After a relatively quiet 20 minutes to start the game, the Red Bulls hit twice in quick succession to jump out to an early lead.
Tom Barlow was first, heading home from a yard out following a corner. There was a deflection at the near post, sending the ball right to Barlow, who rose to head it home and give the Red Bulls the lead.
They didn’t spend much time looking for a second, as Brian White doubled the lead just two minutes later. Omar Gonzalez left him alone at the back post, and after the ball found its way through, he made no mistake.
The biggest loss of the first half, and perhaps the match as a whole, however, was the loss of Richie Laryea. The Canadian did try to shake off what looked to be a groin or hip injury, but was withdrawn before the interval for Tony Gallacher.
The score would be 2-0 going into the break, with Toronto FC needing a much better second half to have any shot at picking up three points, or the Supporters Shield. Philadelphia were leading the New England Revolution 1-0 as well, so Toronto FC’s chances at the Shield were already looking low.
Greg Vanney’s team needed to start the second half well, and did just that. Moments after the break, Tsubasa Endoh scored his first of the season to bring The Reds within one. After Nick DeLeon turned around a defender and had his effort saved, Endoh was there to fire home the rebound.
The goal gave Toronto FC a bit of hope to get themselves back in the hunt for the Supporters Shield, but Philadelphia doubled their lead over the Revolution in the second half to seal their first major title.
Back in New Jersey, Toronto FC failed to find another goal despite the return of Jozy Altidore after missing the last seven matches, and ended up losing this one 2-1.
In 2020, TFC finished the season second in the Eastern Conference, and now have a first-round bye in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The club enters the postseason with just one win in their last four games, needing to refind their form over the break if they want to make a deep push this season. The play-in games will take place Nov. 20.
What’s the biggest concern for you heading into the MLS Cup Playoffs?