Manager Adrian Heath rolled out a 3-5-2 formation again in the hopes that it would function better than his usual standby, a 4-2-3-1. Francisco Calvo and Miguel Ibarra returned to the lineup from the World Cup and red-card suspension respectively. Calvo, the captain, joined Michael Boxall and Brent Kallman on the back line. Ibarra started at right wingback, replacing Tyrone Mears and Alexi Gómez served as his counterpart on the left. Ibson, Rasmus Schuller, and Collen Warner filled up the central midfield, while the tandem Christian Ramirez and Darwin Quintero started up front.
After pregame festivities including four parachutists delivering the match ball and five flags on the field for the national anthems, the match began. Quintero, Ramirez, and Schuller combined for an early chance, but a pass was mishit and nothing come of it. The Loons continued to press forward in the early minutes with a previously unseen energy for early in the game.
That energy quickly paid off. Quintero picked up a pass just inside of the Toronto half and ran with it. Though he had options two both his right and his left, the Colombian took the shot himself, a perfectly curved ball that left goalkeeper Clint Irwin rooted to the spot.
An outside-of-the-boot BEAUTY from @darwinJR3!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 4, 2018
As part of #SNHUGoals, for every RT of this goal @SNHU will donate $1 to @The_USO! #MINvTOR https://t.co/V6L3NaIBwT
Just a few minutes later, Ibarra had an impact of his own. Batman took off on a direct run and Calvo chipped a pass right to his feet, allowing Ibarra to make simple work of putting the ball past a sliding Irwin.
The Loons are flying!@Migue10Ibarra makes it 2-0. #MINvTOR https://t.co/TdYzD8yE9N— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 4, 2018
The lead seemed built to last, though the visitors were able to cut it in half before halftime after hitting the crossbar a few minutes earlier. A half-clearance, half-really-dangerous-pass from Ibson made it too easy for Justin Morrow.
Back in it! @justmorrow pulls @torontofc within one. #MINvTOR https://t.co/y46W0hqRXf— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 4, 2018
Calvo picked up a yellow card just a few minutes into the second half, meaning he will be suspended due to accumulation for the Loons’ next match against the Houston Dynamo.
Quintero wasn’t done creating moments of brilliance. With a Toronto defender bearing down on him from behind, the playmaker made the decision to take a shot from a difficult angle, lobbing it right over Irwin, who barely got a hand on it, for his second of the night.
Pure class from @darwinJR3!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 5, 2018
His second of the night. #MINvTOR https://t.co/45CMN9KjBq
Just minutes later, Quintero decided he needed a hat trick. And he got it with his third golazo of the day.
He's killin' 'em— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) July 5, 2018
Sorry for your loss #MINvTOR | 4-1 | @darwinJR3 pic.twitter.com/hldF6shPrP
Quintero had a chance to grab a fourth just before the 70th minute. He had a had a run on goal but slowed up and was stopped by a pair of defenders. Several minutes later, Quintero set Gomez dashing down the sideline. The Peruvian tried to cross to Ramirez, but Irwin was able to paw it away. Ramirez came off the field for Mason Toye after the 75th minute hydration break.
Midfielder Collin Martin, who came out as gay last Friday, entered the game in the 79th minute to a standing ovation. Quintero would come off in the 87th minute for Eric Miller, who made his first appearance since a hamstring injury. Shuttleworth did his best to preserve the lead with a point blank save, but Toronto did head home a third in stoppage time.