The Toronto FC goalkeeping situation needs to improve with home loss to CF Montréal

CF Montreal scores their third of four goals on the road as Toronto FC goalkeeping situation needs to improve

ANALYSIS – The Toronto FC goalkeeping situation remains unresolved as TFC loses 4-3 to CF Montréal. TFC scored the first two goals of the game but was not able to hang on to the lead as they lost 4-3 to Canadian Classique rivals, Montreal.

The Toronto FC goalkeeping situation needs to improve

Three keys to the game

counters Toronto FC’s strong start

TFC scored two goals in the first seven minutes of the game. This was faster than their two goals scored against Charlotte FC, where they scored two goals at home within the first 10 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, that did not last as Montreal came storming back into the game.

Montreal tied the game with two goals of their own. This included a terrific strike by Djordje Mihailovic. Goalkeeper Alex Bono though could have saved the shot as he got a touch to the ball. This goal completely changed the momentum of the game as it was downhill from there for TFC.

Toronto FC’s defence was not sharp enough

Yes, the defence was solid recently, but it was not great against CF Montréal. While both teams’ defences struggled in the first half, it felt like Montreal’s got better as the game went along. Here are a few examples of those goals given up:

Also, Victor Wanyama had a clear header to score, but he narrowly missed the net. Do not want to be too critical of TFC’s defence though as Bono could have done better as well.

The fourth goal, Bono could do nothing to stop though. There was too much space given by Toronto’s defence for Montreal to play with as Romell Quioto’s cross and Kamara’s headed assist were a big reason why Alistair Johnston scored.

CF Montréal’s defence got better as the game went on

After that poor start, which included Samuel Piette giving up a penalty to Toronto FC, it looked like Montreal would unravel defensively. However, they came back and made some great defensive plays. Joel Waterman really shined through in that game yesterday. He made some great defensive plays including an interception in the 54-minute. Other defensive plays include:

  • Miller made a great defensive play in the 56-minute.
  • Piette with great awareness made a signature defensive play in the 66-minute.

Montreal looked much more compact and in shape for most of the second half compared to the first half. Even though CF Montréal got tired in the latter stages of the game, it was too little, too late as CF Montréal closed out a 4-3 win over Toronto FC.

Other Factors

Even though TFC lost, the two Italians deserve a lot of credit. Lorenzo Insigne scored two goals while Federico Bernardeschi scored one and assisted in Insigne’s first goal of the game. Furthermore, maybe TFC could have taken more opportunity of their chances as Ayo Akinola’s shot in the 32-minute, should have troubled CF Montréal’s goalkeeper, James Pantemis, as it was in close range.

Also, starting Quentin Westberg over Alex Bono should now be considered. As great as Bono was for TFC in their only MLS Cup title win, he has not been great recently, including the game against Inter Miami CF. The only game recently that Bono played well was on the road in a 2-0 win against Charlotte FC.

What this result means to the overall MLS Cup Playoffs picture

Toronto FC’s current status

 

Unfortunately, for Toronto, this result makes it difficult to see them make the MLS Cup Playoffs. Yes, they are only four points behind the New England Revolution, who have a game in hand. However, other teams trying to make the MLS Cup Playoffs, FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami CF, are also ahead of TFC and have two games in hand. Looking at who is behind Toronto, Atlanta United FC, Charlotte FC, and the Chicago Fire FC could all theoretically pass TFC in the MLS Eastern Conference.

With two games played at BMO Field recently, the only result at home they got was a 2-2 draw at the Los Angeles Galaxy. Also, of the four games left, Toronto only has one home game left.

CF Montréal’s current status

In terms of overall progression though, TFC is on the right track, unlike last year they have a direction to go towards. This is what Bob Bradley said about team progression in MLS in the post-game against the LA Galaxy:

“The part of becoming a good team just doesn’t. It’s not just that it always falls into place so easily. It’s tough nights. It’s, you know, it sometimes takes a season, and you know, but nobody’s given up on this one.”

After the Revolution defeated New York City FC and the Red Bulls lost to the Philadelphia Union, Montreal is in a very good position. They have played one less game than the New York Red Bulls, who are five points behind Montreal. Also, NYCFC with the same games played is seven points behind CF Montréal.

Games coming up as Toronto FC’s goalkeeping situation needs to improve

TFC will now travel on the road against Atlanta United FC on Saturday, September. 10 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. That game will take place at 7:30 p.m. ET. This is while Montreal will host Columbus Crew SC at 7:30 p.m. ET. That game will take place on Friday, September. 9.

The Montreal-Columbus game will be televised nationally in Canada on TSN5. It will be shown live on TVA Sports and Bally Sports Great Lakes. Meanwhile, TFC’s game against Atlanta will be televised nationally on TSN and also shown live on Bally Sports South.

Photo Credit: CF Montréal’s Twitter Account on September 4, 2022.