Toronto FC ended what many thought should have resulted in a win with a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night against the D.C. United.
The Toronto FC have struggled this year and have only won five of its nine games this season and the loss against D.C. United was a disappointment, especially considering TFC had 35 shots, the highest in MLS history.
Even while being outshot 35 to 3, D.C. United managed to hold off Toronto stubbornly refusing to let the superiority on the field impact their game plan. The reality is, Toronto struggled to get the job done, and it didn’t help having their best striker on the sidelines with an injury to his heel. Commenting, Greg Vanney, Toronto’s head coach said,
“The guys couldn’t have played any harder … They dominated the game basically from the first minute to the last minute.”
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While Vanney opted to focus on the positives, he did acknowledge the team is without its usual firepower with Altidore out. Vanney added,
“I think we need more. I think that’s been evident for a while. That’s something we definitely have to consider and have talked about. We’ve got to work on that.”
Canada’s Jordan Hamilton who subbed for Altidore, was stellar in his performance taking nine shots on goal, one of which hit the crossbar. Alejandro Pozuelo from Spain, another top scorer for TFC who has scored five times this season, had seven shots and 134 touches. Nick DeLeon only had four shots in the first half, and Auro also had four. Captain of the TFC, Michael Bradley also elected to focus on the positives stating that,
“If we continue to play with that mentality, if we continue to play with that aggression, then we’re going to be in a good spot.”
Toronto’s pass percentage also was far superior than D.C.’s, who only made 299 passes compared to Toronto’s 737. Toronto also led in the corners and possessed the ball over 71% of the game. The saw United’s Bill Hamid making multiple good saves and earning another shutout, his seventh this season.
Even with the draw, TFC is second in the league with average goals per game but after the club scored 18 in its first six games, it has only managed four in its last five, and the loss of Altidore is a big part of that. While Toronto came close to beating the all-time shots on goal record set by the MetroStars in June of 1998, they did beat the clubs all-time record of 28.
The first half saw Toronto controlling play taking seven shots on target but even with a possession rate of over 78%, could not get a goal. Toronto has now gone winless for its last three games after a blistering start to the season, and will next play Salt Lake, and it will be their fifth in the last fifteen days.
D.C. United, however, has not been beaten in its last three matches and has earned three shutouts in its last five. Commenting on the draw, United coach Ben Olsen said,
“It wasn’t what we hoped for coming in here to draw but I think we would have took the draw and we were pleased with the overall effort and group mentality we showed. They had a lot of the ball and shots, of course, they put out a pretty good group.”