Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC have near-perfect routing of New York City FC

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Alejandro Pozuelo
TORONTO, ON — MARCH 29: James Sands (16) of New York City FC battles for the ball against Alejandro Pozuelo (10) of Toronto FC during the first half of the MLS regular season match between Toronto FC and New York City FC on March 29, 2019, at BMO Field in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (March 29, 2019) — Alejandro Pozuelo will always remember his Toronto FC debut. The Spanish midfielder/forward put on a show in front of Reds fans at BMO Field against New York City FC.

Immediately, Pozuelo made an impact for Toronto FC. He was a machine passing the ball. After one goal was denied for Toronto FC due to VAR and another that was called offside, Pozuelo found teammate Jozy Altidore for the first goal of the match. Early in the second half, Pozuelo found his name on the scoresheet.

Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC have near-perfect routing of New York City FC

Altidore drew a foul in the box as NYCFC defender Alexander Callens pulled the U.S. Men’s National Team striker down. However, it wasn’t Altidore that lined up to take the penalty. Instead, Pozuelo scored his first goal in a Toronto FC shirt.

About 20 minutes later, he found the back of the net again.

Pozuelo chipped a shot — that looked like it was going to be an assist — into the upper corner of Sean Johnson’s net. Minutes after his goal, Pozuelo exited the match to a standing ovation from the Toronto FC crowd at BMO Field. Meanwhile, his replacement, Jay Chapman, tacked on the fourth and final goal in the 83rd minute.

After the match ended, Pozuelo said that Toronto needs to “continue like this.”

“This is an amazing start,” Pozuelo said to the sideline reporter. “All I need to say is thank you to the support, my teammates. It’s a great start.”

Toronto FC flexed their muscles against New York City FC. Away from their abode of Yankee Stadium, NYCFC had a night to forget. The defense never got on the same page and could barely help out their goalkeeper, Johnson.

New York failed to put much pressure on the Reds, too. NYCFC took seven shots, with only three registering on-goal. Alex Bono was forced to make three saves, although two were relatively fundamental.

Three Takeaways

  1. Making Club History: The victory was the third straight to start the season for Toronto FC. This is the first time in club history that the Reds began the season with three consecutive victories. After a promising performance and an amazing start from a new star, there’s only room to build and grow.
  2. A Night to Forget for Sean Johnson: Hot off a U.S. Men’s National Team start against Ecuador, Sean Johnson had a rough outing against Toronto FC. However, blame has to be spread to the defense as well. Callens giving up a penalty completely changed the tide of the match. When Pozuelo got his first goal of the match, confidence shot high for Toronto FC.
  3. Pozuelo is going to be a Star: It’s a night Pozuelo will never forget. There’s a history of success with Toronto FC in the last five years. In 2016 and 2017, the Reds made the MLS Cup, and hoisted the trophy in the later year. Last year, things didn’t quite click and the Reds failed to make the playoffs. This year, Toronto is having no problem showing off their strength. With a healthy squad, this team can go far.

What’s Next?

Toronto FC will remain in Canada for a Saturday tilt against the Chicago Fire, on April 6. However, the road gets a bit tougher after that. There’s a ton of history between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders. In the two years that Toronto went to the MLS Cup Championship, the Reds faced the Sounders, splitting the victories.

Last year, Seattle made the playoffs with a Cinderella story run, leaving Toronto in the dust. Toronto will hit the road to face the Sounders at CenturyLink Field on April 13.

Meanwhile, New York City FC will brush off this loss and move on to the next task. Next Saturday, NYCFC hosts the Montreal Impact at Yankee Stadium. The following week, on April 13, NYCFC will hit the road to face Minnesota United FC.

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