Richie Laryea Scores Game-Winning Goal for Toronto FC

Richie Laryea
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Richie Laryea scores his third goal of the 2020 MLS season for Toronto FC. The positive start from Toronto FC in the first half played a big role in TFC getting their second-straight win. Patrick Metcalfe also made his debut in MLS for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Toronto FC Wins Thanks to Richie Laryea’s Game-Winning Goal

Overview of the Game

Toronto FC showed their class today against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. They dominated possession of the game throughout the game. They also threatened to score goals throughout the first half and at the end of the second half.

Yes, the game got stagnant in the second half, but the Whitecaps did not threaten the TFC goal. As a result, TFC was able to close the game and get three points. Something they were not able to do against D.C. United.

Three Keys to the Game

Positive Start to the Game

Toronto FC had a positive start to the game. Auro Jr. and Pablo Piatti almost scored against Whitecaps’ goalkeeper, Thomas Hasal. Furthermore, Jonathan Osorio almost scored off a wonderful cross from Auro Jr. Yes, Vancouver had good scoring chances in the first twenty minutes of the game. However, TFC did not break as Quentin Westberg only had to save one shot today.

Dominant Possession Advantage

Linked to the positive start of the game, TFC had 68 percent of the possession throughout the game. The Whitecaps played better in the second half. However, they never threatened TFC goalkeeper Westberg. As a result, TFC was able to close the game against the Whitecaps.

Yes, the game felt stagnant in the second half. Toronto FC was not moving the ball as quickly in the second half compared to the first half. However, TFC head coach Greg Vanney, understood why TFC were not moving as fast in the second half.

“By virtue of the numbers that they had in the backline, it became difficult, the spaces weren’t as clear to be able to get behind them or to really attack them, so that slows the game down,” Vanney added.

However, Vanney said that TFC will need to be more patient for their chances when the game slows down. This point will be more important as they face tougher teams in MLS. Lastly, Toronto FC completed 757 passes in the last two games. This is much higher compared to the Whitecaps who only completed 354 passes in the last two games.

Excellent Defense

Yes, Westberg only had to face one shot on goal. However, the objective was achieved for Toronto FC. Before the first phase of the season, a problem identified with Toronto FC was their inability to close games.

They were able to close the game against the Whitecaps. Everyone from the midfield with Michael Bradley and Jonathan Osorio to Chris Mavinga and Omar Gonzalez was able to keep possession of the ball.

Overview of Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Toronto FC’s Standing in the MLS Season and the Canadian Championship

Toronto FC MLS season standing has improved to four wins and three ties. They are now in second place in the MLS Eastern Conference and in the league. TFC have extended their regular-season unbeaten run to 17 games and got their second consecutive clean sheet against the Whitecaps. This is what Richie Laryea said about the streak:

“I think it comes down to being a resilient group. I’ve said it a million times, this group fights to the end,” Friday’s goal-scorer Richie Laryea said when asked about the streak. “This is a very big club in this league so guys want to compete for trophies every single year.

They are also currently stand in first for the first phase of the MLS season with six points. Both the Whitecaps and the Montreal Impact have 0 points in the first phase of the MLS season. However, it is important to note that the Impact has not played a game yet in the MLS first phase.

The team with the most points of the first MLS phase in Canada goes to the Canadian Championship final. There, the Canadian MLS team would face the 2020 CPL North Star Shield winners.

Richie Laryea has continued to play well for Toronto FC. He so far has three goals for his club this year. Laryea continues to make a positive impact with Toronto FC after his impressive 2019 MLS season. Alejandro Pozuelo also got his MLS leading seventh assist on Friday.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Standing in the MLS Season and the Canadian Championship

Looking at a Whitecaps’ perspective, Thomas Hasal had a great game. He made seven saves on eight shots and looked sharp for the Whitecaps on Friday. The team’s overall play greatly improved on Friday compared to Tuesday.

They also had some chances to tie the game against Toronto FC. However, for a majority part of the game, the Whitecaps did not threaten TFC. It could be because they do not have playmakers and strikers like Piatti and Pozuelo. At least though, the Whitecaps have something to move on with a decent performance against Toronto FC.

Unfortunately, this does put the Whitecaps in a bad position to make the 2020 Canadian Championship Finals. They have four games left in the first phase including three at BC Place.

They will need to win games starting now. The Whitecaps are tied for eighth in the Western Conference with FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake. They are also one point behind the Colorado Rapids for that final MLS Western Conference playoff spot. However, the Whitecaps have also played two more games than the Rapids, Salt Lake City, and Dallas.

Next Few Games for Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC

The Whitecaps will face the Montreal Impact at Saputo Stadium (Stade Saputo) on August 25. They will then host Toronto FC at BC Place on September 5. TFC will also travel to Montreal for another 401 Derby clash on August 28. Both teams will meet again on September 1 at BMO Field. TFC won against the Impact 4-3 in their previous encounter in Orlando.