San Jose Earthquakes Hand Toronto FC Second Straight Loss
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Toronto--- Chris Wondolowski scored two goals tonight as his team the San Jose Earthquakes handed Toronto FC their second straight loss.
Before the game, former designated player Sebastian Giovinco was at BMO Field and was shown on the big screen to a loud ovation from the TFC faithful. The Atomic Ant spent four years in a Toronto FC uniform and led the team to back-to-back MLS Cup Finals appearances, they won one and CONCACAF Champions League Final. Toronto sold Sebastian Giovinco to Al-Hilal in the Saudi Arabian league before the season and then used their designated player spot to sign Alejandro Pozuelo.
Toronto FC have been struggling as of late; they’re 1-1-3 in their last five games and now sit at seventh place in the MLS Eastern Conference standings. The team played well against DC United in their 0-0 draw, however they lost their composure against Real Salt Lake, which resulted in midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo getting sent off for two yellow cards and suspended for tonight’s game against San Jose.
Toronto coach Greg Vanney went with a 5-3-2 formation with Quentin Westberg in-goal, Ashtone Morgan, Drew Moor, Justin Morrow, Chris Mavinga, and Auro on the backline, Liam Fraser, Marky Delgado, and Richie Laryea in the midfield, and both Nick DeLeon and Jozy Altidore starting up top in the forward positions.
With captain Michael Bradley being injured, Richie Laryea took advantage of this opportunity to step into the midfield and impacted the game early on; he used his speed to get into open space, and maneuvered his was around two Earthquake defenders to get a scoring opportunity but just missed the net wide.
Laryea’s hard work ended up paying off when he scored in the 28th minute to put Toronto FC up 1-0, following a great play that started with a Delgado pass to Altidore, who crossed the ball to Laryea for the goal. This goal marked Laryea’s first for his hometown club, who he signed with following a three-year stint with Orlando City SC.
The new formation looked to have been working for Toronto early on in that they were finding success with their fluid ball movement from their defenders on the wings and the three central midfielders.
San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski tied the game up in the 38th minute after receiving a cross pass in Toronto’s box from teammate Christian Espinoza and striking it in the back-of-the-net, like the goal scored by Laryea ten minutes earlier.
The Earthquakes were close to going up 2-1 with an identical play that got them the tying goal however, Westberg was able to make a great save this time to keep the score tied up at the end of the first half.
Although Toronto scored early, San Jose were still able to maintain possession for the majority of the first half; 61.2% to 38.8% in favor of the Earthquakes.
Laryea continued his form into the second half and was active in creating scoring chances for Toronto. This is significant for his development because depending on the severity of Bradley’s injury, he may get more opportunities to start for Toronto.
San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski scored his second of the game in the 81st minute following a nice pass from Christian Espinoza, putting his team up 2-1. The goal looked almost identical to the goal they scored in the 37th minute, only that it was on the opposite side of the field.
The goal was unfortunate for Toronto because they had been playing well up until that point and had started building more momentum offensively. Wondolowski’s second goal was all San Jose needed as they would go on to win the game 2-1 following some missed scoring opportunities. With the win, San Jose now have six wins this season and gain a much needed three points in the MLS Western Conference standings.
TOR Laryea 28’
SJ Wondolowski 38’
SJ Wondolowski 81’
Photo and Video Credit: Toronto FC