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

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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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.

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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′)