FULLTIME: Toronto FC 0-1 Montreal Impact — Toronto FC continue to struggle in MLS action after a 1-0 loss to rival Montreal Impact and the Olympic Stadium. The reds had no answer for Ignacio Piatti, who split them apart on multiple occasions including Jeisson Vargas’ game winning goal.
The reds never really found a way through the Impact’s 3-4-3 formation. The Impact were able to shut down Toronto’s attack from wide areas and force them through the middle where they did a great job of stifling anything Toronto tried to create.
This will be a game that the Reds will want to forget quickly as they head into a week off ahead of their next MLS match.
Let us know in the comments below why you think the reds have yet to find their footing in MLS action.
90’+4’ Giovinco has a free kick in the dying seconds but it sails very high. Pretty much sums up the day for the reds.
84’ Michael Petrasso clears the ball off the line for Montreal after Jozy Altidore slips through their backline. The closest Toronto have come to scoring.
75’ Shouts for a penalty from the Montreal Impact. Piatti looks to be brought down by Eriq Zavaleta but nothing ultimately given. Toronto FC still looking to earn at least a point.
65’ Auro on now for Ashtone Morgan. Not bad in his first few minutes of the season was Morgan, but in terms of attacking options Auro will definitely bring something a little extra for Toronto.
58’ Montreal still having the bulk of the chances. Vanney reacts by making a double substitution and bringing on Nicolas Hasler and Marky Delgado for Nick Hagglund and Ager Aketxe. A bit disappointing again from Aketxe.
Half-time: Another ugly half for Toronto FC in MLS play, who have, as always, struggled to deal with Ignacio Piatti. Toronto needed some Hagglund heroics to go into the half down only one.
Will be interesting to see what changes Greg Vanney makes in the second half, because at the moment it isn’t working. Without width Toronto have been struggling to push the ball through the middle of the park.
44’ Double block from Nick Hagglund keeps Toronto FC within striking distance, but this has been an ugly first half performance from the reds.
"Balls to the wall" defending from Nick Hagglund to keep the game at 1-0. pic.twitter.com/12BSUl7iJN— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) March 17, 2018
40’ Jeisson Vargas’s shot takes a deflection off Nick Hagglund and finds the back of the net. 1-0 Impact at home.
32’ Close from Sebastian Giovinco after some good ball movement from Toronto FC but Evan Bush gets a hand to it to push the ball out of danger.
24’ Bit of a snoozefest so far. Toronto FC looking fairly comfortable but haven’t done a whole lot going forward yet.
The season feels like it’s been underway for a while now, but Toronto FC are playing only their second MLS game today against the Montreal Impact. They’ll be looking to bounce back from their 2-0 season-opening loss to the Columbus Crew with a 401 Derby victory.
For the first time since the 2016 playoffs, the Reds will take to the carpet at the Olympic Stadium. The Impact do seem to like their chances in the venue; it nearly worked for them last time, until they blew a 3-0 lead.
Expect at least a couple of changes to Greg Vanney’s lineup this afternoon, particularly because of a couple injuries the Reds need to deal with. I’d probably expect to see Ager Aketxe involved at some point, since he needs to start integrating a little more with the side. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Jozy Altidore given the day off, because he didn’t look good on Tuesday and he has a history of muscle injuries, for which that Olympic turf is brutal.
It sounds like there’s a pretty strong contingent of TFC supporters making the trip up for this St. Patrick’s Day clash; maybe not the 2,000-ish from 2016, but a decent showing.
This could be a tough game for the Reds, although (unlike the Columbus game) they don’t have a midweek Champions League fixture to look ahead to. After this, TFC have another bye week for the international break, after which they play Real Salt Lake the weekend before their home leg against Club América.
This will be the first chance Raheem Edwards has to play against the team he debuted with. A lot of TFC fans were sad to see him go to Montreal by way of Los Angeles FC at the expansion draft, and a lot more were sad to see him score this beauty of a volley against Columbus last weekend.
The Impact haven’t started the season particularly well, losing both their first two games (against the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Crew). The loss to Columbus was particularly painful; Montreal went down 2-0 in the first 15 minutes, then equalized in the 85th before Gyasi Zardes stole victory from the penalty spot four minutes into stoppage time.
These fixtures are always fun, and it’s sure to be quite a rowdy one tomorrow. The Reds are riding high after Tuesday, but they could really use an MLS win to get things on track from a league point of view.
Hopefully the traffic on the 401 isn’t too bad...
Toronto FC II are also playing today, kicking off in New Jersey against New York Red Bulls II at 1 p.m. to begin the USL season. Check WTR’s homepage for more coverage of that.
Team news: injuries & suspensions
Toronto FC: There are a few injury concerns for the Reds this week. Both Chris Mavinga and Justin Morrow were subbed out in Mexico with injury, and although neither has been ruled out entirely, they’re likely both doubtful to start. Victor Vazquez may also be kept out, with the back issue that’s been troubling him for a couple weeks.
Montreal Impact: Defenders Zakaria Diallo (Achilles tendon) and Kyle Fisher (tibia) will miss out on Saturday.
Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against the Montreal Impact (Benedict Rhodes)
Should Tosaint Ricketts always be the backup striker? (Pamanci11)
How to watch
Match date/time: 3 p.m. EST, Saturday, March 17
TV: CTV (!!), TSN 4, TVA Sports (en français)
Live stream: TSN Go, MLS Live
Radio: TSN 1050 (Toronto), TSN 690 (Montreal)
Bush; Lovitz, Raitala, Cabrera, Fanni; Piette, Taider, Krolicki, Petrasso, Piatti; Vargas