Editorial Note: Toronto FC has not yet officially clinched a playoff spot. MLS made a mistake in calculating their playoff scenarios and there is still a tiny chance that TFC does not make the postseason.
For the second straight season, Toronto FC is playoff bound. A 3-3 draw with the New York Red Bulls today at BMO Field clinched Toronto a spot with five matches left in the season.
Jozy Altidore scored a pair of late goals to give Toronto the draw. His brace was cancelled out by a pair from Bradley Wright-Phillips. A Steven Beitashour own goal, and Michael Bradley's first of the season, were the other goals in the match.
New York's first real foray forward in the match ended with them scoring the opening goal in the twelfth minute. A failed clearing attempt resulted in New York passing their way through a static Toronto FC backline. Daniel Royer's cross was then redirected into the back of the net by Beitashour to give New York a 1-0 lead.
Toronto FC had a glorious chance to tie the match minutes later, when Jordan Hamilton's cross from the left flank found Jonathan Osorio all alone in front. Osorio, however, harmlessly poked the ball wide.
It was another defensive mistake from Toronto that saw New York extend their lead in the 31st minute. Eriq Zavaleta was stripped of the ball, allowing New York an odd man rush the other way. Wright-Phillips finished off the play, continuing to add to his Golden Boot lead.
Toronto were able to get a goal back just before halftime, however. After spending the majority of the half attacking down the left flank with Justin Morrow, one of his crosses finally connected. Bradley swooped in from the top of the box to score his first goal of the season, and put his side back into the match.
The Reds' momentum wouldn't last for long, however, as New York regained a two-goal lead early in the second half. Once again it was pedestrian defending from Toronto FC that allowed the Red Bulls to carve out an opening. Royer started off the play with a brilliant ball up field. It would eventually find its way to Wright-Phillips, who made no mistake for his second goal of the match.
But Toronto refused to die. In the 68th minute Altidore won a free kick in a decent position outside of the New York area. He took it himself, sending a brilliant shot into the upper left side of the net. It was the American's seventh goal of the season, all of which have come in the last nine matches.
With timing running out, he added another. Altidore turned his defender at the top of the box before firing the ball past Luis Robles in the New York net to make it 3-3. It capped off the biggest comeback of the season for Toronto FC.
With the draw, Toronto FC remain in first place in the Eastern Conference. However, they failed to gain any ground in the Supporters Shield race.