Another game, another blown lead. Why do I love this team again? I don't know. Let's talk about the game and everything that comes with it.
The first half started slowly for us (as usual nowadays). We gave up a decent opportunity early on before the game became a back and forth affair, with neither team getting any clear cut chances. After the opening 15, we began to take full control of the game in terms of possession. After being in the mid 30's for percentage, we rocketed up to have a 53% possession at the end of the half. Toronto are a team who like to play with the ball so not allowing them to have it and limiting their chances when they did have it worked very well for us in the first half. It frustrated them and we looked the better team going into halftime.
After halftime, we started off sluggish, giving up a chance right from kickoff. After that, Toronto had us pinned and we were unable to get out of our own half for the most part. This is because Toronto were getting desperate for a goal. They were stacking the midfield and winning the 50/50 balls. They were also playing more direct in their attacking play. That's when the boys did what they do best: counter attack. We were sitting deep and soaking up the pressure until we finally sprung on the counter and got Benji in 1v1 with the goalie 64 seconds after he came onto the pitch. He slotted home the second goal of his MLS career and we went 1-0 up. Unfortunately, after Benji put us up, he made the mistake that caused us to concede. He made a silly foul that was initially ruled a penalty before it was correctly moved outside of he box. The ensuing free kick ended up in a scramble in the box and a ball in the back of our net. Yet again we gave up a lead late in the game. We can add Toronto to the list of teams we have allowed to score late on against us after we initially took the lead. It's because we are so poor at sitting deep and defending when the other team is throwing the kitchen sink at us. We would be better off attacking after we score because at least we have a chance at getting another goal and ending the game at that point. This is something JOC needs to address for the rest of the season if we are to make the playoffs.
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Kyle Smith gets MOTM for me. He posted a stat line of 3 tackles, 8 clearances, and 2 aerial duels won. He's been great for us this season and put in a great shift tonight. Everyone else was pretty average for me. Benji only gets a 6 for making that needless foul. I forgot Mueller got the assist so you can pretend I gave him a 6 as well.
'Til next time, this has been Gavin Rushnell and #VamosOrlando.