Toronto FC Defeated in Seattle at the MLS Finals22 de Noviembre de 2019 a las 02:33
Photo courtesy of Elaine Thompson, AP
By Noora Popal – BarnBurner.ca
TORONTO. - A devastating outcome for Toronto FC as they encountered a 3-1 loss against the Seattle Sounders. On Sunday afternoon, 69,274 fans gathered at CenturyLink Field to watch Toronto FC face the Seattle Sounders for the third time in 4 years at the 2019 MLS finals.
The Sounders beat Toronto FC in shootouts at the 2016 finals, and TFC beat the Sounders, 2-0, in the 2017 finals. Seattle was victorious for the second time during this years playoffs, outscoring the Reds and breaking their 13 game winning streak.
TFC had a shaky start at the beginning of the season, but they managed to make a strong comeback and get to the finals of the playoffs. Seattle, on the other hand, has made the playoffs every year, ever since they became a team in 2009.
The Reds began the match strong, attacking Seattle's defense and creating some great opportunities to score. Toronto FC had high ball possession, but they were indecisive about what to do with the ball. TFC’s attacks were thrilling to watch, unfortunately, their shot executions were not enough to get them goals.
With a pass from Jonathan Osorio in the 36th minute, Nicolas Benezet shot at the net to try and get a 1-0 lead, but it was blocked by Stefan Frei. Just one example of TFC’s attempts to score that didn’t go in.
Quentin Westberg, who joined the team in February 2019, has been a key piece to TFC’s success this playoff run. His saves and split-second decision making allowed the team to earn a spot in the finals. He tried to continue this streak during this game, being successful in the first half, but the same can’t be said about the second half of the match.
The first half ended scoreless, but that didn't last long. Things turned sour for TFC shortly after the beginning of the 2nd half of the match.
In the 57th minute, the ball deflected off of Justin Morrow and went into the net making the score 1-0. The goal was given to Kelvin Leerdam, though it clearly was an own-goal. That goal shook up the Reds and they weren’t able to recover after it.
There were a lot of questions about whether Jozy Altidore was going to return after being absent since October 6th after sustaining a serious injury. TFC fans were excited to see Jozy get subbed in for Nicolas Benezet in the 68th minute.
The devastation continued in the 76th minute when Victor Rodriguez blasted the ball past Westberg, increasing their lead to 2-0.
Chris Mavinga decided to not be substituted off even though he was injured and continued to play. This turned out to be a bad decision when he struggled to run back and stop Raul Ridiaz in the 90th minute form scoring the Sounders’ third goal.
TFC didn’t go out scoreless in this match. Jozy Altidore, with an assist from Pozuelo, hit a header and gave them their only goal of the game. Ultimately their indecisiveness with the ball turned out to be detrimental for the Reds.
The big question now is, what is next for Toronto FC? Will they be able to keep some of the players that have been so crucial to their team? Will they be able to re-sign the team's captain, Michael Bradley? How will this loss affect the team’s future? All there is left to do is to wait.