Home MLS Toronto FC TFC doesn’t touch the ball very much in loss at Real Salt Lake

TFC doesn’t touch the ball very much in loss at Real Salt Lake

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Toronto FC came into Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night hoping to take advantage of a Real Salt Lake team that has not been performing at the top of its game over the last couple of months. The Reds likely left Sandy, Utah feeling like they were the ones who got taken advantage of, giving up a brace to Alvaro Saborio en route to a 3-1 loss.

TFC offered very little resistance up in the first half. RSL owned the midfield, and outside of a few counterattacking chances, Toronto lacked any real possession. On the night, the Reds garnered less than 30 per cent possession — which is seldom seen by any club.

“What can you say?” said Coach Aron Winter. “We were playing against one of the best teams in MLS. If you notice, I think about one and a half months ago they were playing in the final for the CONCACAF (Champions League). Today Salt Lake was the best team, for me, that we’ve played against.”

A bit of fortune shone down on the Toronto squad in the 15th minute. A pass to Collen Warner looked like it was going to be snuffed out by defender Richard Eckersley, but the ball made it through his legs. With a clear view of goal, Warner elected for a low, hard shot to the near post that beat goalkeeper Stefan Frei but hit the post and bounded out. The rebound was also a scary moment, but Danleigh Borman managed to stop a secondary chance and clear the ball.

A humorous moment occurred in the 35th minute when the diminutive Joao Plata, took on the hulking Colombian defender Jamison Olave. Plata took a run at Olave, but the defender held his ground and Plata bounced off of him, losing the ball in the process.

However, the fun and games ended shortly after that when Kyle Beckerman delivered a corner kick into the box in the 39th minute. Defender Nat Borchers made a run toward the near post, eluding his mark and directing the ball into the net with his head to give RSL a 1-0 lead.

Just three minutes later the home team would add to their lead. Robbie Russell delivered a ball in from the right side that found Alvaro Saborio free directly in front of the goal. Saborio easily put the ball into the net for his first goal of the season, sending his team into the break with a 2-0 lead.

Winter didn’t like what he saw in the first half prompting two changes at the half. He brought on both Matt Stinson and Mikael Yourassowsky in favor of Javier Martina and Plata. The move worked, at least for the first 15 minutes, as the Reds showed much more life than they had in the first half.

“We tried to do a bit more attacking,” explained midfielder Gianluca Zavarise. “The subs brought in lots of good energy. We got one [goal], but unfortunately that was it. We played a lot more high-tempo, stepping higher and pressuring more.”

However, it was Saborio once again with his second goal of the night in the 60th minute. He simply outran the defender to a through ball played by Russell, and Frei was left in a disadvantaged position, and could not stop the Costa Rican’s shot.

The 3-0 lead appeared that it might get worse, but Maicon Santos took advantage of a ball played into the middle by Nick Soolsma. Olave appeared to slip on the play giving Santos daylight ahead, and he rifled a shot from the top of the area that left goalkeeper Nick Rimando flat footed.

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