We were hoping for better than the Colorado game and, well, we got worse. Much, much worse. Toronto FC conceded two right at the start of the match against Houston Dynamo, and it was downhill all the way from there. 5-1 is certainly one of the worse scorelines we’ve seen in years, and this at the apex of TFC’s success.
Hopefully we’ll see a better result this Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions League final. There really isn’t too much to say about this game, it was just pretty bad all along. Not a good game.
90’ — Mariano Mino gets fouled by Alvarez in the box, and the referee awards a penalty to TFC. Ager Aketxe, looking for his first TFC goal, has his effort saved in the bottom right corner by Joe Willis. It’s really just not TFC’s day.
83’ — It would be six or seven by now if it weren’t for Clint Irwin.
78’ — Aidan Daniels is coming in for Jason Hernandez. Jordan Hamilton takes over the captain’s armband!
77’ Houston Dynamo 5-1 Toronto FC — Aaaaand there we go. Romell Quioto makes it five after Taintor came in way too hot; he slides it pretty casually past Clint Irwin.
Romell Quioto adds a goal to his 2 assists, and the #Dynamo now lead 5-1. Awful mistake by the #TFC defender, and Quioto took advantage with a calm finish. #ForeverOrange #TFCLive #HOUvTOR #MLS pic.twitter.com/ghxs8wFqtq— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) April 21, 2018
64’ — A double substitution from Greg Vanney as Mariano Mino makes his MLS debut, and Ben Spencer also comes on, for Nico Hasler and Tosaint Ricketts, respectively.
60’ Houston Dynamo 4-1 Toronto FC — My God, this is bad. Julian Dunn gets outworked on the side again and Ryan Telfer shuts off for a second, allowing Albert Elis to finish on the volley.
51’ Houston Dynamo 3-1 Toronto FC — Hey, cool! Mitchell Taintor gets way up over his man and redeems himself for the last goal with a smashing header into the net for his first MLS goal. The Reds are on the board.
Mitchell Taintor scores for #TFC! The former #TFCII defender is on-loan from #USL side #RepublicFC just for today's game, and he heads in the corner to cut the #Dynamo lead to 3-1! #TFCLive #HOUvTOR #MLS pic.twitter.com/iGjNug9ohz— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) April 21, 2018
46’ Houston Dynamo 3-0 Toronto FC — Well, the second half starts exactly as the first did. Eric Alexander scores after burning Mitchell Taintor pretty badly.
Eric Alexander extends the #Dynamo lead to 3-0 early in 2nd half. Quioto blew past his defender and his cross hit off a #TFC defender, with Alexander there for an easy finish. Tough outing for the #TFCLive reserves. #ForeverOrange #HOUvTOR #MLS pic.twitter.com/dPRFHkb8o4— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) April 21, 2018
26’ — We all thought Jordan Hamilton had scored, when he finished off a wonderful long ball by Ryan Telfer, but it was called back for offside. Rough go for TFC.
7’ Houston Dynamo 2-0 Toronto FC — Aaaaan again.
3’ Houston Dynamo 1-0 Toronto FC — Lol. Julian Dunn with a horrible giveaway and the Dynamo take the lead.
The Red— err, Blacks... are on the pitch, and we’re ready to go. We’ll see what happens, I guess...
Toronto FC(‘s reserves) are in downtown Houston today, preparing to take on the Dynamo in what’s sure to be a dazzling display of sk— err, something. With a mammoth task ahead of them in the CONCACAF Champions League, TFC will not be sending any regular starters to the game today, the MLS champions will be represented largely by USL players.
Prepare to see the likes of Liam Fraser, Ryan Telfer, and Julian Dunn, as well as, perhaps the newly-signed Mariano Miño, or even Mitchell Taintor, who has returned for a loan spell that could literally just be for this weekend.
The Dynamo will be licking their lips at the possibility of stealing three points from a heavyweight team that would normally provide much stiffer competition. They, and the Colorado Rapids, will feel that they’ve possibly been gifted a very valuable result.
The home side don’t have a whole lot of eye-catching talent to speak of, their best player being the 22-year-old Alberth Elis, who scored 11 goals last year. They did make the playoffs last year though, going all the way to the Western Conference Final after beating Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in the knockout round, and then shutting down the Portland Timbers 2-1 on aggregate in the conference semis.
They’re probably a little better than Colorado; Houston can score goals when they need to (they put four past Atlanta United a few weeks ago), and they’re one of the better defensive teams around. Things haven’t started out so hot for them, with brutal home defeats to the Vancouver Whitecaps and New England Revolution, but they have the experience and all-around ability to cause problems for TFC.
Are there any players you’re excited to see today? Anything at all compelling you to watch this game? Apparently the teams are wearing eco-friendly Earth Day jerseys, so that’s cool, although TFC’s is black, which is much less cool in 24 degree Texas heat.
There are a LOT of fantastic kid- and teenager-related songs, by the way. I can do this as long as you want me to, Greg.
Team news: injuries & suspensions
Toronto FC: Last time I posted a Joker gif because TFC were saying everybody was injured. I don’t even think they’ve bothered to do that this time; the first team is just all in Guadalajara right now. Still, at least we know that Nick Hagglund is out for sure, and that Victor Vazquez is the other one on the roster still dealing with his nerve issue.
Houston Dynamo: Defenders A.J. DeLaGarza (ACL), Dylan Remick (concussion), Philippe Senderos (hamstring), and George Maliki (knee), as well as midfielder Juan David Cabezas (quad), will all be out. Right-back Kevin Garcia (hamstring) is also questionable.
Sacrificing early MLS games for CCL the right move for Toronto FC (Mitchell Tierney)
Toronto FC Prediction League 2018: Round 11 (@ Houston) (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
Toronto FC sign Mariano Miño to first-team deal (Charlie O’Connor-Clarke)
Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against Houston Dynamo (Benedict Rhodes)
How to watch (if you want to)
Match date/time: 3 p.m., Saturday, April 21
TV: TSN 1, 3 & 4, CTV (Canada), The KUBE (Houston)
Live stream: ESPN+ (USA), TSN Go (Canada)
Radio: TSN 1050 (Toronto)