Toronto FC get waypoint in Colorado

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The high altitude at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Seemed to suck the lives of Toronto FC and the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night.

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But to TFC’s credit, the Reds defended well against a strong Colorado side and came away with a slow, albeit hard-fought roadpoint, in a 0-0 draw, a decent performance in a venue where Toronto has. had very little success over the years. TFC had two shots on goal in the game while Colorado had one. Not exactly a nail rodent.

Colorado, coached by former TFC assistant Robin Fraser, are playing for a playoff position in the MLS Western Conference, while the Reds, bottom of the MLS overall standings, are playing mostly for pride, and they posted a fair amount of it. A playoff berth is anything but out of the question, but the Reds are starting to turn their season around (too little, too late) and are now leading a three-game unbeaten streak.

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It was Toronto’s first clean sheet in MLS since May 12 (and second for goaltender Alex Bono) while Colorado goaltender William Yarbrough recorded his 10th of the season.

Toronto had just won back-to-back wins – last Wednesday against York United FC 4-0 in the quarterfinal of the Canadian Championship and a 2-1 victory over Nashville SC last Saturday.

The Reds were without star attacking midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo (quad) for Game 5. Forwards Jozy Altidore (foot surgery), Ayo Akinola (ACL tear) and Dom Dwyer, midfielder Ralph Priso (ankle surgery) and winger Tsubasa Endoh (right leg surgery) are absent at long term. Captain Michael Bradley was absent for accumulation of yellow cards.

Unfortunately for TFC coach Javier Perez, hits keep coming as he lost two center-backs in Saturday’s game. In the 33rd minute, Chris Mavinga, Toronto’s best defender, was forced out of the game with a calf injury and was replaced by Omar Gonzalez. And then Eriq Zavaleta had to leave in the 75th minute when he received a blow to the head during a corner kick. He was replaced by Justin Morrow. The TFC is heading into another very busy time on the calendar, and Perez will be struggling to find defenders with MLS background.

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TFC, a club that has allowed more goals than any other club in MLS this season (51), defended well but there were also very few attacks as the two clubs battled for a scoreless first half, although Yeferson Soteldo created a few goals. Decent scoring chances with his dribbling and vision around Colorado’s goal. The Rapids came to life in the second half, but didn’t finish in Toronto’s third.

TFC finally had a decent scoring chance in the 66th minute when Soteldo, on the left side, crossed a left-footed ball towards Patrick Mullins’ goal after a pretty dummy midfielder Noble Okello, who started in the central midfielder. for Bradley.

As the clock ticked, Colorado nearly took the lead when Diego Rubio steered the ball just over the net from close range.

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Key players who stepped up for the Reds included defender Kemar Lawrence, in one of his best performances for his new club, as well as Soteldo, who continues to work hard to create attacking opportunities despite his shooting finally let him down. He left the game in the 76th minute, having played a lot of minutes in the past two weeks, and replaced by Jacob Shaffelburg. Mark Delgado, Richie Laryea, Jonathan Osorio and Okello also played well.

Colorado had a big advantage in possession – 62% to 38% – and a total of shots – 10-8.

Toronto will then play this Wednesday night (Cincinnati) and Sunday (Chicago), with both games at BMO Field.

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