Toronto FC’s 2016 season ended scoreless, as the team’s high-powered attack was shutout to rob the team of an MLS Cup. In Saturday’s season opener, they were held quiet again as the Eastern Conference powerhouse settled for just one point against a Western Conference foe.
Nick Rimando’s penalty kick save of Sebastian Giovinco was representative of the Toronto FC attack on Saturday as the MLS Cup runners-up settled for a 0-0 draw on Saturday at Real Salt Lake. Despite having the best chance of the day, TFC mustered just eight shots to RSL’s 17 as they escaped the Rio Tinto Stadium with a point.
Like he has many times throughout his career, Rimando came up biggest when RSL needed him most as the goalkeeper stepped up once again with his opponent on the penalty spot. After conceded a penalty kick, Rimando stuffed a Giovinco penalty kick, keeping the scoreline level heading into the halftime break.
The penalty stop was Rimando’s 10th since the 2010 season.
Both sides had chances in the opening half, but it was Toronto FC that had the best looks on goal. Jozy Altidore had two chances to score the opener in the first 45 while Jordan Allen had RSL’s best early look.
The two sides had chance early in the second half, but neither could seize the advantage. Clint Irwin was forced into a save in the opening moments of the second half as Joao Plata helped RSL get onto the front-foot early.
Plata had a chance to win the game in the 78th minute in what proved to be the best look of the match. On the receiving end of a perfectly-weighted through-ball from Kyle Beckerman, Plata displayed a perfect first touch to bring the ball to his feet. His second touch, however, let him down, as he rocketed a shot up and over Clint Irwin and into the stands, squandering a one-on-one look on goal.
While the match saw no cards, it did sees its fair share of disciplinary action as a total of seven yellow cards were issued by referee Alan Chapman throughout the course of the match.
Following the draw, TFC looks to rebound with a visit to the Philadelphia Union next time out while Real Salt Lake faces a visit to the Chicago Fire.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Chris Schuler stood tall in the heart of the RSL defense, helping to keep Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore at bay throughout the match.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Nick Rimando has made a career stopping penalty kicks, and the RSL goalkeeper can add a vital stop of Sebastian Giovinco to his highlight reel following Saturday’s match.
MATCH TO FORGET
Even aside from his penalty kick miss, Sebastian Giovinco wasn’t quite in top form on Saturday. He failed to truly create while his touch let him down a bit late.