Despite a promising ten minutes to open the match, defensive errors once again got the better of Toronto FC, as they went to Utah and fell 3-0 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds looked dangerous early on, as Alejandro Pozuelo forced an impressive save out of Nick Rimando in just the 4th minute:
Pozuelo had another good chance to score in the 9th minute, but his hard volley was blocked by a Salt Lake defender.
TFC dominated possession for most of the opening quarter of an hour, but it was RSL who would take the lead in the 14th minute. After Auro and Eriq Zavaleta got mixed up, Damir Kreilach pounced on the ball and volleyed it past Quentin Westberg for the opening goal.
Fourteen minutes later, Salt Lake would double their lead, thanks to a stunning strike from Sebastian Saucedo. Saucedo picked the ball up on the left wing, drove into the middle, and unleashed a shot from 25+ yards out. It appeared to catch Quentin Westberg off guard, and RSL had a 2-0 lead going into the break.
At halftime, Greg Vanney brought on Jozy Altidore to try and spark his team into life, but after a quiet start to the second half, it would be Real Salt Lake who would find the back of the net for a third time in the 60th minute.
Jefferson Savarino chased down a ball over the Toronto FC backline, and after Justin Morrow was knocked away near the post of Toronto’s goal, Savarino took a step toward the net and curled the ball past Westberg.
I'll hit the brakes & he'll fly right by. pic.twitter.com/Qrb3Xeab9N— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) May 18, 2019
To rub salt in Toronto FC’s growing wound, Alejandro Pozuelo was given a second yellow card a minute later, and sent down the tunnel by referee Joe Dickerson. He’ll now miss next Sunday’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes. He probably needed some rest anyway, but this surely isn’t how he planned to go about getting it.
He later apologized on Twitter for his actions.
Sad day today. Tough loss for us in a game where things didn't go as we wanted. I would like to apologize to my teammates and to the fans for letting them down after my ejection. Sometimes in game adrenalin leads you to make the wrong decisions. pic.twitter.com/Tgq4KQCy7e— Alejandro Pozuelo (@Pozuelo_10) May 18, 2019
TFC managed to not concede for the next 30 minutes or so, and the match ended at 3-0.
They are a plethora of words that can be used to describe today’s performance. “Pathetic” and “embarrassing” were two of the ones used during the broadcast.
After a busy 5 games in 15 days, Toronto FC will have more than a week to train and recover a little bit ahead of their next match. On Sunday, May 26th, they will be back at home to play against Chris Wondolowski, the new MLS record-holder for most career goals, and the San Jose Earthquakes.