MLS: Toronto FC's Vanney: 'We've got a great team'

Toronto FC showed it is the team to beat in MLS as it defeated the Seattle Sounders, 1-0, in a rematch of MLS Cup 2016 to take the lead the Supporters' Shield race. The win was TFC's second in four days, and it came without star Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez, MLS's assist leader, as well as three other starters from the midweek win.

“We have a deep team," said TFC coach Greg Vanney. "We have a lot of talented guys. My toughest job this year is trying to keep the guys happy because they all want to play and they’re all worthy of playing. When certain guys can’t make the trip for one reason or another, then it’s an opportunity for other guys to step up. And guys all across the board stepped up defensively where we were missing a few guys and it was a gutsy performance."

Steven Beitashour and Eriq Zavaleta, both starters on the MLS Cup 2016, didn't play. Bill Irwin returned in goal in place of Alex Bono, the only one of the five starters in the 2-1 win over Orlando City to dress against the Sounders.

TFC has now won four games in a row after opening with a 1-1-4 record and seven points in its first six games.

“It’s a great run," said Vanney. "We knew we were inches away at the start of the season just missing opportunities to get results. We came away with a lot of draws in that stretch, but we knew we were close. This is a different type of performance today when you come on the road, after a mid-week game, coming into a stadium like this against a good team -- it’s a different type of win. It shows that we’re not just a good team, but we’ve got a great team that, in tough circumstances, can really gut out a win."

The lone goal came on a penalty kick by Jozy Altidore in the first half, his sixth in 10 games to go along with three assists.

“Part of what we did today was try to make Jozy the focal point as the striker and allow him to play a little more central and have other guys working around him, underneath him and off of him," said Vanney. "When [Sebastian Giovinco] is in that role, it’s more of a two-striker combination and that’s a whole different beast in and of itself. In this game, on the road, we decided to overload the midfield a little bit to try to  deal with them and to have moments where we could keep possession, work off of Jozy and get opportunities over the course of the game. He played outstanding."

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