MLS- Toronto FC

Giovinco, Altidore lift TFC past calamitous Union

Photo by John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports

Photo by John E. Sokolowski/USA Today Sports

It took nine whole years, but Toronto FC finally has a playoff win.

Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore led the way for TFC, who took down the Philadelphia Union, 3-1, at BMO Field. The win is TFC’s first postseason win in their second playoff trip, setting up a conference semifinal date with New York City FC.

TFC got started early, taking full advantage of calamity from the Union backline. Following a Ken Tribbett misclearance, Andre Blake came darting off his line but could not get to the ball. Altidore flicked a pass over his head to Giovinco, who faced little more than a tap-in into an open net to take the lead just 15 minutes in.

Three minutes into the second lead, Jonathan Osorio doubled that lead from a corner kick before the pendulum swung towards the Union. The introduction of Ilsinho saw the visitors push more and more as the game wore on, eventually culminating in an Alejandro Bedoya goal in the 73rd minute.

With the Union pressing for an equalizer, Altidore sealed the deal, taking advantage of yet another Tribbett mis-hit. Altidore played in Giovinco, who took an uncharacteristic mistouch to delay the counter. The ball eventually worked its way towards Altidore in the box following a Tribbett mistake, allowing the USMNT forward to fire a backbreaking goal that all but ended the Union’s season.

Following the win, TFC now looks ahead to a home clash with NYCFC on Sunday for the first of two conference semifinal legs.


Jozy Altidore did the dirty work on Wednesday, and was rewarded with a late goal that sealed the win.


Following Alejandro Bedoya’s goal, the Union looked the most likely team to score, but a mistake-filled counter still worked out for TFC as Altidore fired a 85th minute goal.


It’s hard to imagine a centerback having a worse night than Ken Tribbett. The Union defender mishit two ball on Wednesday, leading to two TFC goals that sent the Union packing.

    • johnnyrazor

      I mean how lazy is this guy tracks back and tackles the ball away then outlets it to Giovinco, Jozy then makes a 60 yard run into the box, tries to head the cross down to Johnson and ends up having to pounce on the missed clearance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • quozzel

        The pro-Jozy pundit would say: “Jozy did well with the second chance afforded him.” He did, actually. Took an assertive touch past Tribett, sky’d it into the back of the net.

        The anti-Jozy pundit would say: “Jozy did terribly with his first chance. He missed his return header back into the box, and it was only a howler of a stoppage and clearance by the journeyman defender, Tribett, that allowed Jozy to pounce on the ball and make good his hash of the first opportunity.” This pundit would also mention that “such lack of initial quality would never fly in a higher league”, which unfortunately is also likely true.

        Truth: the second chance was quality. You just wish Jozy was in the habit of pulling off such feats on his first chance, and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher when you watch the film, because the instincts, work ethic, and quality are (intermittently) there, which is why Klinsmann has never given up on him. But the polished higher-tier product has never been there either.

        He just sorta…teases. And even on his good days, you get the sense they could have been truly great days, if something was just…right, between his ears. Dunno what exactly. But as usual there’s equal measures there for the Jozy fanboyz and haterz alike.


      • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

        Johnny- lol EXACTLY….

        Quozz- I feel ya. To add, on Jozys assist- haters would claim he missed the trap and then had to get lucky with his pas where they would rather be try a bicycle lol. But what I saw was a good shouldering to get the ball through, then a great heads up play to know where his partner was to half bike it across to him perfectly. That’s a tough pass to make and not all strikers would pass that. This exemplifies his willingness to pass that I always bring up and say is highly underrated. But that’s kinda the point here. Some don’t want a striker that’s pass happy. They want a trained mercenary to score only. I don’t want that. I like total 11 football where the end game is to just get it in the bet. Doesn’t matter who scores.

        Then on his goal, any time there’s a deflection on a shot people will claim a bad striker but the fact that he smartly tried to play the ball back in on first try was a GOOD thing. It wasn’t badly played the defined we just got a foot on it. 6 inches to left or right and it could have snuck by for an assist. Then he had the wherewithal to ponce on it and score.

