A brace by Jozy Altidore was the cherry on top of another excellent performance by Toronto FC as they swept aside the visiting San Jose Earthquakes. The visitors were reduced to ten men in the second half when Darwin Cerén received a straight red card but by then, the game was well and truly over.
Toronto are dominating the MLS and their coach has got it just right this season
A lot of talk will go towards the big stars in the Toronto team but after seasons where his management was questioned, Greg Vanney has proven that his ideas were sound and all he needed were the right players in place to produce what he wanted on the field. Last season's exploits could have been written off as an abnomaly due to Toronto's history but this year, the 'Reds' have shown that their head coach has found the right personnel and tactics to go all the way this time and win the MLS Cup.
This was the case again today when the home side dominated proceedings and gave the Earthquakes no chance of recovering from their sluggish start. Víctor Vázquez who has been one of the signings of the season, was fortunate enough to be in the right place when Earthquakes goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell completely misread Steven Beitashour's cross and all Vázquez had to do was control the ball and roll it home for the opening goal. Vázquez turned creator in the 48th minute when his through ball found Altidore, who neatly slid the ball into the far corner for Toronto's second. Altidore then got his second in the 64th minute when Beitashour found him unmarked at the back post and the US international nodded home Toronto's third of the day.
Two minutes later, substitute Jonathan Osorio made it four after a good one-two with Chris Mavinga allowed him to advance and curl the ball in from outside the box. Toronto could have had more than four goals when all was said and done but the scoreline and the general play will please both players and fans alike.
San Jose simply did not turn up to play
The opposite could be said about the away side who were turned over with ease by Toronto and did not help their cause with poor play all across the board. The best chance they had all game was a 16th minute long range effort from Marco Ureña which Alex Bono easily handled and there was nothing much to write home about after that.
The Earthquakes performance culminated in Cerén's red card in the 72nd minute. Referee Jose Carlos Rivera had initially given Cerén a yellow card for his challenge on Marco Delgado but video replay, reversed his call and gave him his matching orders for serious foul play.
With only six shots on goal, three of those on target, San Jose never really troubled the Toronto backline and spent most of the game tracking back and chasing shadows as Toronto FC bossed the play and tempo of the match. Chris Wondolowski was almost invisible throughout the game due to this and never got into the game as his midfield continued to drop deeper and deeper.
The loss leaves San Jose outside of the playoff spots and having to hope that those above them continue to drop points if they want to make the playoffs this year. Based on this performance, it will take more than just mistakes from other teams to help San Jose, they have to find form after only picking up one win in their last five Major League Soccer games.