Thanks to a preseason injury and then a four-month league suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plus a one-day postponement to Toronto FC's opening game at the MLS is Back Tournament, Pablo Piatti's TFC debut came much later than expected.
But Monday morning against D.C. United, Piatti got his first minutes for his new team.
It was a quiet start for the Argentine, who lined up wide right. Here's the summary of his day:
- Minutes Played: 73
- Touches: 55
- Passes: 36
- Passing Accuracy: 91.7% (final third: 95%; opponent's half: 96.3%)
- Shots: 4 (none on target, 2 blocked)
- Duels Won: 33.3%
- Possessions Lost: 10
- Recoveries: 6
- Corners: 3 (team high)
The 31-year-old joined this winter from La Liga side Espanyol, where he was a productive player for years in one of the world's best leagues. He was even named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in UEFA.com's La Liga's 2016-17 Team of the Season. Injuries hampered the end of his career at Espanyol and he was ready for a fresh start in Toronto.
The club made Piatti their third Designated Player, with Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo occupying the other two DP slots. Michael Bradley signed a new contract this offseason that freed up a slot.
Bradley also made his 2020 debut, as an ankle injury kept him out of the club's first two games of the season. Altidore's absence from the starting lineup was a coach's decision:
Toronto FC team official tells me Jozy Altidore being left out of the squad for this match was “a coaching decision.” Adds that he is fully fit.— Stefano Fusaro (@FusaroESPN) July 13, 2020
D.C. United and Toronto FC both unveiled unchanged lineups compared to the ones they announced in the lead-up to the previously scheduled Sunday morning slot.