Toronto FC falls short against Sounders
Handwalla Bwana nets winner in rematch of previous 2 MLS Cup finals
For the second time in less than two weeks Greg Vanney felt Major League Soccer's video assistant referee robbed his club of crucial points.
Handwalla Bwana scored the winner early in the second half as the Seattle Sounders edged Toronto FC 2-1 on Wednesday night at BMO Field.
Bwana scored his first career MLS goal, taking a through ball from Will Bruin and beating Alex Bono between is legs in the 54th minute. However, replays appeared to show Bwana in an offside position prior to beating Bono.
"I don't think, I know it's offside from looking at it right here," said Vanney with his phone in hand displaying a photo of Bwana offside. "It's just inexplicable two of our last three games, to me it's inexplicable.
"I don't know the point of what we're doing if this isn't offside. It's pretty clear right? Any part of the body that can score a goal, in an offside position, the player is offside. They've got multiple looks at this. I just don't understand."
Bruin scored the other goal for Seattle (2-4-2) while Stefan Frei made five saves in the win.
Jonathan Osorio scored the lone goal for Toronto (2-5-1). Bono stopped one shot.
MLS Cup rematch
The game was a rematch of the previous two MLS Cup finals. Seattle won the championship in a shootout in 2016 while the Reds blanked the Sounders 2-0 last December.
On April 28 the Reds played to a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire after replays showed Nemanja Nikolic attempt to head the ball from an offside position on Bastian Schweinsteiger's goal. On that play, referee Alan Kelly chose not to use VAR to take a second look.
Wednesday night referee Ted Unkel, like Kelley, chose not to use VAR for a second look.
"Football is a game that there's so much grey to begin with, and it seems to me that all VAR has done is make more grey," said TFC captain Michael Bradley.
"There's more uncertainty, there's more question about what can be checked, what can't, what seemed clear and obvious, what isn't, why some goals are checked quickly in the booth, why in other moments referee on the field makes the decision to go over to the screen — that part is extremely frustrating and we've been on the wrong end of a few of these types of calls."
Seattle opened the scoring in the 25th minute as Bruin picked up a through ball from Magnus Wolff Eikrem, out-ran Gregory van der Wiel and beat Bono for his third of the season.
Osorio responded for Toronto in the 40th minute, heading in a Sebastian Giovinco feed for his second goal of the season.
With midfielder Nicolas Hasler nursing a right quad strain, Brampton, Ont. native Jay Chapman got the start and had several first-half opportunities.
In the 11th minute, Ager Aketxe sent Chapman in all alone, but Frei came out to challenge and took away a quality scoring chance. Three minutes later, off a cross from Giovinco, Chapman's header went right into the hands of Frei.
Then in the 37th minute, with TFC trailing 1-0, Giovinco put his free kick off the woodwork and Chapman put the rebound over the bar.
TFC midfielder Victor Vazquez was subbed out at halftime due to an undisclosed injury and was replaced by Ryan Telfer.
Vazquez and Hasler's injuries are in addition to Chris Mavinga (hamstring), Eriq Zavaleta (quad strain) and Nick Hagglund (hamstring), Justin Morrow (calf) and Drew Moor (quad tear). On Tuesday the club announced that star forward Jozy Altidore underwent surgery to remove bone fragments from his foot and will miss the next 4-6 weeks.