They were not perfect, and I'm sure that by their lofty standards Toronto FC would tell you to forget about perfect, that they weren't even particularly good on Saturday. There was some positional dislocation through central midfield, a backline that was unusually gappy, and one or two breakaways that died at the feet of Tosaint Ricketts.


There was, nonetheless, a 4-2 win. There were three more points, and a postgame celebration, and this:

Toronto FC are not unbeatable, and for long stretches of Saturday's game they were pinned-in and out-played by the visitors. The Red Bulls were good and dangerous for the duration of this one, but the Reds simply have too many weapons. Collapse on their central midfield trio and the wingbacks run wild; focus on the wingbacks, and you risk letting the central midfield dominate the game – or worse, risk letting the forwards dominate the game.


This was the mistake that the Red Bulls made just one time. You can’t let Jozy Altidore receive the ball posted up in the box, in isolation. He’s simply too strong and quick for most defenders. And so on this play, which led to the Supporters’ Shield-clinching penalty, the Red Bull defenders have to force Justin Morrow to play either square or back. What they absolutely can not do is let him roll a ball directly into Altidore’s feet so that he could go to work on Aaron Long, who’s there without help.



But that’s what happened, and so Altidore drew the penalty Victor Vazquez converted.


And on the two previous goals, it was the defense focusing so much on Altidore and Ricketts that allowed Morrow to ghost to the back post and stab home goals. And on the fourth, it was Morrow at a gallop pushing home Altidore's cross.


They are Shield champions, the first Canadian champs in MLS history. They did a big chunk of it without Sebastian Giovinco, who will almost certainly be back and healthy in two weeks for the season's final two games. They did it in addition to their Canadian Championship, won in dramatic fashion. They've done nearly all of it in convincing style.


On this day it was Morrow's turn to be the star, but as Charlie said at the top, there's really no better metaphor for what this team's about and how they win than that.