After the (rather entertaining) craziness of Minnesota United’s home opener, the Loons hoped to settle into a more regular pace of competition as they embark on a challenging stretch of matches. On a rainy night in Toronto, however, chaos prevailed again as United fell 4-3 and had two players sent off late, despite holding the lead twice.
Manager Adrian Heath deployed his trademark 4-2-3-1, with the only notable changes being Rasmus Schuller on the left wing and Brent Kallman in at centerback.
How we look tonight in Toronto... pic.twitter.com/YDDVcmaZPT— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) April 19, 2019
Darwin Quintero helped his team get off to a quick start, managing to get around Toronto’s Alex Bono after a long ball over the top from Jan Gregus.
As has so often been the narrative, that lead was not built to last. Despite doing a relatively good job containing playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo, Minnesota’s defense allowed him to go on a run up the field before a rocket past Vito Mannone.
POZUEL⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️!!!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 20, 2019
How incredible is @Pozuelo_10? #TORvMIN https://t.co/SVAyGptsnI
Just seconds later, Pozuelo struck again. He received the ball at the top of the box and found an easy finish to flip the lead in the host side’s favor.
Don't blink or you'll miss the @Pozuelo_10 show! #TORvMIN https://t.co/sVAYuDx1C7— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 20, 2019
The game took a positive turn in the second half through Angelo Rodriguez, who continued his solid stretch of play by heading in the equalizer off the bottom of the bar.
How's that for an equalizer?— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 20, 2019
Angelo Rodriguez heads it in off the underside of the bar and it's 2-2! #TORvMIN https://t.co/XNgm0wdq49
Darwin Quintero converted a penalty to put the Loons in front once again, but even that lead was going to fail. Jordan Hamilton equalized for the hosts after he slipped through the back line.
This is our definition of a WILD Friday night!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 20, 2019
Jordan Hamilton makes it 3-3! #TORvMIN https://t.co/qBj8pBIPfg
Since the goals were evidently destined to come in bunches, Hamilton found another on an error from Michael Boxall, who decided to take his time on a goal-line clearance, only for Hamilton to head it home first.
Jordan Hamilton scores AGAIN and it's 4-3!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 20, 2019
Talk about a super sub! #TORvMIN https://t.co/T9Y5k1JM32
To add insult to injury, Gregus was sent off for an unnecessary scissor tackle near the 90th minute.
Straight red card to Jan Gregus for a horrific scissor tackle. He could've seriously injured Alejandro Pozuelo. Multi-game suspension needed, can't have challenges like that in the league.#TORvMIN #MLS #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/aiTZgmrHwO— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) April 20, 2019
To cap off a night of disappointment, captain Francisco Calvo saw fit to pick up his second yellow card of the match with a similarly unnecessary play.
#MNUFC self-destructing now. Right after the Gregus red card, Calvo was sent off with his 2nd yellow card. Foolish by the captain, and they'll end the game with 9 men.#TORvMIN #MLS pic.twitter.com/UuZEgPQLXG— Joga Bonito (@Jasoninho10) April 20, 2019
Both Gregus and Calvo will miss Wednesday’s key matchup against the LA Galaxy, and Gregus could very well see a longer suspension.