Toronto FC

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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).

Red-hot Toronto loses Giovinco, Hagglund for weeks

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If Toronto FC wants to keep up its torrid run, the Reds will have to do it without Sebastian Giovinco and Nick Hagglund.

The first absence is more significant, and will likely be shorter; Giovinco left the weekend’s win over Minnesota United — the club’s sixth-straight — with a quad strain and will miss around three weeks.

[ MORE: James to Man Utd if UCL ]

Hagglund tore the MCL in his left knee, and is going to miss 8-12 weeks. He’s played in every match for TFC this season, going the distance on nine occasions.

Giovinco has six goals and an assist in nine matches this year, but Toronto FC is 3-0 in the matches he missed with leg and heel injuries. That’s a significant change from last season, when TFC went 1W-4D-1L without the Atomic Ant.

Ultimately, TFC should be able to weather the storm without Giovinco, as the Canadian club goes to the Red Bulls, comes home for Columbus, and then visits New England before a two-week break.

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: Columbus Crew 1-2 Toronto FC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): If Toronto can keep this pace up, they may very well avenge their MLS Cup loss from a season ago. Even without Sebastian Giovinco on Wednesday night, Greg Vanney’s side managed to take care of business at MAPFRE Stadium courtesy of Tosaint Ricketts and his nine-minute brace to close the match. The Canadian veteran came on in the first half as a substitute but his performance after the halftime break made all the difference for TFC, recording two of the teams three shots on target (both of which were goals). Despite an overwhelming amount of chances early on from Federico Higuain and the Crew attack, Greg Berhalter and co. will remain second in the Eastern Conference on 18 points, while TFC tops the East with 22 points in 11 matches.

[ MORE: Playoff Picture — 6 teams can clinch playoff berth this weekend ]

Three four moments that mattered

28′ — Higuain converts from the spot — The Argentine shows some serious class with this panenka from the penalty spot.

38′ — Steffen closes the door on Jozy — “Not so fast Jozy,” Zack Steffen (probably)…

81′ — Ricketts rescues a point for TFC — Talk about efficiency. One header and one goal for the first-half substitute.

90′ — But wait… there’s more from Tosaint — No Giovinco, no problem for the visitors. Gotta say it’s pretty poor defending from the Crew though to close the match.

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Men of the match: Tosaint Ricketts

Goalscorers: Federico Higuain — PK (28′), Tosaint Ricketts (81′, 90′)

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.

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

Man of the match: Benoit Cheyrou

Goalscorers: Altidore (PK – 23′)