        So in closing, ANYONE trying to identify the negatives out of those two plays is clearly trying to find a negative. It was two great PlayS evident of a great player.

        Anyone hating on him because he is not elite is stupid (sorry to be harsh) because NO AMERICAN IS EPL ELITE…… There’s barely and ENGLISHMEN that are elite in EPL. Lol. It’s like we know we’re not the bed in the world but when it comes to Jozy we have to point out that HE isn’t EPL ELITE, neglecting the aforementioned fact lol. So what if Jozys ceiling is Dutch league to Bundesliga level. Maybe he’s not a EPL/la liga star—– but no American is so how is that a Con on his talent? Lol

        This man has records for days and is only 26. We all fell in love with mcbride for his 29 and on career. But we want to lament Jozy for his accolades by26? Sure he didn’t do well at Sunderland or hull (when he was 19/20) but I could list 1000 other Americana strikers hat couldn’t do well there either. Doesn’t mean Jozy is terrible or lacks something between his ears…..
        Don’t judge a man to your utopian standard (not directed at you quoz) rather assess the factual occurrences and support our countrymen

        Rant over


      • johnnyrazor

        I’ve said for years that what bothers fans about Jozy is consistency. Jozy will go 5 games and score 5 goals, but then may go 9 without one. Whereas, his counterparts over the last 10 years Dempsey and Donovan were pretty consistent score one game maybe two games without and then score again. All three end up with the same goals per game average (which they have).

        I think you are also correct its the lack of reaching potential. When Jozy went to Spain as a 19 year old he was seen as the American hope to be a world class striker. Five years later when he struggled at Sunderland and it was clear he was never going to be that a lot of people gave up and said if he isn’t going to be the best we’ve ever had let’s find the next one. Throughout the last seven or eight years every time someone new comes along Davies, Boyd, Wood, Agudelo, Morris, and Johannsson there has been a huge cry for them to replace Altidore not because of what they’ve done on the field in the red, white, and blue, but because they have the potential to be better. All that time Jozy has out played each of those guys on the field. He’s not world class, but he’s shown better on the field and will end up as one of the top goal scorers in National team history.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

        Correct Johnny. People also forget that between Spain and Sunderland he has a remarkable two years scoring over 50 goals for AZ (a record for goals scored in Europe top division).

        For loose comparison. Jozy scored more in two years in AZ than Seba has scored in 2 years in MLS. No this doesn’t mean Jozy is better than Seba. But being the MLS is not on same level as Dutch league it at least says something that only one American striker had that level of success in Europe. I’d take 23 in a season in Dutch league over 17 in 2.Bunds any day, perhaps that’s just me.

        But if wood had 23 in Dutch league and Jozy had 17 in 2bunds I feel people would claim woods 23 in Dutch were more important- hence the catch 22 of Jozy entire career. We want A++ from Jozy but an A suffices from anyone else lol 🤔


  • Beto

    Good to see Bradley, Jozy in form!

    Bedoya starting at center holding mid? Didn’t he throw a fit when klinnsmann started him there?


      • johnnyrazor

        He was played in the same basic spot, but his duties were different as I recall. Having to play more the Beckerman directly in front of the backline duties against Brazil. I also don’t remember it as a fit so much as just being totally outmatched in that spot.

        The thought is when Barnetta leaves after this season Bedoya will slide forward into that CAM role.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Davis, Lennon, Observer & Associates

        Maybe my memory doesn’t serve but in that Brazil game weren’t we still in the same 4231 we used. So bedoya wasn’t the 6, more of a pivoting 6/8 role where sometimes he was the 6 because of Bradley pushing up for a moment.

        At the end of the day bedoya is a solid to great player for US and shouldn’t be thrown unde bus as he I for ……. Losing to Brazil.

        How much do we mock the Washington generals for always losing to the globetrotters? Lol….


      • johnnyrazor

        That’s probably where he was supposed to be against Brazil but since we had no possession he was pushed so deep it seemed like he was playing the #6 role.

        Liked by 1 person

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