A poor start followed by some indifferent play ended Toronto FC’s run Sunday at the MLS is Back Tournament.
Jesus Medina, Valentin Castellanos and Maxi Moralez scored as New York City FC defeated Toronto 3-1 in round-of-16 play.
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people (as of 2016) surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario, while the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) proper had a 2016 population of 6,417,516. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.People have travelled through and inhabited the Toronto area, located on a broad sloping plateau interspersed with rivers, deep ravines, and urban forest, for more than 10,000 years. After the broadly disputed Toronto Purchase, when the Mississauga surrendered the area to the British Crown, the British established the town of York in 1793 and later designated it as the capital of Upper Canada. During the War of 1812, the town was the site of the Battle of York and suffered heavy damage by American troops. York was renamed and incorporated in 1834 as the city of Toronto. It was designated as the capital of the province of Ontario in 1867 during Canadian Confederation. The city proper has since expanded past its original borders through both annexation and amalgamation to its current area of 630.2 km2 (243.3 sq mi).
The diverse population of Toronto reflects its current and historical role as an important destination for immigrants to Canada. More than 50 percent of residents belong to a visible minority population group, and over 200 distinct ethnic origins are represented among its inhabitants. While the majority of Torontonians speak English as their primary language, over 160 languages are spoken in the city.Toronto is a prominent centre for music, theatre, motion picture production, and television production, and is home to the headquarters of Canada’s major national broadcast networks and media outlets. Its varied cultural institutions, which include numerous museums and galleries, festivals and public events, entertainment districts, national historic sites, and sports activities, attract over 43 million tourists each year. Toronto is known for its many skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, the CN Tower.The city is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the headquarters of Canada’s five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large Canadian and multinational corporations. Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, aerospace, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism.
Toronto FC exits MLS is Back Tournament with Round of 16 loss to …
A tournament is a competition involving a relatively large number of competitors, all participating in a sport or game. More specifically, the term may be used in either of two overlapping senses:
One or more competitions held at a single venue and concentrated into a relatively short time interval.
A competition involving a number of matches, each involving a subset of the competitors, with the overall tournament winner determined based on the combined results of these individual matches. These are common in those sports and games where each match must involve a small number of competitors: often precisely two, as in most team sports, racket sports and combat sports, many card games and board games, and many forms of competitive debating. Such tournaments allow large numbers to compete against each other in spite of the restriction on numbers in a single match.These two senses are distinct. All golf tournaments meet the first definition, but while match play tournaments meet the second, stroke play tournaments do not, since there are no distinct matches within the tournament. In contrast, association football leagues like the Premier League are tournaments in the second sense, but not the first, having matches spread across many states in their past over a period of up to a season. Many tournaments meet both definitions; for example, the Wimbledon tennis championship. Tournaments “are temporally demarcated events, participation in which confers levels of status and prestige amongst all participating members”.A tournament-match (or tie or fixture or heat) may involve multiple game-matches (or rubbers or legs) between the competitors. For example, in the Davis Cup tennis tournament, a tie between two nations involves five rubbers between the nations’ players. The team that wins the most rubbers wins the tie. In the later rounds of UEFA Champions League , each fixture is played over two legs. The scores of each leg are added, and the team with the higher aggregate score wins the fixture, with away goals used as a tiebreaker and a penalty shoot out if away goals cannot determine a winner of the game.
Toronto, which won Group C while NYCFC needed help from others to advance to the knockout round after finishing third in Group A, was second-best most of the night. TFC looked tired and short on ideas against a hungry NYCFC side.
It sounded like some TFC players may be headed to the woodshed in the wake of the loss.
Toronto FC exits MLS is Back Tournament with Round of 16 loss to …
“There’s a lot of individual and collective things that I will take away from the game — they’re not for the press conference — that we will deal with in terms of our group,” Toronto coach Greg Vanney said after the game.
“Everything was too slow. It lacked urgency, it lacked intensity.”
The two teams have history with Toronto knocking the New Yorkers out of the playoffs in 2016 and 2019.
Toronto now heads home, expecting the league will resume play in mid-August. Border issues may play a role in how the schedule looks given the pandemic.
“I assume and believe that that will include us. What does that exactly mean for the Canadian teams, I’m not 100 per cent sure yet,” said Vanney. “I think that’s still a little bit of (a) work in progress. But something will get worked out.
