There's not much room for my usual playful, witty, award-winning(?) banter. There are just way too many goals to go over for this. The 4-4 draw between Toronto FC and not best friends New York City FC was exciting, mainly because there seemed to be a mutual agreement to not really defend in the final third, but exciting none the less. Let's go in order of what happened. Beforehand, thank you to reddit users Tixicot and Animere for the GIFs. They're the two top forwards on my MLS fan vote.
19' Livin La Villa Loca (1-0 New York City FC)
It’s hard to really say if this was a great shot or if the wall screwed up on this one. If you look, there’s two New York City FC players pushing the wall and they break it really easy. The end player doesn’t get a good jump, as he has two players falling into him. Those two players tripping into the wall makes the smallest of holes, which if you are one David Villa, is all you need to score. Could Chris Konopka also have had better footwork on this? I guess, but the ball would have hit someone’s head were it not for the "trip into them" strategy so skillfully deployed by NYCFC.
29’ Who’s Team Are You On? (2-0 New York City FC)
I’m sure Perquis is very happy that he doesn’t have to play New York City FC for a while because his two go’s with them so far have not been so kind to him. Konopka does a great job stopping it, at that point it’s up to the line to hold off the follow up attack. As you can see, Lovitz isn’t as strong as he needs to be here and all Patrick Mullen needs to do is put it on net. This wasn’t an egregious own goal, but an own goal nonetheless.
34’ Based God Giovinco Comes Down From The Heavens (2-1 New York City FC)
This is a perfectly placed penalty. Josh Saunders guesses the right way and has a very good jump on it, but the only way you could get to that is if you were like Mr.Fantastic and could stretch out your arms like a rubber band. Also looking at this, Cheyrou would have probably gotten a good clean up of this seeing how he was only getting held back with arms. It’s so innocent seeing New York City FC being like "whatever" without knowing the next 9 minutes would be Giovinco Judgement Time.
40’ GiovincWOAH (2-2)
Where to even start with this one? Colleen Warner does a great job putting in an accurate long ball, he sees the open space and goes for it, placing it perfectly out of any defenders reach. I don't know how the hell Jackson knew Giovinco would be perfectly at the end of his back heel, but he did. It's so perfectly placed and you can tell the defender marking him was in total shock that he even tried it. The third link to this is of course MLS conquistador Sebastian Giovinco. He does a very good job staying onside and reading Jackson's mind. He makes a great run, even with NYCFC defender Shay Facey trying to dwarf him. He can tell Facey is about to close in on him and gets a clean shot off at the last possible second. This is the kind of goal that Toronto should be aiming for now and Post-Gold Cup, they have smart guys up top who can make something out of nothing, the midfield needs to just set them up to do so.
43' Throw Your Hats (3-2 Toronto FC)
I want to start this off by saying I have no earthly idea what the man marking Robbie Findlay was thinking. It might have been the world’s worst offside trap, it might have been him thinking the ball was going out of bounds, but when Marco Delgado puts the ball over his head he just stops. Findlay plays in a fantastic ball to the center of the field to Giovinco, who for some reason, is comically wide open. Of all the people New York FC chose to leave open, they let it be the man with 2 goals. I feel like this was the result of some plan that sounded a lot better on paper because the defending on this was mystifying. Credit to Toronto, they took full advantage of mess ups, which they weren’t doing in the beginning of the season. This is basically the second goal all over again. Set up from the midfield, one of the men up top brings it down and gives it to Giovinco. If I’m Vanney, maybe this is something I would continue to try to do. Maybe.
64’ The Fun is Over (3-3)
Even though Konopka had good intentions, this was still a dumb penalty for him to give up. David Villa took full advantage of him messing this up and was able to get to the spot. Even if Konopka had dove the right way, he would have been able to get that. It was as well placed as the Giovinco penalty shot from earlier.
82’ I Didn’t Get The Fan Vote Because… (4-3 Toronto FC)
This run by Giovinco sets up everything. Marco Delgado reads the run very well and is in the perfect spot to finish off the play, but Giovinco made all of this happen. Even I could have finished this off. Giovinco doesn’t run super-fast on this play but he runs super smart. He makes tiny cuts where he needs to and runs towards the perfect places to set up a perfect pass to the box. He knew he runs just well enough to draw everyone’s focus away from Delgado to send the NYCFC defenders into full blown panic mode and he lays down a beautiful assist.
84’ The Game Finally Ends Whew (4-4)
Warren Creaville doesn’t make the best clearance ever on a ball that was going out anyway. I won’t mark this up on the Waking The Red Aerial Awareness Counter because I don’t think anyone could have prevented this other than Creaville. Justin Morrow could have probably played him closer just in case, but Creaville decided to play in a very good cross into the box towards a Patrick Mullins who was just standing in the perfect spot.
To End This Like A Fade To Black
This was exhausting, but this game was honestly one of the best games of the year. Of course most of Toronto’s goals allowed came from absent minded defending, but I feel like not doing well on the defense was mutually agreed upon before the game. This game was perfect for Giovinco’s confidence because he was clearly a leader on the field and a leader with his play. A few more weeks of this and Mr.Clean AKA Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore who might not be back since he’s probably injured, are going to come home to a beautifully clean place. This is great momentum to push the one DP team into a home match against Philadelphia this week.