Toronto FC’s Top 3 March Performers
By Anthony Gallo
Here is a list of Toronto FC’s top performers from the first month of the 2016 MLS season.
The first month of the 2016 MLS season has ended, and Toronto FC have finished the month with a 1-1-1 record, four points from three games. Even though they lost their last match against Sporting Kansas City, the game showed the club’s strength in defence and ability to slow down a tough SKC team.
With players like Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore on the team, some would think these are the club’s best players. However, we take a look at the club’s best perfomers from the month of March and discuss why these three should be recognized for their contribution to TFC.
If we missed anyone, let us know who you think should be considered the clubs best player from last month.
We start our list in the back field with one of TFC’s last offseason pickups, Clint Irwin. Irwin spent the last three seasons with the Colorado Rapids, earning a 29-37-23 record in 89 career starts. Irwin was traded to TFC in January after the Reds decided to release 2015 starters Joe Bendik and Chris Konopka. Now with TFC, Irwin hopes to become a top MLS goalie.
The Charlotte, NC native has started all three games this season, picking up a shutout and allowing three goals on 11 shots on target. Throughout the month of March, Irwin has looked sharp in net. He has made some key saves in dangerous situations and has kept his team in games.
Remember this save he made on NYCFC’s
? An excellent save from Irwin who was able to stay on his feet and push away a nice header from the USMNT midfielder.
Without Irwin in net, it would be difficult for the Reds to succeed. He may be young, but he has been a starter in the league for the past three seasons and looks to be a key player for TFC to succeed this year.
Joining Irwin is former Rapids teammate Drew Moor, a MLS veteran who has shown leadership in the back and put in a man of the match type performance during the first game against the New York Red Bulls.
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Moor was brought in by TFC to help solidify a shaky defence that allowed an MLS worst 52 goals last season. So far, Moor has played in two of the first three matches, and has shown why TFC made him a top priority in free agency this off season.
The 32-year-old has done a lot for his new team, leading the Reds in clearances with seven and is second on the team with 4.5 interceptions, according to WhoScored.
It is clear that Moor is playing a big role with the team, and his ability to make smart tackles and be a big presence in the air will only help the team further down the road this season.
What kind of TFC list would it be without Sebastian Giovinco? The Italian maestro looks to be continuing his fine 2015 form that saw him earn an MLS MVP award, MLS Newcomer of the Year and an MLS golden boot. So far, Giovinco has recorded two goals and two assists in three games for the Reds.
Although, it has been difficult for the Atomic Ant to dominate so far. While striker Jozy Altidore was out out with an hamstring injury, Giovinco was relied on heavily to be the teams only attacking option, which allowed him to be a prime target for the opposition’s defenders. However, that hasn’t stopped him from trying to create chances for his team. Giovinco leads the league with 5.3 shots per game.
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With Altidore likely to see the pitch more now since he has recovered from his injury, that could mean Giovinco will have a little more space to himself to put more shots on goal and have less pressure on him.