Tomas Karageorgos | Report
Toronto FC defeated new MLS expansion side FC Cincinnati 5-1 on Saturday and are now unbeaten in five straight games.
TFC’s roster was not heavily effected by international call-ups and had squad depth excluding Chris Mavinga and Justin Morrow who missed out due to injury. Jonathan Osorio and Richie Laryea were called up to the Canadian national team. Manager Greg Vanney stuck with a 4-3-3 formation with wingers Nicolas Benezet and Erickson Gallardo, and striker Patrick Mullins led the line.
Former TFC player Nick Hagglund left Toronto in the offseason for the Ohio club and captained his side against his former team.
The Reds opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Cincinnati failed to clear the ball from their half. The ball deflected off Marky Delgado and into the path of Mullins who opened his body up and curled a shot into the far bottom corner.
The game continued to be controlled by the away side as they doubled their lead in the 21st minute through Nick DeLeon. After Michael Bradley’s corner was partially cleared, DeLeon tucked a well struck volley home.
Cincinnati has conceded the most goals in MLS this season, and it is clear to see why. Alejandro Pozuelo sent in a cross to an unmarked Marky Delgado who headed it in to make it 3-0 in the 28th minute.
Captain Michael Bradley scored his 3rd goal of the season in the 63rd minute by hitting it first-time after substitute Tsubasa Endoh laid a pass off nicely.
French midfielder/winger Nicolas Benezet made it 5-0 in the 85th minute by finishing off the same play he started.
The hosts got a consolation goal off a penalty in injury time when VAR reviewed a handball off Endoh. Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg guessed the right way, but Emmanuel Ledesma’s shot was too precise to save.
Ledesma dedicated the goal to his late father who passed away a couple days before the game.
The message on his shirt translates to “I’m going to miss you, dad.”
Toronto FC are now back above the playoff line for the time being, and will face Eastern Conference leaders New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.
Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.
Featured image from Pro Soccer USA.