It’s hard to be more frustrated than Toronto FC are right now. On a night where they completely dictated the run of play and had more than the lion’s share of chances, they come out of their home tie with FC Dallas with a 1-0 loss.
Sebastian Giovinco missed a penalty, and other TFC attackers missed extremely clear-cut chances. The patchy backline broke down to allow a bad goal. A defender left the game with injury. Which of these stories have you not heard repeatedly this season?
Dropping those points to Dallas really hurts for the Reds, who can’t seem to put any wins together. What are you feeling at the moment? Anything other than frustrated?
91’ — Jonathan Osorio came close with a curling effort from 17 yards out, but Gonzalez made a very good save. Six more minutes of added time to go...
86’ — Jordan Hamilton comes in for Liam Fraser to try and help get something going.
80’ — Things are starting to boil over. Dallas have shown off their elite ability to waste time, and TFC look extremely frustrated.
60’ — Chris Mavinga came out of the game with “hamstring tightness,” we’ve just learned.
58’ — Jay Chapman is now entering the match to replace Tosaint Ricketts. Wondering if maybe Osorio pushes forward a little more.
46’ — Back out for the second half. TFC desperately need to score here. A point wouldn’t be the end of the world, but they have to put one in the net for that. Time for some finishing.
So ends an incredibly frustrating half of football. The same problems that have been hurting TFC for weeks have again reared their ugly heads tonight. Something probably needs to change for the second half, but the score really should be 2-1 for the Reds. Finishing has been awful.
45’ — Nick Hagglund is coming into the game for Chris Mavinga, who seems to be hurt again. If Auro can continue sending perfect crosses in, Haggs might honestly be TFC’s best hope of scoring (considering how bad the finishing has been).
34’ — Finishing (or lack thereof) kills Toronto FC again. Victor Vazquez’s header is saved by Gonzalez, and it falls perfectly for Tosaint Ricketts — or so everyone thought. Ricketts’s touch is way too heavy, and it bundles into Gonzalez’s arms. It really should be 1-1, at the absolute least.
TFC's finishing of chances continues to be uh...... pic.twitter.com/AVo9VQiZTZ— Mitchell Tierney (@mitchelltierney) May 26, 2018
15’ — Sebastian Giovinco gets chopped down in the penalty area after a lovely one-twoat the top of the box, and he steps up to take the penalty. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite place it where he wanted, and Jesse Gonzalez comes up huge again to deny him.
11’ Toronto FC 0-1 FC Dallas — Yet another early goal conceded by the Reds. Michael Bradley gets burned out wide, and some passing in front of goal leads to a shot that Maxi Urruti deflects in. 1-0.
#FCDallas take the 1-0 lead vs #TFC against the run of play. Mosquera raced clear and pulled it back for Acosta, whose shot was turned in by Urruti for a goal against his former club. #FCD #TFCLive #TORvFCD #TORvDAL #MLS pic.twitter.com/pfopil1hnf— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) May 26, 2018
4’ — TFC get a flurry of chances in the box after their penalty shout is denied. It ends with a very good effort from Seba to get a shot off, but a very good save from Jesse Gonzalez keeps it scoreless.
2’ — Giovinco comes extremely close with a very early free kick, with his effort just about pushed past the right post by the Dallas keeper.
1’ — Toronto FC kick off toward the north end.
Lineups posted below! A start for Liam Fraser, as Nick Hagglund returns to the bench, but Eriq Zavaleta and Ager Aketxe miss out entirely.
Tonight, Toronto FC will step out for yet another Friday night home game at BMO Field as they host FC Dallas. It’s perhaps not the same as a summer Saturday matinee, but a game under the lights is one hell of a good way to cap off a week.
TFC are dearly hoping to string two wins together for the first time all year, after beating Orlando City 2-1 last week. They’ll have some extra help this time around with Sebastian Giovinco returning, and so Greg Vanney will probably hope his side can win this one a little more convincingly.
FC Dallas present strong competition. They’re fourth in the Western Conference with 17 points in 10, although they’ve drawn five times. They beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 near the start of the season, they won away to New England, and they held off the LA Galaxy after going down to 10 men.
They’ve found five goals this year each from Roland Lamah and Maximiliano Urruti (a familiar face). Mauro Diaz is also traditionally a scoring threat, although he has just one this season.
They’re not exactly a possession team, so expect TFC to dictate much of the game’s pace. Dallas like to shoot the ball, though, and they have a much stronger aerial presence than Toronto. They’re also joint-second in MLS (tied with Seattle, behind Columbus) defensively, having allowed just 11 goals this season.
Dallas’s backline is composed of veteran centre-backs Matt Hedges and Reto Ziegler, who has played in the Premier League and Serie A. Young right-back Reggie Cannon has started every game for the Toros, scoring a goal and looking responsible all around.
This time last year, Dallas were considered one of the best teams in MLS, and people were circling the Canada Day clash between these two teams as a potential MLS Cup preview (which Dallas won 3-1). Now, though, FCD have taken a bit of a back seat to teams like Atlanta, after crashing out and missing the playoffs at the end of 2017.
Toronto FC will definitely need to be patient tonight, because they’re sure to get their chances, but finishing might be frustrating. Dallas is a very capable side at the back.
The weather should be lovely tonight, so let’s enjoy it.
Team news: injuries & suspensions
Toronto FC: Jozy Altidore, Nico Hasler, Justin Morrow, Drew Moor, and Ashtone Morgan are all expected to be out. Nick Hagglund has been in training this week, so he could feature, but most likely from the bench. Alex Bono is on international duty with the USMNT, so Clint Irwin will likely start.
FC Dallas: Defender Kris Reaves is the Toros’ only injury concern.
Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against FC Dallas (Benedict Rhodes)
Footy Talks Podcast: A look at Toronto FC’s player development (Mitchell Tierney)
Also, don’t forget to cast your guess in the Prediction League.
How to watch
Match date/time: Friday, May 25, 8 p.m. EST
TV: TSN 1, 3, 4 & 5 (Canada), TXA-21 (Texas)
Live stream: DAZN, TSN GO (Canada), ESPN+
Radio: TSN 1050 (Toronto), 100.7FM (Dallas)
Subs: Patterson-Sewell, Hernandez, Chapman, Hagglund, Akinola, Hamilton, Mino