Despite a beautiful sunny day and a fantastically renovated BMO Field, Toronto FC could not get the job done in their home opener as they fell to the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Sunday night. Goals from Boniek Garcia and Will Bruin were enough to seal all three points from the visitors.
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In a rather dull first half, the home side were completely shut out as an organized Dynamo side ensured that the largest crowd in BMO Field history (30, 226 announced attendance), weren’t a factor for the majority of the game. Had it not been for a Jozy Altidore goal in 77th minute to cut the visitor’s lead in half, the stadium may have been completely empty by the time the final whistle blew.
The loss affected the Reds much more than just merely in the standings. The game was a chance for the football club to be back in the spotlight and to help generate a buzz for the team that has rarely been seen before. However, losing the way TFC did on Sunday killed a lot of momentum that had been built around the club and the unveiling of the newly renovated BMO Field. Not to mention, the game was also broadcast on national television in both Canada and the United States.
“The stadium was amazing the fans were amazing,” head coach Greg Vanney said following the game.
“We needed to give those supporters more early on to really cheer about and to get behind us. As you could tell when we picked up the goal and played more urgent, then the crowd immediately came back into the game. That’s what they deserve and that’s what we need to do. The experience apart from the results it was amazing for the group but we just need to learn how to put ourselves out there a little better.”
Not only did Toronto fail to earn a point, they played with little intensity in a game that at times was very difficult to watch. Truth be told, after seven games on the road to start the season, the team forgot how to play at home. They refused to take the game to their opponents to get the crowd into the match. Instead, they sat back waiting for the Dynamo to press the issue and they paid the price for it.
Toronto will now take on the Montreal Impact in the second leg of the AMWAY Canadian Championship at BMO Field on Wednesday. Currently, they trail their rivals 1-0 after last week’s result at Stade Saputo. Don’t expect to see a full strength lineup from Vanney’s side though, as they have made it clear that making the playoffs is the priority this season. Also, don’t count on seeing nearly as many fans in the seats either.
Houston on the other hand, will take on the Portland Timbers at home on Saturday night. With the win in Toronto, the club ended a four game winless skid and will be much more confident heading into their match on the weekend.