Toronto FC’s trip to Ottawa was successful, if a little boring at times. Jonathan Osorio’s fifth-minute goal put the game away, and despite some decent chances from Ottawa Fury through the second half, they weren’t able to pull off the comeback they did last year.
The Reds head into the second leg of this semi-final with a 1-0 lead.
75’ — Finally something has happened! Not something good, though. Some travelling Toronto FC supporters seem to have lit a flare in their section, and started a fire. Referee stops play as stadium officials put the fire out. Not a great look for the TFC away crowd.
HT — A quiet first half after a quick start from the Reds. Ottawa have had some chances, as have TFC, but neither club has managed anything particularly dangerous since Osorio’s goal.
5’ Ottawa Fury 0-1 Toronto FC — Jonathan Osorio gets out to a fantastic start in his first match with the armband. Ryan Telfer does well to keep the ball and get it over to him, and Oso finishes.
1’ — Lineups are out, and the match has started, but the stream still seems to be struggling...
As Toronto FC continue to pull themselves through this brutal slump, the Canadian Championship is going to be a wonderful breath of fresh air. With a goal more clearly in sight, perhaps it’ll be easier to find some motivation.
So, the Reds may step out on the pitch tonight against the Ottawa Fury with a new mindset. For tonight, the standings don’t matter. They’re four games away from a trophy and another trip to the CONCACAF Champions League.
This should be a nice opportunity for a few Canadian TFC players to get some important minutes — the likes of Jay Chapman, Liam Fraser, and Ryan Telfer come to mind.
Ottawa sits just outside the playoffs in the USL’s Eastern Conference, currently in 10th place. They’ve got some familiar faces among their roster, like goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau, former Red Nana Attakora, and young Canadian Adonijah Reid. Their leading goalscorer is striker Steevan Dos Santos.
Last year, the Reds lost the opening leg 2-1 in Ottawa, and Raheem Edwards was sent off in the 92nd minute. It’s funny to remember how close TFC were then to never even embarking on that magical Champions League run. They pulled it back the tie in the next leg, of course, winning 4-0 at home.
Let’s see if TFC can take a new lease on life in this new competition. The task is simple, and may be a good opportunity to clear their heads a bit.
Team news: injuries & suspensions
Toronto FC: Apparently lots of players are on their way back soon. The MLS website lists Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga, Auro, Jason Hernandez, and Victor Vazquez. However, it’s apparently possible that Mavinga, at least, is very close to returning.
Ottawa Fury: I haven’t found any decent source on Ottawa’s team news. If anybody does know where I can find that, let me know!