Toronto And New York Red Bulls Endure Goalless Night, Stretched Rosters
A basement battle for Toronto FC saw the hosts split a point apiece with the visiting New York Red Bulls.
Both clubs find themselves occupying the bottom spaces of the eastern conference in the midst of respective injury spells which, if listed, could form a third starting eleven with a full bench to boot.
A surprisingly chilly night by the lakeside saw a spattering of chances at both ends, though Sean Johnson and his opposite number Carlos Coronel only faced three shots on target apiece as the depleted rosters tried to find their footing.
Bernardeschi looked lively on the right flank, though US national team prospect John Tolkin proved a fair match for him on the night. Insigne and Sapong (who was replaced by Akinola at half-time) had perhaps the best other chances for TFC, but there would be no breakthrough to come.
The Red Bulls perhaps came closest to it overall, with Elias Manoel’s chipped effort beating the goalkeeper but lofting just high of the crossbar.
With just about twenty accumulative players lost to injury and suspension, a draw was always a likely result – and one that neither side will be completely happy with, with both of them having hoped to kickstart a big momentum injection through three much-needed points.
After the match, Bob Bradley – who is facing mounting pressure for his post – admitted that his Italian stars Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne have been similarly frustrated with the scope of Toronto FC’s injury crisis, with Mark-Anthony Kaye also proving a late gameday omission.
“Neither of those guys have been around a situation where when you have some injuries and you’re digging as far down into our roster as you have to do in MLS. That’s new for them. In some moments you can see the frustration on their faces, but by and large I thought that was better tonight.”
The frustrations were understandable for full-back Richie Laryea, who had to deputize a centre-back role given the club’s extensive injury list.
“It’s football. Teams go through stretches like this. We have a good team. We’re missing a lot of people. We have young guys playing that haven’t had a ton of experience,” he added.
Injury-depleted Toronto FC will travel to Texas to face Austin FC on Saturday.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques