At the risk of continuing the neutrals’ love fest with Toronto FC, the Reds found a new way to impress on Sunday.
Greg Vanney left Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore at home for Saturday night’s match in Carson against the LA Galaxy, a risky proposition for any team given the propensity for away teams to lose in Major League Soccer.
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Even keeping in mind that LA is terrible
at home this season — the Galaxy are one of only two teams with a sub .500 record at home — Toronto improved its league-best record to 18W-3L-8T with a 4-0 trouncing of Sigi Schmid’s side.
Tosaint Ricketts scored twice, while Drew Moor and Victor Vazquez also bagged goals for the Reds in running 11 points clear of New York City FC in the Supporters’ Shield standings. TFC would have to put forth a pure and unfettered collapse in order to miss out on its first one.
Vazquez added an assist, and goalkeeper Alex Bono also posted a helper on the final goal of the rout. Additionally, right wing back Steven Beitashour also missed out as Nicolas Hasler assisted on the second goal in his stead.
The game in 100 words (or less): Toronto FC was without some of its regulars on Friday night, but that didn’t matter much as Greg Vanney’s side avenged their loss to the Revolution from two weeks ago. Coming off of just two days’ rest, TFC continued its push towards an Eastern Conference title at BMO Field behind Drew Moor’s first goal of the season. Sebastian Giovinco was held in check most of the evening, but the Italian scorer did what he does best in the final minute of stoppage time to seal it for the home side with his seventh goal of the year. The Revs pushed and pushed during the second half for an equalizer but TFC’s resilience defensively proved superior as they kept the visitors off the scoreboard for their eighth shutout of 2017.
Three moments that mattered
11′ — Moor taps in for early Toronto advantage — Even on two days’ rest Toronto looks like this…
57′ — Cheeky Nguyen keeps Revs in match — Lee Nguyen is typically known for his creativity in the offensive half but it was this clever play defensively that kept the Revolution down just one goal.
83′ — Kamara comes so close! — It’s just not meant to be on the night for the Revs.
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Man of the match: Alex Bono
Goalscorers: Drew Moor (11′), Sebastian Giovinco (90+6′)
Toronto FC is not the first to try the “Dad Jokes Challenge”, but given the holiday of Father’s Day and their unorthodox approach, it’s totally worth watching their effort.
Drew Moor, Alex Bono, and Justin Morrow are among the Reds to give it a go in front of the cameras, though the tradition of doing their best to avoid a laugh while delivering a stone-faced punch line wasn’t exactly followed by the letter of the law.
Pretty kid friendly if you ask us. The Zero and Eight joke is a personal highlight.
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Toronto FC will be without one of its key defensive figures over the weekend, but Greg Vanney’s side could need to find a replacement for a longer stint.
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The Canadian side announced on Friday that Drew Moor won’t travel to Ohio this weekend when TFC takes on the Columbus Crew after medical staff discovered a cardiac arrhythmia in the player following tests.
The 33-year-old is in his second season with Toronto after previously featuring for the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas in his earlier days in MLS.
While a timetable for Moor’s return is unknown at the moment, it’s certainly a big loss for last season’s MLS Cup runners’ up. Moor started in 32 of the club’s matches a season ago and played a major role in anchoring the team’s backline.
Toronto is unbeaten in its first five matches but four of the team’s results have been draws. The Eastern Conference side will go for its second win of the year on Saturday when they face East leaders Columbus at MAPFRE Stadium.
This is, quite frankly, the biggest match in Toronto FC history.
While there have been high-profile friendlies against majestic teams like Real Madrid, CONCACAF Champions League-berth battles, and venue-unveiling evenings, there has never been a chance to go to MLS Cup for the Reds.
For the opportunity to come against Canadian rivals Montreal? Even better.
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The bright lights of Canada’s biggest city shine on the second leg of the Eastern Conference final, a 7 p.m. kickoff at beautiful BMO Field.
Toronto trails 3-2, but scooped up a pair of potentially huge road goals through Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.
How will Montreal react to their one-goal advantage, knowing that danger lurks with the concession of a single goal? Impact veteran Patrice Bernier said he knows the club can “score a goal and defend better“, a tacit acknowledgment that buttressing the lead is important to coach Mauro Biello’s vision of reaching the MLS Cup Final.
Montreal managed a point in 11 of 17 road matches during the regular season, second to only the Galaxy. TFC will have to get past a deadlock to keep its dreams alive, but how will Greg Vanney go about it? Given the way Drew Moor and company have defended this year, the TFC boss could unleash the dogs knowing that a two-goal win or 1-0 or 2-1 would be enough, and 3-2 would push it to extra time.
There’s so much at stake here: national bragging rights and a chance at the final. For TFC, there’s the chance for a historic and lucrative home final.