The last time these two clubs met it was an explosive 5-3 affair that saw the remarkable Zlatan Ibrahimovic do remarkable things - karate kicking a long volley into the back of the Toronto net for his 500th career goal. This last month has felt like an uncontrolled roller coaster for many Toronto FC fans, so there’s no reason to think that this Independence Day affair won’t end with fireworks on and off the pitch.
It was another former Red Devil that got the best of TFC in their last outing, and in an all too familiar fashion: The VAR awarded penalty spot. Toronto’s Defence once again turned out to be the reluctant star of the show, and the price of the film was two points, a toll Wayne Rooney was more than happy to collect on his way out.
It was the 24th time historically that TFC have conceded a draw in the 85th minute and beyond in a match, but just the first time this season.
Q-ing UP TO SCORE
Quentin Westberg has taken over as the first choice goalkeeper for the club, and wears the captain’s armband in Michael Bradley’s absence. He’s faced more than his fair share of shots lately - 25 shots on target in the past 4 matches alone.
But he’s faced a historic amount of shots from the spot - 6 in the past 5 matches. In fact, there have only been 7 times in club history that a TFC keeper has had to face multiple penalty kicks in the same match. Westberg became the only keeper to ever play in 2 of those matches - and they both happened in the past month!
TFC have already faced a club record 9 PKs in league play this season (with 16 matches remaining) and are one off the all-time record of 10 attempts in all competitions.
THE FIRST 499
Thursday will mark the 500th competitive match in Toronto FC’s history. There have been many ups and downs and moments that we all remember and a couple that we’d like to forget. Here are a few numbers that I dug up from the first 499 matches. If you’ve got any specific questions, feel free to tweet at me @martyn_bailey and if I’ve got the answer, I’ll share it! Cheers to the next 500.