Toronto FC Lose to Houston, Winning Streaks Comes to an End
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Toronto, ON--- Toronto FC’s two-game winning streak came to an end tonight as the visiting Houston Dynamo got the rare win on the road by defeating the Toronto 3-1.
Toronto coach Greg Vanney made plenty of adjustments to his starting-XI after the team’s mid-week victory over the New York Red Bulls; Jozy Altidore, Omar Gonzalez, Richie Laryea, Jacob Shaffelburg, and captain Michael Bradley were on the bench for tonight’s game. The adjustments provided a few players with a great opportunity to get some more playing time and make an arguement as to why they believe that they should be regulars in Vanney's starting-XI
Vanney’s staring-XI featured a 4-4-2 formation with Quentin Westberg in-goal, Auro Jr, Justin Morrow, Laurent Ciman, and Eriq Zavaleta on the backline, Jay Chapman, Liam Fraser, Jonathan Osorio, Nick DeLeon in the midfield, and Tsubasa Endoh and the team’s newest addition, Patrick Mullins, as the strikers.
It didn’t take the Houston Dynamo very long to get on the scoresheet; midfielder Tommy McNamara found an open space past Toronto’s defense and struck the ball with his left foot past Westberg, to give his team the early 1-0 lead fourth minute.
McNamara scoring early was significant for the Dynamo because the team hasn’t faired too well on the road this season and the early goal could be a big confidence booster for the club. If Houston had better luck on the road this season, they most likely would be a playoff team in the MLS Western Conference.
A positive sign for Toronto was that they weren’t discouraged after the early goal and their players continued to show the dynamic offensively ability that they displayed in the last two-games.
In the 23rd minute, the Dynamo added another goal after they caught Toronto’s defense out of position while on the counterattack, which resulted in Tomas Martinez receiving the ball off a cross pass and striking it behind Westberg, to give the Dynamo a 2-0 lead.
Quentin Westberg made an incredible save in the 31st minute, when the Dynamo were in a two-on-one position once again, but Westberg’s big save reenergized the crowd at BMO Field. Toronto had some momentum after Westberg’s save and had a scoring opportunity when Nick DeLeon struck a powerful shot off a volley but was blocked by a Dynamo defender.
The whistle signaling the end of the first half sounded as the Toronto FC squad were looking at an uphill battle to start the second half; they were now down 2-0 and had to get an offensive spark off the bench. Although Toronto had the majority of possession, 59.3% to 40.7 %, they were unable to convert on any of their scoring opportunities, leaving them in a bad position after the first 45-minutes.
Vanney started the half by making two key substitutions; he subbed Jozy Altidore on for Patrick Mullins and Jacob Shaffelburg was subbed on for Jay Chapman. Altidore provided an immediate spark off the bench and provided the team with an offensive threat in Houston’s box.
Unfortunately for Toronto, Houston would add another goal in the 57th minute when Mauro Manotas scored to give his club a 3-0 lead. Up until that point of the half, it looked like Toronto were showing signs of turning it around, but they were unlucky.
Toronto looked as though they were going to get a in the 72nd minute however, Dynamo defender Maynor Figueroa came up big by making the save on the goal-line and clearing the ball out of danger.
Fortunately for Toronto FC, they would finally get on the scoresheet in the 75th minute, when Jozy Altidore received a cross and successfully headed it past Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric, to get Toronto within two.
In the 82nd minute it looked as though Toronto FC were going to get within one goal however, the assistant referee ruled that Laurent Ciman was in an offside position when he headed the ball in the net. Toronto were unable to get another goal as their two-game winning streak came to an end.
Toronto FC are back in action next Saturday, when they host Cincinnati at BMO Field.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC (@TorontoFC)