When a team dominates their league, sometimes they get complacent. They start forgetting what qualities made their team great in the first place. On a chilly Saturday night at BMO Field, Toronto FC made sure that complacency would not be a problem by dispatching the San Jose Earthquakes by a score of 4-0.
The game was never in doubt for Toronto. From start to finish, they were the dominant side. Toronto came onto the pitch with a purpose, creating many great opportunities to break the game open, but they squandered them. It wasn’t until a gaffe by San Jose Keeper, Andrew Tarbell, that Toronto scored. Steven Beitashour, who was given his first start since June 27th after a brutal collision in the Canadian Championships, sent a looping cross in towards the net, which Tarbell failed to get a fist on and fell to the foot of Victor Vazquez, who calmly put it in the net.
After their first goal, the game opened up for TFC. They were able to control most of the game, including 73 percent of the possession. Toronto was composed with the ball, passing with quickness and fluidity, but they also maintained composure without the ball. The few times San Jose had a chance, Alex Bono saved it with ease, or the defenders quickly cleared it.
Up 1-0 at halftime, Greg Vanney was forced to replace Sebastian Giovinco with Jonathan Osorio due to quad tightness. The loss of their star didn’t hold the Reds back one bit. Only two minutes past the start of the second half, Drew Moor found Vazquez in space in the middle of the pitch. He wasted no time on the ball, playing a perfectly weighted through-ball to Jozy Altidore who slotted the ball home to make the score 2-0. Altidore then furthered Toronto’s lead with a header from a Beitashour cross which was Altidore’s 13th goal of the MLS season, tying his career high set back in 2015.
The lead was stretched to 4 goals when Canadian, Jonathan Osorio, was given too much space to run towards the goal, and just before the 18-yard box, he struck the ball into the bottom right corner. It was a great sign for Osorio who has struggled to find playing time this season. The goal was his second in the last week. He also scored a goal in Canada’s 2-0 win over Jamaica during the international break.
Every single player that stepped on the pitch for Toronto played well. Everyone was composed on the ball and played ruthlessly, a quality not often before attributed to the TFC organization. Altidore continued bulldozing the competition and Vazquez kept campaigning for the MLS Newcomer of the Year award, but what was most impressive, was the overall team performance. They didn’t seem bothered with having teams chase them for the Supporter’s Shield. They were focused on the game at hand and didn’t let anything get in the way of a win.
Toronto extended their lead atop the MLS standings to nine points, with only six games left to play. They now sit at 59 points, only nine away from LA Galaxy’s MLS record of 68 points, but that record seemed far out of the mind of the TFC squad. They continue to fight to cement their name as the best team in MLS history. They play with passion, teamwork and professionalism, and after this performance, the last word someone should use to describe Toronto FC is complacent.