Toronto FC took it to the chin again on Wednesday, being decimated 3-0 by an Inter Miami CF team that had lost six straight.
Miami (10-15-5) came into the game with the worst offense in Major League Soccer – averaging 0.86 goals in a game. But this season it has feasted on Toronto (6-17-7), with seven goals from 28 coming against TFC.
Miami were 16–1 in six consecutive losses since their 1–0 win in Toronto on 14 September. A visit to TFC changed everything, with Miami registering their third win over Toronto this season.
Miami, ranked 11th in the Eastern Conference, are six points away from the playoffs. Toronto, ranked 13th, remains in a different area code.
Toronto coach Javier Perez said mistakes cost him but he saw something positive in the evening.
“It wasn’t a 3-0 game tonight. I don’t think the scoreboard shows what happened on the field. For good visuals of the game, we were the better team on the field. But in the end, it doesn’t matter.” ,” said the Spaniard.
Toronto’s 17th loss of the season matches the number they had in their inaugural 2007 campaign when they were 6–17–7. The franchise record for a loss in a season came in 2018 when the team was leading 5-21-8.
TFC has scored 59 goals, five of the club’s worst sets in 2018.
Federico Higuain and Christian Makoun scored for Miami, which also benefited from Eric Zavaleta’s own goal.
Miami’s first two goals came from errors from Toronto in the first half. A foul pass from goalkeeper Alex Bono took the defense from one corner with the other. The third bounced off Zavaleta’s ball as he tried to defend a corner in the second half.
Toronto was missing both of their starting centre-backs with both Omar Gonzalez and Chris Mavinga injured.
Phil Neville’s team had gone blank in their last four outings on the road. Miami had managed just one shot on target in each of their last two matches and went 64-34 (20–7 in shots on target) in the last four games.
This night, Miami beat Toronto 17-8 (6-4 shots on target).
Set piece goals were the first for Miami this season.
“Hopefully now it’s another way for us to score,” Neville said. “I’m happy. It’s been a long time. We’ve worked really hard and we’ve got an excellent coach (Mark Mason) who has innovative ideas that should have been rewarded better for the work he does.” Had been.
Jahakile Marshall-Ratti was one of the few bright spots for Toronto on Wednesday. The 17-year-old winger looked alive in his career debut and eighth MLS appearance.
The club has tried to bring the teenager slowly.
“Jahkeele was great. It’s no surprise to me,” Perez said. “It was the perfect time for him. He is very young and he is very talented.”
21-year-old Jacob Schaeffelberg, who has been one of Toronto’s better players in recent times, was active in the other wing.
Both caught Neville’s eye.
“I’ve been impressed by those wingers throughout the season,” said the Miami coach. “I’ve seen a lot of them in both the USL and the first team. I think Schaeffelberg played really well against us. Probably one of his exceptional players and that’s what I told him at the end.
“They have some really good young players.”
Midfielder Noble Okello, 21, made his eighth start of the season.
Veteran fullback Justin Morrow said, “Getting the youth on for a few minutes was a positive tonight.” “I thought Jahkile did really well. It’s nice to see him do what he’s been doing in practice and get him on the field tonight. It was a big step for him.”
Morrow made his 250th appearance for Toronto in all competitions, second only to Jonathan Osorio (287). Morrow, 34, is retiring at the end of the year.
Injury problems for Toronto’s designated players this season continued with Venezuela’s Yefferson Soteldo paralyzed in the 39th minute. Wednesday’s starter Alejandro Pozuelo and second-half starter Jozy Altidore have both suffered lengthy injuries this season.
Perez was awaiting word on the extent of Sotaldo’s injury, possibly a hamstring.
“He couldn’t continue so it can’t be light or good news for us,” he said.
Toronto, coming out of a 2–0 weekend defeat to tour Atlanta, which officially made it out of playoff contention, have four remaining games of the regular season, but will be unable to qualify for the Canadian Championship on November 3. The focus is on with Pacific FC in the semi-finals.
Following their September loss to Miami, TFC remained unbeaten in their next five games (4-0-1) in all competitions – a run that was broken by the weekend’s loss to Atlanta.
Toronto dodged a shot early Wednesday when Higuain’s goal was scored offside in the second minute. Former Toronto midfielder Jay Chapman played provider, slicing the TFC defence, only to see Higuain break a little early before scoring.
Higuain scored his goal in the 10th minute, penalizing Toronto after Bono’s effort went straight to the 36-year-old Argentine. With Bono out of position, Higuain held the ball at home for his second goal of the season and the 59th goal of his 10-year MLS career.
It was Miami’s first goal in 396 minutes after a 5–1 loss to Nashville SC on September 22. It was also the 12th time that Toronto won in the first 15 minutes of the game, the worst ranked in the league.
Toronto had Soteldo’s goal for offside in the 13th minute when Venezuela gave him a rebound from Martial-Ratti’s shot.
Macon made it 2–0 in the 45th minute, leaving Federico’s younger brother Gonzalo Higuain unmarked on the third Miami corner straight. Left in space, the Venezuelan defender had time to swing home and fire a left-footed shot when the ball came to him through traffic. A Miami corner came after Bono crossed a Gonzalo Higuain free kick just outside the box.
Both of Makoun’s goals this season have come against Toronto.
Gonzalo Higuain hit a wide in the 56th minute. An unmarked Makoun had another chance from a corner in the 60th minute, but Bono took it.
Miami scored on the ensuing corner, the ball came off two Miami players and then Zavaleta in the 61st minute.
Miami has been short on bodies as well as goals in recent times. It produced just six substitutes on Wednesday and suffered a 4-0 loss over the weekend in Columbus.
Perez made six changes from the starting lineup posted mid-week against Atlanta.
Brazilian fullback Oro and midfielder Mark Delgado were both suspended, while Gonzalez and striker Ifunanyachi Achara were injured.
Marshall-Ratti, Zavaleta, Pozuello, Moro, O’Kello and Patrick Mullins all slotted in.