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Toronto FC falls to defeat in 2022 home opener

The Reds record just one point from their opening two MLS games of the season.

Sean Pollock / Waking The Red

It was a day to forget for Toronto FC and their fans as the Reds suffered a thumping 4-1 defeat to the New York Red Bulls.

Bob Bradley’s men have now only taken one point from a possible six, while the Red Bulls maintained their 100% start to the 2022 MLS campaign.

Following an impressive performance on the road to FC Dallas in the opening weekend of the season, TFC had momentum coming into their 2022 home opener, especially with fans back in full force at BMO Field. Yet, despite all the positivity in the pre-match build up, Toronto were unable to treat their supporters to a memorable display.

From the off, the Reds were dominant in possession, with the home side’s bright start headlined by the debut of academy product Luca Petrasso. The 21-year-old brought a sense of urgency to the side on the left flank, showcased by his constant probing and tenacity on the ball.

Toronto may have had good spells moving the ball, but Michael Bradley and co. were unable to capitalize on their opportunities in the final third. The Red Bulls then shot their shot and succeeded, with Lewis Morgan opening the scoring for the visitors in the 17th minute.

The former Celtic midfielder then doubled his money seven minutes later, much to the dismay of the TFC faithful in attendance.

Down but not yet out, Jesús Jiménez fired home his first goal for Toronto FC in style as he maneuvered through traffic to confidently slot the ball into the back of the net. With a goal and an assist in his first two matches for the club, the Spaniard has already proven to be a solid signing for the Reds.

Jiménez’s goal did inject some life into the home side, but Lewis Morgan struck again in the 40th minute to re-establish New York’s two-goal advantage. Bad then became worse as Aaron Long made it 4-1 to the visitors just two minutes later.

After the break, TFC created little and the Red Bulls held on for their second win in as many games. The most eventful moment of the second half was Carlos Salcedo luckily not seeing red (following a VAR review) after reckless tackle on the hour mark.

All eyes will now be on how Toronto FC responds when they take on the Columbus Crew next weekend.


Goals

17’ | RBNY - Lewis Morgan (0-1)

24’ | RBNY - Lewis Morgan (0-2)

35’ | TOR - Jesús Jiménez (1-2)

40’ | RBNY - Lewis Morgan (1-3)

42’ | RBNY - Aaron Long (1-4)


Big Picture: It is always difficult to talk about positives following a 4-1 defeat at home. There were glimpses of promise in the first half and it’s unfortunate that the Reds failed to build off of Jiménez’s strike. Conceding two goals in the space of two minutes undeniably hinders confidence, but in a second half that saw TFC create little, the response over the second 45 should have been stronger, especially as New York began to sit back. One question on many fans’ minds will surely be what changes Bob Bradley makes to his XI against Columbus.

Moment of the Match: Jiménez’s goal is an evident shout, but the fact that two CPL champions made their Toronto FC and MLS debuts off the bench was something special with regards to Canadian soccer. It is safe to say that fans will be closely monitoring Kadin Chung and Lukas MacNaughton for the duration of the season.

Player of the Match: No denying that Luca Petrasso gets this nod. In his first-team debut, the youngster played the full 90 and caught the eyes of viewers with some electric play on the wing. Like Chung and MacNaughton, Petrasso will also be on many people’s radars this year.


UP NEXT: Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC | Saturday, Mar. 12th | 1:30 pm ET | TSN