Toronto, Ontario, Canada (April 20, 2019) — Toronto FC took a while to feel right at home on Saturday night. Hosting Minnesota United FC for an out-of-conference showdown, it didn’t take long for Jordan Hamilton to feel right at home.
Toronto FC makes comeback while Minnesota United melts down
As soon as Hamilton entered the match for Toronto FC in the 73rd minute, he made an impact. Only four minutes after entering the match, Hamilton scored to bring the match back to level. At that point, Toronto was trailing by one goal as Darwin Quintero scored a penalty kick in the 70th minute.
Meanwhile, Hamilton wasn’t done with his work.
Instead, the 23-year-old forward scored his second goal in the 79th minute — just two minutes after his first goal. Hamilton’s brace was the first of his career. He has spent his entire career with Toronto FC, joining the senior squad in 2014.
After holding the lead for a short period of time, Minnesota United FC began to feel the pressure. In the 89th minute, tempers began to flair and Jan Gregus was given a straight red card from referee Ismail Elfath.
Meanwhile, a minute later, Francisco Calvo received a yellow card. Not even a minute later, Calvo received a second yellow card, which resulted in sending off as a red card. With only a few minutes left in stoppage time, Minnesota United was down to nine men.
After the match, Toronto FC head coach Gregg Vanney said that his side showed resiliency and fought back.
“We got three points out of the game,” Vanney said. “We have some things to work on, to deal with and we let too many soft goals in that put us in the position to fight back from. The one thing that’s great about this is that these first six, seven games, we show we can score goals.”
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) April 20, 2019
- Minnesota needs discipline: The meltdown that should’ve never happened, happened. Going down in the final moments of the match is entirely frustrating. However, ridiculous fouls from Gregus and Calvo should have never happened. There was still opportunity to have chances on goal and come back for a tie. However, there was no discipline for Minnesota. Calvo is even the club’s captain and he was given two yellow cards in less than a minute from each other. Adrian Heath needs to have a long talk about discipline.
- Hamilton is going to be Toronto’s biggest secret: Jordan Hamilton might not be a starter — although that might change with Jozy Altidore being injured again, but we’ll get to that in a minute. However, he’s a great weapon off the bench. It’s always good to have players with fresh legs enter the pitch. Hamilton is much more than just a bench-warmer. He’s, without a doubt, a super substitute.
- Altidore’s injuries are concerning: It seems like Jozy Altidore can never stay healthy. That might be true, and it sure seems like it now more than ever. There’s always talk of bringing Altidore back to the U.S. Men’s National Team picture. However, he will never get there unless he gets healthy. Altidore has even blamed his problems on owner Bill Manning and on his “ego.” It’s safe to say he’s not having the best time in Toronto.
"Not only do they get the equalizer but they take the lead. To give it away like that is not fun. We got to be better and we got to do a better job of being professional to close out the game."
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 20, 2019
Toronto FC will look to climb up the Western Conference table by hosting the Portland Timbers at BMO Field on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Minnesota United has a quick turnaround match against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday. Going up against the Galaxy will be even harder without Gregus and captain Clavo.