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Toronto FC win streak snapped at 5 games after settling for draw with Red Bulls

Teenager Caden Clark continued the torrid start to his MLS career, scoring his second goal in as many games to lift the New York Red Bulls into a 1-1 tie with Toronto FC on Wednesday night.

Clark, who turned 17 in May, marked his debut on the weekend with a spectacular volley off a corner against Atlanta. He did it again in the 77th minute Wednesday, finding the top corner with his a left-footed rocket from outside the penalty box.

The late goal ended Toronto’s win streak at five games, one short of matching the club record.

Introduced in the 59th minute, Clark added immediate punch to the New York offence. The Minnesota native was riding a high after becoming the fifth-youngest MLS player to score on debut.

Toronto (11-2-5) is still undefeated in eight games (6-0-2), a run that also included victories over Montreal, New York City FC, Columbus Crew SC, the Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution and FC Cincinnati.

The Red Bulls (7-8-3) were coming off a 1-0 win Saturday in Atlanta that snapped a two-game losing streak.

Toronto’s Alejandro Pozuelo opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute after Ayo Akinola’s rising shot off a corner hit Dru Yearwood’s arm. It was the eighth goal of the season for Pozuelo.

Goalkeeper Ryan Meara stood rooted to the spot as Pozuelo, who upped his career MLS penalty success rate to 10-of-11, rolled the ball into the corner of goal.

The Spaniard missed one-of-two spot kicks in a 1-1 tie against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium last September. A failed attempt to pass the ball from the penalty spot to teammate Pablo Piatti in a 1-0 loss to Montreal earlier this season apparently is not considered an attempt.

Yearwood appeared to have redeemed himself in the 32nd minute with a shot through traffic that went in from a corner. But a Red Bull player was ruled to be offside and interfering with goalkeeper Quentin Westberg.

WATCH | Red Bulls’ teen Clark scores late equalizer:

After scoring in his MLS debut on Saturday, Caden Clark records his 2nd career goal with an excellent strike as his New York Red Bulls play to 1-1 draw with Toronto FC who have their win streak snapped but are still unbeaten in 8 games. 1:17

Pozuelo had chances for more goals at Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field but his shots hit bodies, went wide or were saved.

TFC has lost just two of 28 regular-season games (16-2-10) since a 2-0 defeat at the Red Bulls on Aug. 3, 2019. A 3-1 loss to NYCFC on July 26 in round-of-16 play at the MLS is Back Tournament doesn’t count because the knockout rounds of the competition did not factor into the standings.

Wednesday’s game was the fourth in 12 days for Toronto, which faces Atlanta on Sunday.

Greg Vanney made four changes from his weekend lineup in Cincinnati, bringing back Chris Mavinga, Nick DeLeon, Piatti and Akinola.

Newly signed homegrown player Ralph Priso made the bench. The 18-year-old midfielder from Toronto, a Canada under-17 youth international who joined the Toronto academy in January 2017, wore No. 97. He is the 25th player to sign for the first team from the academy.

WATCH | TFC clinch playoff berth with victory over Cincinnati:

Toronto FC earned their 5th straight victory and became the first team to clinch an MLS playoff spot with a 1-0 win over FC Cincinnati. 1:01

Pozuelo had a pair of early chances for Toronto. Meara made the save to deny the Spaniard in the eighth minute off a nice give-and-go with DeLeon. Pozuelo then shot wide off the ensuing corner.

Jonathan Osorio split the defence and found Akinola in the 17th minute but the striker could not get the shot away. Three minutes later, Meara parried Piatti’s swerving shot from just outside the penalty box.

Westberg made a diving one-handed save to deflect a Florian Valot shot in the 29th minute of a first half that saw 63 per cent possession for Toronto despite the Red Bulls’ trademark high press.

Pozuelo had another chance in the 53rd minute but his weak shot was easily saved. Westberg then stopped Tom Barlow from close range after defender Omar Gonzalez’s header didn’t reach his goalkeeper.

Pozuelo found Akinola with a through ball but his shot deflected off a defender. Another Pozuelo chance bounced off a Red Bulls body in front of goal in the 74rd.

Former Whitecap defender Tim Parker captained the Red Bulls with skipper Sean Davis, who returned to action on the weekend from a knee injury, starting on the bench. Austrian attacking midfielder Daniel Royer, who leads the team with four goals, came off the bench in the second half.

The two teams will meet again in the regular-season finale Nov. 8 at Red Bull Arena.

Impact edged by Revs

Kekuta Manneh and Teal Bunbury scored early goals, Adam Buska had a goal and an assist, and the New England Revolution beat the Montreal Impact 3-2 on Wednesday night at Red Bulls Stadium.

Manneh opened the scoring with his first goal of the season in the 13th minute, side-footing a one-touch shot into an empty net. Buska ran onto a loose ball before tapping it to Manneh for the finish from point-blank range.

Alexander Buttner chipped a high entry to the centre of the box where Bunbury scored on a header to make it 2-0 in the 20th.

