Toronto FC Defeat NY Red Bulls, Continue their Winning Streak
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Toronto--- 24, 462 fans were on hand at BMO Field as Toronto FC continued their winning streak with a 3-1 win over the visiting New York Red Bulls.
Toronto coach Greg Vanney went with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Quentin Westberg in-goal, Laurent Ciman, Richie Laryea, Justin Morrow, and Toronto’s newest signing Omar Gonzalez on the back-line, Marky Delgado and captain Michael Bradley as the two defensive-midfielders, Jacob Shaffelburg, Tsubasa Endoh, and Alejandro Pozuelo playing the attacking-midfielder roles, and Jozy Altidore as the lone striker up-top.
Jozy Altidore is coming off an impressive performance his return this past Saturday in Montreal, where he scored a nicely placed free kick to secure a road win for Toronto. Now that the CONCACAF Gold Cup has wrapped up, Toronto will now have squad that is at full strength and one that is fully capable of being a playoff team in the MLS Eastern Conference.
Omar Gonzalez will need some getting used to as he steps into Toronto’s defense, but the team as well as the fans have high hopes that he’ll be the missing piece on a back-line that has struggled this season and a player that will be a calming presence and improve the team’s overall quality defensively. Gonzales being on the squad provides a lot more depth and could lead to the team improving in the standings when they start Gonzalez and Mavinga together in the central defense positions.
It took Toronto FC five short minutes to get on the scoresheet as striker Jozy Altidore continued his goal scoring streak with a highlight-reel goal that saw him backheel the ball past New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles following a cross from midfielder Tsubasa Endoh.
Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg came up big three-minutes later, when he stopped Red Bulls midfielder Vincent Bezecourt from tying the game when he struck the ball off a volley.
Toronto were controlling the game for the majority of the first half and were clearly the better squad; they were creating multiple plays that resulted in scoring opportunities, they strong defensively and didn’t allow the Red Bulls to gain any momentum, and they were dangerous on the counterattack.
Toronto’s hard work paid off when they awarded in the 25th minute after Richie Laryea was taken down in the Red Bulls’ box, which resulted in a penalty-kick being awarded.
Alejandro Pozuelo stepped up to the penalty spot and buried the ball in the bottom left corner to put Toronto FC up 2-0. This was a positive sign for Toronto FC because the team showed signs of playing to the potential of their squad.
Westberg made another incredible save in the 32nd minute after defender Laurent Ciman gave the ball away in the box to Kaku, who struck a powerful shot on goal but was denied. The 33-year-old has taken full advantage of the opportunity he was given when Alex Bono had struggled and has become the first option goalkeeper for the team.
Alejandro Pozuelo needed to be subbed off in the second-half after injured his ankle when he was challenged for the ball.
Toronto seemed to have picked up right where they left off in the second half however, New York got on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute, after substitute Derrick Etienne set up striker Tom Barlow with a cross pass that he would strike in the back of the net.
The Red Bulls looked like a much better team after they scored; they did a better job pressuring the Toronto defenders and took a lot more risks offensively.
Toronto regained the two-goal lead in the 72nd, when Ashtone Morgan pressured the New York’s defense on a play that looked like it was going to the goalkeeper, but Morgan’s pressure led to miscommunication between defender Michael Murillo and Robles, which resulting in Morgan talking the ball and scoring.
After Morgan made it 3-1, Toronto coach Greg Vanney adjusted his lineup and subbed off midfielder Tsubasa Endoh for defender Chris Mavinga. The substitution gave Toronto more of a defensive look on the field in a 5-4-1 with Bradley and Delgado tracking back to assist the defenders, which made it more difficult for New York to scoring opportunities because they essentially had to get past seven players to get to Toronto’s net.
Toronto’s Jonathan Osorio, who had been subbed on in the second-half, almost put the team up 4-1, when the team push the ball up following a New York free kick that went off the wall, but his shot was stopped by Robles.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC (@TorontoFC)