MLS Snapshot: D.C. United 1-2 Toronto FC (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): You know, sometimes when you’re right, you’re just right. Toronto FC are much more a complete, well-round team this year than one or two great players surrounded by a bunch of scrubs. Sure, Sebastian Giovinco is the best player in the league (it’s not even close), but on Saturday the Reds traveled to RFK Stadium, where they faced Supporters’ Shield-leading D.C. United in a massive Eastern Conference matchup. They did so without the services of Michael Bradley (international duty) and, for the most part, Jozy Altidore (hamstring). So TFC played bend-but-don’t-break defense and held United to a single goal, while Giovinco did Giovinco things, and…voila…three points for the visitors.

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Three moments that mattered

6′ — Birnbaum slots home from the corner kick — Fabian Espindola provided the tantalizing in-swinger ball into the box, and all Steve Birnbaum had to do was make contact and send the ball in the very general direction of the net and he had himself a goal. 1-0, United.

34′ — Giovinco wriggles free and equalizes — RIP Sean Franklin. He was a good man, wasn’t he? Until that one time Giovinco shook the veteran left back this way and that way, before firing a tight-angled shot inside the far post to tie the game at 1-1.

83′ — Giovinco (yes, again) from distance — My very wise co-worker Nick Mendola said it best: Giovinco is unreal. Inside the penalty area, outside the box, way outside the box…it simply doesn’t matter, because he can score from anywhere. 7 goals, 6 assists in 12 games. TFC will never get true “value” for $7 million a year, but the Atomic Ant is doing his best anyway.

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Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco — MVP. MVP. MVP.

LINEUPS

D.C. United: Dykstra, Birnbaum, Boswell, Opare, Franklin, Rolfe (Silva 76′), Arnaud, Kitchen, Doyle (Coria 83′), Arrieta (DeLeon 53′), Espindola

Goals: Birnbaum (6′)

Toronto FC: Konopka, Morgan, Zavaleta, Perquis, Morrow, Warner (Jackson 46′), Cheyrou, Creavalle (Chapman 73′), Osorio, Giovinco, Moore (Altidore 82′)

Goals: Giovinco (34′, 83′)