Mason Toye puts away another 'sniffer' for Minnesota United's biggest win yet

The hottest player on MLS's hottest team is a forward who began the year playing in the new USL League One and three years ago was playing high school soccer.

Mason Toye highlighted the biggest win yet of Minnesota United's run of seven straight wins in MLS and Open Cup play when he came off the bench and scored in the first minute of stoppage time to give the Loons a 1-0 win over FC Dallas.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez made a diving save on Jan Gregus' shot from outside the penalty area but could only parry the ball to Toye, who easily slotted the rebound into the goal.

The game wasn't over, however. Minutes after entering the game, 18-year-old Bryan Reynolds went tumbling to the ground in a collision with Minnesota goalkeeper Vito Mannone. After Video Review, referee Baldomero Toledo awarded a penalty kick, but Mannone dove to his right and denied FC Dallas captain Reto Ziegler from the spot.

“I think it's the biggest win I've had since I've been here, for what it means to everybody,” said Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath. “You saw the reaction of the players, you saw the reaction of the supporters. I’ve got to mention the crowd because I think they got us over the line today and I've never heard the stadium as loud as this, ever. The last five minutes and then when Vito makes the save, incredible.”

Second straight game-winner. The Italian keeper's save ensured Toye would be credited with the second straight MLS game-winner for the Loons, who had advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a 6-1 win over New Mexico United on Wednesday.

“It’s definitely a top one right now," Toye said of the goal, which was his fifth in less than a month. "This was a really big win for us. The guys were obviously pretty tired out there, and we’ve been playing a lot of games lately so for me to be able to score a goal and to get the game-winner is a huge win in itself.”

What makes Toye's recent run so remarkable is that he had not scored in 17 games for the Minnesota United as a rookie last season and in seven games with USL League One's Forward Madison in the early part of the 2019 season.

AAU basketball star. Toye had played for the New York Red Bulls academy but later briefly switched to concentrating on basketball in which he was an AAU star. He finally ended up playing soccer at Seton Hall Prep, where he was the New Jersey prep player of the year, and for PDA. After one season at Indiana University, he signed a Generation adidas contract and was taken with the seventh pick by Minnesota United in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.

Toye said the scoring instinct that put him in position to pounce on a rebound on Saturday night is something he learned when he was young.

“It’s just more makeshift stuff being a forward," he said, "stuff that coaches have been telling me since I was little, my dad especially, just being locked in and staying on my toes and always being ready for the rebound. At Indiana, that was a big thing -- they called it sniffers -- just going to get a rebound. It’s just basic stuff, not really film.”

Photo: Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire

6 comments about "Mason Toye puts away another 'sniffer' for Minnesota United's biggest win yet".
  1. beautiful game, July 14, 2019 at 9 a.m.

    So does that mean an invitation to the USMNT camp? It needs help.

  2. Bob Ashpole, July 14, 2019 at 9:23 a.m.

    He is a sub, not a starter and has scored 5 goals in 2 years.

    Still identification isn't about stats. I can't really see how he plays from the short clips available. Can he score goals at the international level? He definitely ought to be looked at and kept track of.

    If he is still hot by the end of the season, then maybe he should get called to the Janurary camp.

  3. Ben Myers replied, July 14, 2019 at 12:30 p.m.

    Yes, but three goals in the last month.  Maybe some learning and adjustment going on here?  Good stature for a striker who can also hold up play.  There is more upside to Toye than Altidore, for sure.

  4. Ginger Peeler, July 14, 2019 at 2:38 p.m.

    Not 3 goals, but  his “fifth in less than a month” (according to PK). Also his “second straight MLS game-winner for the Loons”.

    It sounds as if Toye is very opportunistic...being in the right place at the right time for rebounds/“sniffers”. Somewhat akin to the way Josh Sargent has a knack for being in just the right place to take a pass or cross or a turnover and put that ball in the back of the net!  I watched Sargent in his last game for Berhalter where I felt that he played tentatively, compared to his usual confident manner.  I suspect Berhalter isn’t sure how to play Josh to best take advantage of his ability to score.

    Both of these guys are young. It usually takes awhile to adapt to different teams and differing responsibilities. Toye’s play may have been a fluke...or, maybe suddenly everything fell into place for him. It does happen.  Just give Sargent a little more time with the USMNT and see if his talent doesn’t bloom. 

  5. humble 1, July 14, 2019 at 7:26 p.m.

    One year younger than Timber’s Ebobisse and like him, a one and done college player, though ramping to MLS on slightly different terms, this path is proving fruitful.  Will face same challenge any striker ‘developing’ in MLS; weak defending.  MLS will struggle to develop strikers until it invests in defenders.  

  6. Craig Cummings, July 14, 2019 at 7:56 p.m.

    It looks like we are finally getting  great athletes from other sports, that want to play soccer over our tradional 3 big sports. I hope this  keeps going forward.

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