Toronto FC stars shine bright in big 401 Derby win: "All three of them were excellent"

TORONTO – Beating the Montreal Impact is always sweet for Toronto FC, but in front of their fans at BMO Field, the team’s three Designated Players put on quite the show.

For the first time this season, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco all found the back of the net for Toronto FC, and this DP trio could not have picked a better day to do so, decimating rivals Montreal Impact 3-1 in a match that was as much entertaining for the fans as it was important in the standings.

Three DPs scoring three goals and earning all three points, sounds like a good day at the office for TFC head coach Greg Vanney.

“Oh, we’ll take it,” Vanney said, after the match, with a smile. “It was good. I thought all three of them were excellent on the night. They all played off of each other and combined to create a lot of problems for Montreal’s defending. It was good for their morale for each of them to come away with a goal. It’s good for the team, it’s good for them, so hopefully we have more nights that are similar to this.”

Bradley opened the scoring for Toronto FC after Giovinco slipped in his seventh assist of the season, a new team single-season record. Vanney says Bradley’s goal, an equalizing shot coming after a run into the box, was crucial for a couple of reasons: not only was Bradley filling open spaces in the box, but he’s also establishing himself as an attacking asset, Vanney explained. 

Altidore added the second goal, picking out a long pass from Bradley out of the sky, letting the ball bounce a few times and then striking with deadly accuracy and strength. 

“I’ve done it a hundred thousand times with Michael,” Altidore said, of his goal. “I saw the space, drifted off, the ball was fantastic and I just tried to hit the target. It was a good finish.”

Altidore scored his sixth goal of the year but he says that, goals aside, he and his teammates simply did what they needed to do in order to secure all three points at the final whistle. 

“Seba created and was a nuisance the whole game; Michael was Michael, basically being a robot running up and down and I just tried to get on the end of the things,” Altidore explained. “When we all do our job, more times than not, we’ll be successful.”

Capping off this statement match against Montreal, Giovinco drew a penalty , put the ball on the spot and slotted home his eighth goal of the season. After the match, Giovinco received a superhero’s salute as a promo video of the legend of the Atomic Ant played on the big screen at BMO Field. 

“It was a very nice game,” Giovinco said, via translator, after the match. “I enjoyed the game. When you win, it’s always better. I know Montreal is a sort of derby, but for me, every team is another team. The goal is always to win.”