WATCH | Impact’s comeback falls short in loss to Revs:

New England’s Adam Buksa scored the game-winner and added an assist in a 3-2 victory over Montreal. 1:01

New England (7-4-7) has won consecutive games and has one loss in its last seven matches.

Amar Sejdic tapped in a roller from the top of the six-yard box in the 27th minute for the Impact. Buska beat a pair of defenders before his shot was stopped by goalkeeper James Pantemis. Buska then put the rebound into an empty net in the 52nd minute to make it 3-1.

Ballou Tabla’s goal — the 21-year-old’s first since 2017 — in stoppage capped the scoring.

Montreal (6-10-2) has lost six of its last eight games.

The Impact are playing their remaining home games in the United States due to travel restrictions regarding COVID-19 put in place by the Canadian government.

Whitecaps edge LAFC

Lucas Cavallini scored twice and the Vancouver Whitecaps took a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles FC on Wednesday.

Cristian Dajome and Fredy Montero assisted on both goals for the `Caps (7-11-0).

WATCH | Whitecaps take down LAFC:

Lucas Cavallini of Mississauga, Ont., scored both goals as Vancouver beat Los Angeles 2-1. 1:16

Eduard Atuesta tallied the lone goal for L.A. (7-7-2), converting a penalty kick in the 83rd minute.

Evan Bush did not register a save but collected his second straight win for the Whitecaps. LAFC `keeper Pablo Sisniega stopped two shots.

L.A. was without several of its top players Wednesday, including Diego Rossi, who’s away with the Uruguayan national team, and midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, who is out with an ankle injury.

The result comes three weeks after LAFC shellacked Vancouver 6-0 in California, igniting a four-game losing skid.

WATCH | Cavallini connects off of slick passing:

The Vancouver Whitecaps work their way down field with some stellar passing as Lucas Cavallini of Mississauga, Ont., scores their opening goal against Los Angeles FC. 1:39

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TFC can't keep pace with NYCFC as unbeaten streak snapped at 6

Words were hard to come by for Toronto FC's captain after his side's latest setback.

Eight days after watching defender Chris Mavinga get sent off for violent conduct following TFC's 2-2 draw against Atlanta United, Michael Bradley had to try to rally his troops after teammate Jozy Altidore was dismissed just 11 minutes into Sunday's eventual 3-2 loss to New York City FC (14-5-5).

Now seven points back of the sixth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with 11 games to play, the reigning MLS Cup champions (6-12-5) saw an already-uphill climb get even steeper.

Tajouri-Shradi scored a pair of goals as NYCFC topped TFC 3-2, snapping the Reds 6 game unbeaten streak. 1:55

"Play a big game, you go down to 10 guys after 10 minutes," Bradley said. "You've got a group of guys who fight and scrap and claw to try to give ourselves a chance and along the way we give up some soft goals."

Those goals included a poor-headed clearance from Justin Morrow which led to David Villa's opener four minutes after Altidore received the red card, a left-footed drive from outside the box from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi that squeezed under Alex Bono and a second from Tajouri-Shradi in the 88th-minute that stood as the winner.

'Self-inflicted' loss

Sebastian Giovinco equalized for TFC in the 27th minute and Victor Vazquez did so again in the 51st, but the Reds couldn't hold on for a draw.

Greg Vanney called the loss "self-inflicted," but it was the manner of the two red cards of late that left him exasperated.

"It's unnecessary and all it does is undo our ability to take steps forward," he said. "We were on six-(game) unbeaten and moving in a good direction and this is not the moment we needed."

The red card, the fourth of Altidore's TFC career in both the regular season and playoffs, will result in at least a one-match ban, meaning the club will be missing both the United States international as well as Mavinga, who had an extra one-game suspension tacked onto his red card Friday, next weekend in San Jose.

Altidore was caught in possession by defender Alexander Callens, and kicked out at the Peruvian international. Bradley said the red card was likely warranted, though he felt the referee had allowed the incident to spiral out of control.

"It's probably a red card but it's also a foul before the red card," he said. "Jozy gets fouled but at the end it's a red card."

Next game on Wednesday

Villa, who scored his eighth goal in eight regular-season appearances against TFC, said Giovinco's goal had the potential to turn the tide, particularly against a team that enjoyed a 20-10 shot differential over the 90 minutes.

"The goal of Giovinco killed us a little bit because we felt that we had control of the game, we felt that we were going to score more goals," the Spanish World Cup winner said. "We had many chances in the first half and we are with one man more. So the team is feeling good and the goal of Giovinco is a punch in the face."

Toronto FC will now have to pick itself up in time to face the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second leg of the Canadian Championship final Wednesday following last week's 2-2 draw on the West Coast. With that in mind, one positive to come out of Sunday's loss was the return of Drew Moor, who was out since TFC's game in Colorado on April 14 with both quad and calf muscle injuries.

The veteran defender was brought on in the 71st minute to make his fourth appearance of the season and was happy to make it through the last 20 minutes unscathed.

"It's mixed emotions obviously," he said. "Always awesome to get back on the field after a layoff, but disappointed not getting anything from the game."

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