Creative Soccer Culture

Framed #69 | Toronto FC v New York Red Bulls

A game that came with serious heat, when you get to the playoff end of the MLS season the competitive edge moves up a whole new gear. From the pre-match build up through to the post game showdown, it's all here, neatly wrapped up in our latest beautifully chaotic 'Framed' feature.

Sitting somewhere between Mad Max and Rocky IV, this game was a spectacle on so many levels. A semi-final of the Eastern Conference Championship, the first leg saw Toronto beat New York Red Bulls on the road taking a 2-1 aggregate score into this game. What's more, with away goals giving Toronto that hefty advantage, the Red Bulls had a pretty big mountain to climb. While the Toronto fans lined the streets providing nothing but serious scenes, it was the Red Bulls players that began to win the on-pitch battle. Heated exchanges between players littered this game and after a bust up in the tunnel at half-time, Toronto's Jozy Altidore and the Red Bulls' Sacha Kljestan were sent off at the break.

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With both sides down to ten men, the playoff continued and New York Red Bulls were the side that managed to find the net as they moved towards the closing phases. As minutes ran into short supply, it appeared that the mountain for the travelling side was simply too high. Toronto FC dented the Red Bulls confidence late on scoring a goal only for it to be disallowed and the game played out in a pushing and shoving fashion. A game that will keep Toronto FC on their toes, serving as a reminder that they need to up their levels a little.

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Setting up an Eastern Conference two-legged finale against Columbus Crew starting on the 21st November, Toronto FC will get the opportunity to go again as they go in search of playoff glory. Perhaps the most passionate fans in the MLS, it's another strong showing of support and highlights the incredible visual extravaganza that comes with a Toronto FC fixture - pre, during and post game. Organised chaos with football running riot, what's not to like?

Photography by Matthew Stith.


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