The game in 100 words (or less): Whether or not he’s scoring goals, Jozy Altidore remains a difference-maker for Toronto FC. When the big man missed nine straight games with a hamstring injury earlier this summer, TFC’s form plummeted, resulting in a 2W-4T-3L record. It was hardly a coincidence that TFC superstar Sebastian Giovinco went without a single goal during that period. On Wednesday, making his second substitute appearance since returning to the first team, Altidore came up big and helped to set up the only goal, scored by Canadian international and recent signing Tosaint Ricketts, in TFC’s 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at BMO Field. All of that is to say, Altidore is a good striker and an even better role player for a team that looks destined to make some serious news in the playoffs this year. Now, if only they weren’t paying a glorified role player close to $5 million per season. With the victory, TFC are now second in the Eastern Conference, while RSL’s slide continues (just five wins in their last 17 games) down to fifth place in the West.
Three moments that mattered
68′ — Ricketts gets behind and fires past Rimando — Altidore provides the deftest of flicks on the long ball out of the back, and Justen Glad misses with his header. At that point, Ricketts only has the finish to worry about, and he gets it spot-on.
77′ — Bono rushes out to deny Burrito — Alex Bono was thrust into the starting job when Clint Irwin went down with an injury more than a month ago. In his seven starts since, the 22-year-old sophomore has now compiled a record of 4W-2T-1L. He was quick off his line to deny Juan Manuel “El Burrito” Martinez with time winding down in this one.
89′ — Altidore fires just wide of the near post — Altidore had TFC’s best chance to make it 2-0, but the USMNT man fired inches wide of Rimando’s right-hand post.
Man of the match: Tosaint Ricketts
Goalscorers: Ricketts (68′)