100 words (or less): MLS Cup 2016 revenge on their minds, and the absence of Sebastian Giovinco (rest) seemingly set to make life more difficult, Toronto FC were completely unfazed by Saturday’s trip to Seattle to take on the reigning champions. In truth, it was hardly a revelation — more of a continuation — for Greg Vanney’s side which extended its current winning streak to four games and kept its fifth clean sheet of the season (just two goals conceded during the four-game run). It’s that defensive solidity which has propelled TFC (19 points from 10 games) to the top spot in the hotly contested Eastern Conference, a point ahead of Orlando City SC (who have played two fewer games). Benoit Cheyrou turned in a stellar performance in midfield (5 tackles won, 3 interceptions and 3 clearances) to lighten the load of defensive duties thrust upon a reworked four-man backline. Jozy Altidore scored the game’s only goal, from the penalty spot after winning the chance himself, and the well-drilled, organized defense held up for the full 90 minutes.

[ MORE: Week 10 preview — LA to bounce back against Chicago? ]

Three moments that mattered

6′ — Morris heads home, but the flag goes up — Gustav Svensson made and obvious play on the ball as it bounded toward the far post, clearly affecting Clint Irwin’s movement across the face of goal. It’s a decision which requires the assistant referee to observe and interpret multiple actions all at once.

23′ — Torres clatters into Altidore; it’s a penalty — Altidore continues to be involved and productive for TFC, as the USMNT striker bagged his 21st goal (to go with 10 assists — 31 games, regular season and playoffs) since bagging his first goal last season, on July 31.

40′ — Frei goes high to deny Altidore — Again, here’s Altidore creating his own shot and half-chance, though Frei gets up to palm his effort over the crossbar.

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Man of the match: Benoit Cheyrou

Goalscorers: Altidore (PK – 23′)

MLS Snapshot: Toronto FC 2-1 Orlando City (video)

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): To be the best, you’ve gotta beat the best, and the reigning Eastern Conference champions took care of business at home against first-place Orlando City. Sebastian Giovinco scored twice as TFC pulled to within two points of the visitors, and lowered the Lions road record to 1W-2L (OCSC is 5-0 at home). Kaka scored for Orlando, who were denied once or twice by Alex Bono in the loss.

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Sometimes you make MVP moves to get your goals…

Look at this first touch from Giovinco to set the table for his near post finish. Please, Hammer, don’t hurt ’em. Jozy Altidore scoops up the assist from a sloppy first touch. These things happen.

38′ — … And sometimes you’re just there for the spoils

Giovinco completed his brace by doing work in a crowded phone booth about a half hour after his first goal. Victor Vazquez on the assist.

45+1′ — Kaka pulls one back

That ball seemed to ask the question as it made its way toward the back post, and Kaka was always going to have the answer. With authority.

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Man of the match: Giovinco.

Goalscorers: Sebastian Giovinco (9′, 38′), Kaka (45+1′).

MLS Snapshot: Jozy double downs Dynamo, Toronto wins 2-0

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The game in 100 words (or less): Toronto FC had too much firepower for defensively challenged Houston, and the hosts carved up the Dynamo for a 2-0 win north of the border. Giovinco was creative and flashy if not sharp, and Jozy Altidore was the benefactor as the American bagged both goals. After an early spell of Houston possession off the opening whistle, Toronto dominated from start to finish, with the midfield bossing the game.

Three moments that mattered

16′ – Raheem Edwards on the ball out wide, he burst into the box and – seeing Giovinco draw 2 defenders in an offside position – he cut back for Altidore who finished cooly from the spot. Too easy for the opener.

32′– Jozy doubled his lead as he played an absolutely brilliant one-two with Giovinco. The Italian popped it over the top as Altidore slipped through the line, and the USMNT star had the simplest of finishes.

85′ – Houston looked to get back into things by pouring men forward, but to no avail. The closest they came was off a corner as Alex ripped off a shot that sailed over the bar.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Victor Vazquez/Marco Delgado

Goalscorers: Jozy Altidore (16′, 32′)