Head coach Bob Bradley made three changes to Toronto’s starting XI after their 2-1 victory against Atlanta United on Saturday. Alex Bono, Shane O’Neill and Ralph Priso came in for Quentin Westberg, Carlos Salcedo and Jonathan Osorio.
The visitors had a chance to score in the opening minute with a shot from Pedro Santos, but it was deflected out for a corner.
TFC responded with a chance of their own just two minutes later, with a play from Alejandro Pozuelo to Kosi Thompson. The Spanish No. 10 sent a through ball to the Homegrown player, but his left-footed shot was saved by ‘keeper Eloy Room.
The Crew made it 1-0 in the 18th minute through Sean Zawadski. Passes from Steven Moreira and TFC academy product Jacen Russell-Rowe began the play, and a powerful shot from Zawadski flew in past Bono.
Toronto then had an opportunity to level the match in the 20th minute. Jesus Jiménez made a charging run through the Columbus half before laying the ball off to Pozuelo, only for his shot to be parried by Room.
Columbus made it 2-0 in the 31st minute with a goal from MLS veteran Darlington Nagbe. Lucas Zelarayán and Russell-Rowe were involved in the build-up as Nagbe got onto the end of a through ball and calmly put it past Bono.
TFC had a couple more chances in the first half, with one each from Thompson and Jiménez, but neither could convert.
In the second half, the Reds pulled a goal back in the 54th minute with a header from Jiménez. A chipped cross towards the back post from Pozuelo found his compatriot, who beat Jonathan Mensah to the ball.
This goal was Jiménez’s second in three games, and his first in league play since April 30th. He now has eight goals so far in MLS this season.
Bob Bradley on the current state of the squad:
“We’re improving. Are we all the way there? No. We’ve got to be strong because we’re not yet at a point where we improve a little bit that automatically it takes off,” said Bradley.
TFC’s next match is on Saturday, July 2nd against the Seattle Sounders at BMO Field. Kick-off is set for 7:30 pm EST.