Toronto F.C. 2, Red Bulls 0: Toronto’s Counterattack Breaks Down the Red Bulls


Toronto F.C. goalkeeper Clint Irwin and the Red Bulls’ Felipe Martins, left.

Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

HARRISON, N.J. — Before a disheartening home opener Sunday, Red Bulls Coach Jesse Marsch had spoken about a possible Plan B for this season, if opponents adjusted too effectively to his club’s high-press tactics.

But when the Toronto F.C. midfield pinched the Red Bulls coming forward and set six to 10 men behind the ball, in and around the box, there were no effective answers. Marsch switched to three strikers, then back to two, to no avail. Half-chances were botched. The match devolved into a frustrating 2-0 defeat decided by two late, disastrous counters against the run of play.

Clearly, after the Columbus Crew derailed his team in the playoffs last season with ambushes from the rear, Marsch can expect much more of the same this season — a bogging down of the beautiful game from opposing teams.

“They tried to stop the…

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