Toronto FC defensive woes continue in loss against Inter Miami CF

Inter Miami CF player Rodolfo Pizarro controls the ball in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
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Toronto FC defensive woes continue in a loss against Inter Miami CF. Once again, they conceded a goal in the first 15 minutes of the game. This played a role in TFC losing against Miami. Miami took advantage of TFC’s lack of defence and was able to score the first three goals of the game.

Toronto FC defensive woes continue as they lose at DRV PNK Stadium

Three keys to the game

Inter Miami CF was the better team

Miami was the better team against TFC, especially in the first half. They took advantage of the lack of defensive depth with TFC. It seemed like Toronto’s defence was not tight enough, especially early in the game.

Rodolfo Pizarro got past the TFC defence thanks to a nice pass from Gonzalo Higuain. Specifically, he was able to shake off Luke Singh, which allowed him to get a shot off and beat Quentin Westberg for the opening goal. This goal was very preventable, but it was coming.

Miami had four shots before this goal. This included one shot on target, where Pizarro’s shot from the centre of the goal was stopped by TFC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg. However, it was clear especially early on that Miami was the better team. In the second goal, Omar Gonzalez was beaten way too easily. Robbie Robinson easily got past Gonzalez and shot the ball past goalkeeper Westberg for the goal. This allowed Miami to take a 2-0 lead after the end of the first half.

Toronto FC struggled defensively

This point and the previous point are connected together. So there will be some overlap. However, TFC struggled defensively. This is not just about Omar Gonzalez and Luke Singh. Truth be told though, the defence was lacklustre.

Luke Singh was substituted out of the game after this goal was scored. Pizarro easily got past Singh to put the game away. Singh is young, but he did not have a good game against Inter Miami. He should have been stronger defensively to prevent both the first and third goals. However, it was not just him. A poor decision by Marky Delgado was a catalyst in a Pizarro goal.

There were at least two other occasions where TFC’s defence was nowhere to be found. One example is in the 38-minute when Gonzalo Higuain’s shot from the left side of the box was saved. He stole the ball from Gonzalez and was able to beat Singh but was not able to muster a shot that would threaten Westberg. A more glaring one might have been in the 43-minute when Lewis Morgan found Pizarro. There were acres of space, which showed that Toronto did not defend that play very well. However, in that instance, TFC was bailed out by goalkeeper Westberg.

On another occasion, the ball was stolen from Kemar Lawrence by Morgan in the 65-minute in Miami’s half. However, Morgan was able to easily get to TFC’s half. This forced Michael Bradley to make a strategic tackle, which resulted in him getting a yellow card.

Toronto FC had opportunities to score

Toronto had six shots and two of them were on target. However, when looking at some of those chances, some of them should have ended in the back of the net. Most notably there were two chances that should have gone into the back of the net.

  • Richie Laryea provides a great cross to Ifunanyachi Achara in the 13-minute. However, Achara is unable to convert and fails to hit the target.
  • Yeferson Soteldo takes a terrific free-kick. His kick lands to Gonzales’s feet in the centre of the box. Unfortunately, Gonzalez was unable to convert and shot the ball too high and off-target.

Soteldo hit the post in the 24-minute against Miami. It was a fantastic shot that almost found the back of the net. Then Achara had another chance in the 45+1-minute of play. He got a header off in a dangerous position but was unable to get any power into the ball. This allowed Miami goalkeeper Nick Marsman to easily save the shot.

TFC did get a break in the game from Miami though. Inter Miami player Kieran Gibbs headed the ball into the back of his own net from a Soteldo free-kick. This however was the only goal that Toronto would score in the game. Miami almost committed another mistake. In the 72-minute, González Pírez and Marsman almost collided on a Pozuelo shot that was going into the back of the net.

Toronto FC defensive woes continue as they lose their third-straight game

Gonzalez seen in the video above has not given up. However, they gave up the first goal of the game. Just like with the New England Revolution and Atlanta United FC, they gave up the first goal of the game. And also like those games, TFC ended up losing.

Toronto needs to start winning soon. They have the worst record in the league, and they are 12 points behind D.C. United. Also, if things do not improve, playing younger homegrown players might be an option. It would be useful so that TFC can put themselves in the best position to win the Canadian Championship. They will face York United FC at BMO Field sometime in September.

Washington, D.C. currently is tied with Atlanta, but United wins the tiebreaker as they have more wins than Atlanta. Miami is also on the outside looking in, but they have given themselves a chance to make the playoffs. They are five points behind Washington, D.C. for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Miami though has played two fewer games than both Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Toronto will travel on the road to face Canadian Classique rivals CF Montréal on Friday, August. 27 at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be shown on TSN, TSN4, and TVA Sports. Miami also travels on the road on August 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET. On that date, they will face Orlando City SC.

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