Toronto FC took a big first step back up the Eastern Conference ladder on Saturday when they went to Montreal for Derby Day and managed a 2-0 away win vs. the Impact. Toronto welcomed back two of their pillars — Jozy Altidore up front and Michael Bradley in midfield — and welcomed a third, Omar Gonzalez on the backline. TFC will be relieved to have all their internationals back from Gold Cup play, and will set their sights on a busy and important summer schedule.
It was Alejandro Pozuelo who opened the scoring for TFC just before a weather break (those of us in the away support were glad to be under the canopy), but the match was finally sorted on Jozy Altidore’s free kick from the top of the box.
Altidore became just the third TFC player to score multiple FK goals (Dwayne DeRosario had three goals off second touches, once a teammate re-opened play with a flick). Having both Altidore and Pozuelo standing over the dead ball going forward may provide opposing keepers with more questions than they’d like.
Altidore has also become the second Red to score multiple times via FK and PK. It is also incredible to note that in 13 seasons, Toronto has scored nearly as many goals via free kick as they have from the spot (yes, the Seba effect is noted).
Of the 32 FK goals scored by TFC, Saturday’s was by far the latest of its kind.
The club has scored 46 goals in stoppage time over the years. That FK was Jozy’s fourth stoppage time goal as a Red, which moves him into the Top 3 with the club.
When I went back and looked at all the goals scored in the 95th and 96th minutes for the club (deliberately excluding the two EXTRA TIME goals scored in the 2016 playoffs vs. Montreal), Altidore’s goal was the third latest stoppage time goal in club history.
It’s also completely NUTS that 3 of the 5 latest goals in franchise history have won the LAST THREE VOYAGEURS CUPS. TFC fans have not been spoiled for drama, in that regard.
And finally on the topic, Altidore’s strike was his 11th goal vs. Montreal for Toronto in all competitions — a new club record.
FROM ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER
Now Toronto will move on from Montreal — a team that they’ve beaten more often than any other and scored against more often than any other — and face New York Red Bulls, who are at the far other end of the spectrum.
The 16 losses, 59 goals against and -24 goal difference are all franchise worsts vs. an opponent.
If Bradley Wright-Phillips finds the back of the net against Toronto, he’ll unbreak a 5-way deadlock for second place on the all competition scoring list by Toronto opponents.
Conversely, if either of the newest Reds (Erickson Gallardo or Patrick Mullins) manage to find minutes and the score sheet, they’ll join the dozen who’ve scored on their debut with the club.
99 MARKERS BUT A BOYD AIN’T ONE
Finally, there have been 99 players who’ve scored for Toronto FC in MLS play (regular season and playoffs).
The following players can look to be #100: Erickson Gallardo, Patrick Mullins, Jacob Shaffelburg, Liam Fraser, Terrence Boyd, Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Auro Jr., Laurent Ciman. And if anyone gets in my mentions with a Quentin Westberg prediction that comes through — I’m buying a few rounds at the next match!
Also note: There have been 98 TFC scorers in regular season play. Armando Cooper is the only Red to score in the playoffs, but not in regular season play.