MLS: Toronto FC handle tame Vancouver Whitecaps in 3-0 win

MLS Toronto FC

Toronto, Canada β€” Well, it’s here. The MLS is back β€” again. With the Canadian sides kicking off before the American clubs β€” apart from Nashville SC and FC Dallas β€” it marked the first time in three weeks that a team based north of the 49th parallel was playing MLS soccer.

On the backdrop of an empty BMO field, Greg Vanney fielded arguably his strongest possible side, headlined by Pablo Piatti’s home debut. Meanwhile, Marc Dos Santos was treated to having attacking options again, following the return of Lucas Cavallini and Tosaint Ricketts. However, it would be the prior who would call Tuesday night a treat.

With both sides coming off a Round of 16 exit from Orlando, it was Toronto FC that felt they had more to prove. The MLS Cup runners up felt the chip on their shoulder, knowing they needed to improve from that early elimination.

Unfortunately for the Vancouver Whitecaps, they were the ones that Toronto took out their frustrations on. Goalkeeper Thomas Hasal, 21, hadn’t allowed a goal in his brief MLS career. However, Pablo Piatti soon changed that.

Piatti’s party for Toronto FC

Following a rather uneventful first 27 minutes, Piatti took it upon himself to properly introduce himself with the Toronto FC faithful. Dropping a shoulder and scurrying away from a pair of Whitecaps defenders, the Argentinian teed up a 25-yard screamer, piercing the net.

That was the only impact on the scoresheet, but Vancouver counted themselves lucky that the deficit was only one. A mix of sloppy defending and no spark in the midfield was just the tip of the iceberg in this lack-luster performance.

Things didn’t get much better for the visitors, as the second half boasted all the same problems for Vancouver. And what happens when you are second to every ball against a formidable title contender? You go down 2-0.

And that’s what they did.

Piatti capitalized off of a Jonathon Osorio cross. After not being picked up by either Andy Rose or Ali Adnan, he was able to slot home his second goal. That one hit Vancouver hard, really knocking the wind out of the sails of the men in white. Being unable to generate more than a long ball over the top, the mountain seemed too high to climb for the Whitecaps.

DeLeon derivers the final blow to Vancouver

Despite a number of substitutes bringing some life to Vancouver’s attack, it was Toronto who’s foot was on the game’s neck. Nick DeLeon was on the receiving end of a lovely back heel pass from Alejandro Pozuelo to ice the game 3-0 in the 83rd minute. The night couldn’t have ended soon enough for Marc Dos Santos, who gave credit to the Red’s for a deserved victory.

“Toronto were better than us, and we have to figure out why. We have to give credit to Toronto for being better than us, and we have a lot of work to do before friday”
β€”Marc Dos Santos

While it was mostly doom and gloom for Vancouver, Rose said he was “glad” to have a rematch with their Canadian rival on Friday. In terms of positives, they were slim to none for Vancouver. In the opposite dressing room Piatti claimed he was “very very happy, I feel incredible.”

Rightfully so.

Piatti and the Red’s will try to make it back to back MLS wins against Vancouver for the first time since 2015. Meanwhile, Dos Santos and his crew will have to put in more than an improved effort to even have a chance of stealing some road points. Toronto sit just one point off of Columbus for first in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, Vancouver finds themselves on the outside looking in, sitting at eighth in the West. In a shortened season such as this, every game is vital. Toronto will hope to replicate tonight’s performance, while Vancouver hopes to forget it ever happened.



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