Toronto FC surrenders late goal in losing 1-0 to ten-man Seattle Sounders

TORONTO – Conceding late goals has been a staple of Toronto FC in its brief history, and another late collapse had coach Aron Winter fuming Saturday.

Fredy Montero fired home a free kick in the 90th minute as the ten-man Seattle Sounders defeated Toronto FC 1-0 in Major League Soccer action.

The Seattle striker cleanly beat Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei into the top right corner after Reds defender Doniel Henry committed a foul just outside the penalty area.

“It’s incredible we lost the game. We deserved to win. We played very well and in the end we have given it away,” a stone-faced Winter said afterwards. “At that moment it’s not clever for us to foul in front of the box.”

With Toronto up a man and pressing, Henry fouled Seattle’s Mauro Rosales on a Sounders counterattack to set up Montero’s winner.

“Very frustrating. I feel like we got robbed of a pretty decent performance,” Frei said. “I don’t like the way we gave away that foul. I don’t even know if it was a foul. It’s the 90th minute, the guy goes down extremely soft. Down a man they’re looking for that.

“I think the referee falls for it.”

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Toronto (2-6-9) couldn’t take advantage of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado’s second yellow card and is now winless in eight (0-3-5). The Reds haven’t won in MLS play since a 2-1 defeat of Houston on May 7th. Seattle improved to 6-4-7.

“That goal was amazing,” Montero said. “I was looking to score in the past four or five games and I just want to keep working hard.”

The Reds came closest in the 81st minute when second-half substitute Javier Martina hammered a shot off the post before Joao Plata sent the rebound over a yawning Seattle cage.

Hurtado was harshly sent off in the 49th minute for a second yellow card after the Seattle defender clattered into Toronto FC forward Alen Stevanovic from behind.

Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller said his team played well after going down a man.

“I thought we played smart,” said the former U.S. international. “We rode our luck at times. They hit the post and had some other balls bounce around our box but the guys worked hard.”

The pint-sized Plata used some fancy footwork to get by a Seattle defender in the 56th minute but he couldn’t find a teammate in front of goal.

Mikael Yourassowsky was shown a yellow in the 65th but Seattle couldn’t make Toronto pay on the ensuing free kick and Frei did well to collect off the foot of an onrushing Rosales in the 75th.

Maicon Santos got on the end of a Martina cross in the 78th, but he could only head it weakly over the Seattle goal.

“It’s a tough result because we deserved the win. Not just a tie, but we deserved to win,” Frei said. “It’s going to be tough to bounce back from this. Today would have been a perfect opportunity to maybe get something going offensively.”

A spirited first half saw some decent chances on both sides but only one shot on target.

Seattle striker Mike Fucito nearly stunned the crowd of 21,839 at BMO Field in the second minute when his quick shot off a throw in beat Frei but struck the outside of the far post.

Toronto FC defender Ty Harden was cautioned in the 18th minute when he clattered into Keller off a corner. After a Santos header forced a save from Keller in the 22nd, Borman was also shown a yellow for a challenge on Rosales in the 26th.

Hurtado was cautioned in the 34th for his tackle on Yourassowsky in a dangerous area, but Stevanovic could only hit the ensuing free kick straight into the Sounders’ wall.

The Reds’ best chance of the half came in the 43rd when Nathan Sturgis’ free kick got up and over the Seattle wall but could only clip the top of Keller’s goal.

Winter’s squad is hurting with a number of injuries and the Dutchman is hoping to bring in reinforcements when the transfer window opens.

“Every week we are making improvements,” Winter said. “Right now we don’t have enough quality. We’re missing a leader on the pitch.”

Notes: Striker Alan Gordon, who scored twice in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with the L.A. Galaxy in his return from injury and was Toronto’s most dangerous player in Wednesday’s 0-0 tie at New England, didn’t even make the bench for the Reds because of an abdominal strain. … Julian de Guzman is back with Toronto FC after Canada lost out in the group stage of the Gold Cup. The Toronto-born midfielder didn’t see action Saturday. … Midfielder Tony Tchani (ankle contusion), midfielder Jacob Peterson (hamstring strain), defender Nana Attakora (quadriceps strain), defender Adrian Cann (knee sprain), midfielder Elbekay Bouchiba (knee surgery) and Gianluca Zavarise (suspended) all missed out for Toronto because of injury. Defender Dicoy Williams is on international duty with Jamaica. … Former Toronto FC striker O’Brian White (leg surgery), midfielder Steve Zakuani (leg fracture), defender Taylor Graham (calf strain), midfielder Servano Carrasco (knee contusion) and midfielder Alvaro Fernandez (hamstring strain) were out for Seattle. … Toronto’s next game is June 25 at Real Salt Lake. … Seattle next sees action Thursday at home against New York. … Coming into Saturday’s action, Toronto FC had allowed a league-high 25 goals.

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