On Friday March 31, 2017, Toronto FC finally came home after three games on the road to play their first game of the 2017 MLS season at BMO Field in front of almost 28,000 people against Sporting KC. It was a cold rainy night in Toronto at 4 degrees and with the rain it felt like that cold winter night in December when TFC played in the MLS Cup Final. “With heartbreak, comes a new beginning, a new opportunity.” Alan Kelly was the appointed referee for this match.
There were some changes made to the Toronto FC starting eleven as Greg Vanney called up the following players against Sporting Kansas City.
TFC continued to play in a 3-5-2 formation as Clint Irwin started at goal with Hagglund, Moor, and Zavaleta on the back line. Edwards and Beitashour were on the wing with Bradley, Osorio, and Vazquez in the middle. Giovinco and Ricketts were up top as Altidore did not start due to coming back from international duty.
Early on in the first half TFC pressed Sporting KC creating opportunities in the 10th and 13th minutes. Raheem Edwards looked fantastic as his crosses would find Osorio who was unable to find the back of the net in the 20th minute. Victor Vazquez had a near miss during a play between Giovinco and Beitashour. Heading towards the end of the first half, Clint Irwin come off the line to make a huge stop and ends up on the floor clutching his knee with an injury. Luckily for TFC, the Goalkeeper position has been a good headache to have as Alex Bono stepped onto the pitch in the 40th minute.
Bono would demonstrate his worth as he keeps the clean sheet for TFC. In the 53rd minute Bono shuts down Dom Dwyer in a one-on-one situation. Giovinco was awarded a free kick in the 59th minute as he manages to connect with top let corner of the bar in an impressive attempt on goal some 30 plus feet from the goal.
Greg Vanney made his second substitution of the night taking off Tosaint Ricketts for Jozy Altidore in the 62nd minute. Altidore seemed eager to score but it was Giovinco who kept pressing on for TFC as he came close in the 73d and 79th minute. TFC’s final substitution came in the 76th minute as Armando Cooper entered the pitch for Jonathan Osorio. Osorio leaves the pitch with several attempts at goal but was unsuccessful in finishing.
At the end of the match TFC coach Greg Vanney admitted that “It’s a frustrating night, it’s one where we wanted to take the three points.”
Both teams end the match scoreless after 90 minutes as TFC remain undefeated placed fifth in the Eastern Conference. TFC will host MLS rookies Atlanta United on Saturday April 8.