2019 MLS Playoffs: Toronto FC Advance, Rooney's MLS Career Comes to an End
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Toronto, ON--- 25, 331 fans were on hand to witness Toronto FC’s successful return to MLS playoff action. Jonathan Osorio capped off a flurry of goal scoring for Toronto FC in extra time, to secure a first round win for the home side.
The atmosphere at BMO Field was electric for the team’s opening round matchup with DC United. Marc Gasol of the NBA Champion Toronto Raptors was on hand and got the crowd fired up early when he brought out the match ball to center field before the opening ceremonies.
All eyes were on DC United captain Wayne Rooney, who played in his final MLS matchup as he’ll be heading back to England in January after a two-season spell in DC.
The 2019 MLS season was a bounce-back year for Toronto as the finished 4th in the standings to clinch the home field advantage against DC. The team have thrived in playoff matchups at BMO Field in recent years as the last time they hosted a playoff match, they captured the 2017 MLS Cup and made it to the finals the previous year and are hoping to replicate that success.
Toronto had to deal with the absence of Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez, which is significant because both are regulars in the starting-XI and are crucial in the team’s success going forward.
Toronto FC were a little hesitant early on but starting to pick up the pace after the first 20 minutes of the half. Alejandro Pozuelo did an excellent job creating plays and facilitating Toronto’s offense and provided the team with an offensive with Altidore out of the lineup.
Toronto’s Marky Delgado scored to put Toronto up 1-0 and got the fans on their feet. The fans helped provide an exciting atmosphere and gave the players a much-needed boost.
Toronto were a much better team in the second half; they were moving the ball well, creating chances from their attack off the wing, and troubled DC’s defenders with their link up plays.
There was a reoccurring theme when Toronto got shots on goal; DC United goalkeeper Hamid would make the save but would not maintain control of the ball which resulted in Toronto having numerous second chance opportunities on goal.
Hamid’s rebounds were a cause for concern for DC because it left their team vulnerable when Toronto were in their side of the field. On the other hand, Toronto remained composed and didn’t make too many costly errors.
The lone goal wasn’t enough for Toronto FC as they made an error in the stoppage time that allowed DC United tie the game and force extra time.
Fortunately for Toronto, it wouldn’t take them long to get back on the scoresheet as Richie Laryea scored two minutes into the first half of stoppage time, which got BMO fired up. They weren’t done there; Jonathan Osorio scored following a scramble in the box to make it 3-1 and would add his second of the game, making it 4-1. It would get worse for DC United as Nick DeLeon scored a highlight-reel goal to make it 5-1 and there still another half of extra time to be played.
Wayne Rooney was subbed off before the beginning of the second half of extra time, to end his MLS career.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC (@TorontoFC)