“We know we’re going to probably have to adapt given the circumstances. Again we’ll figure out what that looks like.”
Medina opened the scoring for NYCFC, taking advantage of an early Toronto defensive lapse. Castellanos and Moralez added second-half goals.
WATCH | Castellanos’ beauty sees TFC exit MLS tourney:
Substitute Patrick Mullins added a consolation goal for Toronto in the 87th minute.
Toronto outshot New York 12-11 but only managed two shots on target compared to seven for NYCFC. TFC had 55 per cent of the possession and had an 8-3 edge in corners.
“We started the game very poorly, got ourselves going a little bit at the end of the first half but just in all ways weren’t good enough tonight,” said captain Michael Bradley. “That part’s pretty simple, there’s not much more to say.”
NYCFC will face either the Portland Timbers or FC Cincinnati in quarterfinal action next Saturday. Portland-Cincinnati meet Tuesday.
The Montreal Impact’s tournament ended Saturday night in a 1-0 loss to Orlando City. The Vancouver Whitecaps played Sporting Kansas City in the late game Sunday at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex.
NYCFC went ahead in the fifth minute after some sloppy Toronto defending on a Ronald Matarrita free kick, needlessly given away by Alejandro Pozuelo off a Toronto throw-in.
Bradley’s attempted clearance went straight to Anton Tinnerholm with teenager Jayden Nelson unable to close him down. Tinnerholm found an unmarked Medina whose low shot went through goalkeeper Quentin Westberg’s hands. It marked the first time Toronto had gone behind in four games at the tournament.
Castellanos made it 2-0 in the 55th minute, outpacing Omar Gonzalez to a looping ball from Moralez and then rounding the centre back to fire a shot into the corner. Westberg got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.
Brazilian fullback Auro was out of position after conceding the foul that started the play.
With Toronto pressing for a goal, NYCFC added to its lead in the 81st minute on a counter-attack with Moralez beating Westberg after being put in alone.
Mullins scored in the 87th minute, taking a cushioned header from Jozy Altidore off a Jacob Shaffelburg cross before beating Sean Johnson.
Brazil’s Heber, sent in alone, hit the Toronto crossbar with a chip in stoppage time. Seconds later he did it again, with his shot deflecting off a defender and the woodwork.
Missing leading scorer
Toronto’s Ayo Akinola, who scored five goals in his first two games of the tournament, sat out the game with hamstring tightness. Nelson, a 17-year-old voted Canadian Youth International Player of the Year in 2019, moved into the starting lineup with Pozuelo playing as a false No. 9.
It marked the Toronto FC and MLS competition debut for Nelson. Unlike the three group games, the knockout rounds at the tournament do not count in the regular season.
Altidore, who made his tournament debut last time in the 86th minute against New England, and Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio, who missed the first three games with a quad issue, started on the bench.
Westberg, Toronto’s No. 1 ‘keeper, returned to the lineup after being rested against New England.
New York lost attacking mdfielder Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in the 27th minute when he went down clutching the back of his leg. He was replaced by Moralez, who has been dealing with a quad issue at the tournament.
While Toronto had 60 per cent of the possession in the first half, it failed to put a shot on target in six attempts.
Vanney sent on Altidore, Osorio and Erickson Gallardo in the 57th minute. Shaffelburg and Mullins followed off the bench as Vanney looked for some offence.
17-year-old makes TFC debut
Nelson, whose rise through the ranks has been swift, had a quiet 57 minutes although he showed flashes of his speed and industry.
“I was pleased with him. I thought he gave us some interesting stuff,” said Vanney.
Nelson made his pro debut with Toronto FC 2 in last April, turned 17 in September, represented Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in October/November and was named Canadian Youth International Player of the Year in December. He kicked off 2020 by making his senior debut Jan. 7 and scoring his first goal three days later — in a pair of 4-1 wins over Barbados.
Less than two weeks later, Nelson signed a homegrown contact with Toronto on Jan. 23.
Toronto had gone unbeaten in its five previous games this season (2-0-3), including a 1-0 win over NYCFC in its home opener March 7.
Prior to Sunday, Toronto had gone unbeaten in its last 15 regular-season outings (6-0-9) dating back to a 2-0 loss Aug. 3 at the New York Red Bulls. Including playoffs, TFC had lost just once in its last 19 matches (9-1-9).