The game in 100 words (or less): So, the premier game of the opening weekend of Major League Soccer 2016 — as dubbed by yours truly — failed to live up to its billing. These things happen, especially in the season’s first month. Toronto FC proved to be a work still in progress, given their formational change (4-4-2 to 4-3-3) and their handful of key additions from the offseason (Will Johnson, Drew Moor, Steven Beitashour). It all mattered very little in the end, though, as the Reds snatched all three points on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute and sealed the victory on Marco Delgado’s goal 10 minutes later. For as much possession as the Red Bulls had, they created very little in terms of scoring chances, and were made to pay for their lack of dynamism in the final third. On the bright side, Gideon Baah looked bright in his MLS debut and should minimize or totally negate the impact of Matt Miazga‘s departure this winter.
[ MORE: Previewing MLS First Kick 2016 ]
Three moments that mattered
65′ — Grella, BWP combine to go (out)side-netting — Dax McCarty played Wright-Phillips into space shortly after the hour mark, but TFC ‘keeper Clint Irwin was quick off his line and forced BWP wide. The ball ended up at the feet of BWP and Mike Grella, with the latter firing just wide from a tight angle. Best chance of the game for RBNY.
81′ — Lawrence cleans out Endoh; PK, 1-0 to TFC — Kemar Lawrence came in from behind trying to win the ball from Giovinco’s cross, but ended up taking Tsubasa Endoh’s legs out from under him and giving away a late penalty. Giovinco stepped up to convert and open his account for 2016.
91′ — Delgado hits RBNY on the break, 2-0 to TFC — TFC won the ball in midfield, Giovinco played Marco Delgado down the right, the U.S. youth international raced into the penalty area and slotted his right-footed shot past Luis Robles. Job done.
Man of the match: Michael Bradley
Goalscorers: Giovinco (82′ – PK), Delgado (91′)