Toronto FC vs Minnesota United - Game Report - April 19, 2019

Nabeela Damji
BarnBurner Sports Writer

@Nabeeladamji

Saturday, April 20, 2019


Photo Credit: Toronto FC

Three points.  Three really, really important points”, said Captain Michael Bradley.

What he meant to say was: Three points, four goals by two players, two red cards for Minnesota, whatever those non-red jerseys were, rain, LOTS of rain, and pretty much everything in between, but sure. Three points.

Jordan Hamilton and Alejandro Pozuelo scored two goals each as TFC won a thrilling 4-3 decision against Minnesota United on a very rainy Friday night.

The club also got new and shiny things, playing their first match at BMO field since the new hybrid pitch was installed. The change received acclaim from players. 

“I thought it was great, and it helped me out with the second goal so, I’m happy about that,” said Hamilton.

The club also donned the new Adidas Parley kit, which was created from recycled ocean plastic as part of the MLS greener goals project. 

Get a win, save the whales.  Ah-mazing.

 The visitors struck first; when Darwin Quintero beat Alex Bono to a long ball played to the end of the box and tapped it into an empty net.  Yikes.  

Pozuelo drew the home side level on an outstanding solo effort, going on a run down the middle and eventually curling a shot from 20 yards out into the top corner.

He gave his team the lead just two minutes later after Justin Morrow made a run down the left flank and played a low ball to Pozuelo who drilled one past Mannone for his fourth goal in four games.  Pozuelo’s two goals were the fastest two goals scored by the same player in TFC history. He almost completed a hat trick but Mannone was there with the save to deny him. 

Minnesota came out aggressive in the second half as Angelo Rodriguez powered a header off the underside off the crossbar and off Bobo to make it 2-2. They then took the lead when Quintero converted from the penalty stop after Chris Mavinga took down Rodriquez inside the box. The goal was his fifth in the last two games against TFC.

Entre Hamilton. 

After being set up by Jonathan Osorio, Hamilton fired a shot from close range past Mannone.  Then, just two minutes later, Hamilton beat a defender to a ball played into the box by Altidore and headed it into the empty net to restore the lead. 

Minnesota ended the game with an epic meltdown, with Jan Gregus and Francisco Calvo both earning red cards in the dying minutes of regulation.

Even though the team has scored18 goals through the first six games of the year, defensive issues still exist with 11 goals conceded and just one clean sheet.  “There are clearly some things we need to work on and deal with.  Too many soft goals tonight that keep putting us in the position to fight back from”, said Coach Greg Vanney.

Something else that may need working on is the relationship between Jozy Altidore and club president Bill Manning. 

Altidore was subbed out late in the game due to hamstring tightness and called out Manning in his post-game scrum stating the trainer associated with former teammate Sebastian Giovinco was fired after he left the club.

“We had a trainer here the last three years that’s been helping me avoid muscle injuries, but because he was attached to Seba, he’s not allowed in the club which I think it ridiculous. So now this is what I’m faced with.  Games of egos and [that sort] of thing.  Hopefully [Manning] can put his ego aside and I can get the guy that has kept me healthy and we can make things move forward.”

 *grabs popcorn*

On the injury front, fullback Auro Jr and his new hairdo made an appearance n the second half as a sub, while defender Drew Moor missed his second straight match.