Toronto FC got a crucial 2-0 win against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night, as the Red Bulls fall to their second consecutive loss. It is the first time Toronto have beaten New York in 11 attempts. Here are our takeaways from a key game in Major League Soccer.
1. Jermain Defoe is still as deadly as ever!
The England international showed yet again why he is still a world-class finisher with his goal at BMO field, as he let the ball run across his body before smashing it into the top corner.
The ex-Spurs striker will be pleased with his performance, and many will once again question his exclusion from England’s World Cup squad.
One thing that’s for sure is that Toronto will benefit from England’s loss.
2. Gilberto is a waste of a designated player.
The Brazilian currently fills one of the three designated player slots the Reds are allowed, and it is bewildering as to why, as he hasn’t scored a goal this season.
In his seven appearances this season he has only one assist to his name, and with Luke Moore opening his account on his MLS debut for Toronto last night, time is ticking for Gilberto.
More pressing matters for Toronto are the rumoured returns to MLS for Brek Shea and DaMarcus Beasley. Surely, they would want to challenge other franchises for those signatures, with the ambition they have shown over the past six months?
3. Toronto has more depth than it seems.
With Michael Bradley absent with the USMNT, the Reds went with on-loan Blackburn right-back, Bradley Orr, in the middle of the park.
What was more surprising than his position on the pitch was that he played a perfect pass to set-up Defoe’s goal, quickly calming any Toronto supporters nerves about how they would cope without Bradley.
And of course they have recently acquired Collen Warner from Montreal Impact, who also plays in the centre of midfield.
Deputising for the flu-ridden Julio Cesar, Joe Bendik started in goal once again, and kept a clean sheet against a strike force, which has produced twelve goals this season.
4. Bradley Wright-Phillips is human.
Coming off his second hat trick of the season against Chicago Fire, BWP couldn’t carry his form into last night.
The Red Bulls failed time after time to break down Toronto, and it was an hour before BWP had a decent chance.
And It was a sitter! But the former Charlton forward put it straight over the bar from six-yards.
Just a minor blip in his season? We shall see as the weeks progress.
5. New York doesn’t like the road.
The Red Bulls have only won one game away from home this season. Just let that sink in!
A team that boasts talents such as Bradley Wright-Phillips, Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Lloyd Sam has won only one game away all season.
On paper they are arguably the best team in the league, but struggle to use their dominance in possession to its full advantage.
Last night marked the second time they have failed to score away from home this campaign, and although they usually seem to have no problem scoring, they are desperate for a solid center-half. Rio Ferdinand anybody?
The philosophy is perfect: dominate possession and use your width in attack to stretch the opposition in order to create holes centrally. However, with Cahill missing through the World Cup, they have lost their playmaker, and catalyst in the final third.
Tough times appear to be ahead for New York if they don’t bring in a decent defender.