TORONTO, Ont.—Joe Carter. Donovan Bailey. Meet Nick DeLeon: sports heroes making memories on that Atlanta stage.
Toronto FC had themselves a night in Atlanta on Wednesday, taking down the reigning MLS Cup champs. Next up is TFC’s third MLS Cup Final in four years — all of them against Stefan Frei’s Seattle Sounders.
Wednesday night’s massive victory means we’re all going to have to see that glove save from 2016 about a million times over the next ten days. Deep breathes, people. We can get through this!
Here are some numbers to help shade the edges of last night’s masterpiece.
Toronto was already down a massive goal and Quentin Westberg was facing Josef Martinez from the penalty spot... the champs were looking to take a two-goal lead within the first dozen minutes.
But Westberg dove to his right and made a critical stop, and with it, he became the first TFC keeper with four non-goals (2 saves & 2 misses).
Westberg is now the only @TorontoFC keeper to have 4 non-goals on PK attempts in his #TFCLive career (2 saves/2 misses). And he’s done it in ONE year @WakingtheRed @24thminute @vocalminorityCA @joshuakloke @LukeWileman @KristianJack @tsnjamesduthie pic.twitter.com/zFFZ4jwMra— Martyn Bailey (@martyn_bailey) October 31, 2019
Q also notched his 12th win of the season making it the fifth consecutive that a Toronto FC first-choice keeper has recorded at least a dozen wins.
Nick DeLeon silenced the Atlanta United FC crowd with his rocket to the top corner from outside the box in the 78th minute. The goal is one of the most important in TFC history, but just to underscore DeLeon’s role on this team, both as a starter and off the bench, he joined the elusive 10-goal club with that strike.
As I pointed out back in September, the day after the Reds lost the Voyageurs Cup to Montreal, Michael Bradley would have a chance to play in his 200th match with Toronto FC (Let’s call it his $6.5 Million Match) if the club managed to run the gamut to the Final.
And they have. So he will. Last night was number 199 for Captain Bradley.
I also mentioned before the playoffs began that if Head Coach Greg Vanney could run the table, he’d end the season with another championship and his 100th win with the club
He is now lead his club 3/4ths of the way through the bracket.
Finally, just to remind you of what a season we’ve had, it’s been 254 days and 43 matches since this season began. The club hasn’t allowed 4 goals in a game since Vanney wore a sideline pinnie in Panama.
Let’s hope for all our sakes that Greg’s suit bag doesn’t get lost on the way to Seattle!