The Toronto FC had its season end earlier than expected with a 1-0 loss in extra time to Nashville SC on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. Toronto entered the MLS Cup Playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, and Nashville came in as the seventh seed, coming off a win in the play-in game just to get to the first round of the postseason.
In a surprising loss, Toronto entered with +118 odds to win with Nashville SC at +245 on the moneyline. A tie had +220 odds going into this game according to a popular United States sportsbook.
After a scoreless regulation, Nashville’s Daniel Rios scored the game-winner in the second half of extra time to secure the victory. Nashville had plenty of chances to nearly score especially late in regulation but failed to connect until the game reached extra time in the 108th minute. In addition, Nashville had three goals called back due to an offsides ruling. In the end, Toronto FC was outshot 21-10.
NIGHTMARE FOR TFC.
Daniel Ríos finishes it off in extra time, and Toronto FC is backed against a wall trying to find an equalizer. pic.twitter.com/EIizTNvH3v
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) November 25, 2020
While Toronto was the No. 2 seed in the conference, it dealt with injuries especially late in the season, part of the reason it lost three of its last four games. Toronto had the potential to reach the MLS Cup for the fourth time in the last five years but fell short of that goal.
It was certainly a unique season for just about every sport everywhere this summer when the coronavirus shut down sports for a period of time. With Canada’s travel laws, Toronto FC finished its season playing in East Hartford, Connecticut in the United States instead of its usual home spot at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The team is hopeful it will be able to return to its home field next year, which would likely mean the United States and Canada have a solid handle of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Likely Toronto FC’s biggest question mark heading into the offseason, the team will need to make a decision on what to do with Pablo Piatti. He joined the Toronto roster last winter as a designated player. The 31-year-old started in 16 of the team’s 23 regular season games this year. Piatti finished the season with four goals and four assists.
Nashville advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinal round to take on the No. 3 seed Columbus Crew SC on Nov. 29 for a spot in the conference finals against either No. 4 Orlando City SC or No. 8 seed New England Revolution, which knocked off top-seeded Philadelphia Union in the first round.
With Toronto FC’s loss, there are no more Canadian teams remaining in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Montreal Impact were defeated by Nashville in the play-in game, and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC failed to qualify for the postseason.
2020 MLS Cup winner odds
After the first round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, just eight teams still have a chance to win the title, which does not include the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC. The top-seeded team in the Western Conference is Sporting Kansas City, which is currently the betting favorite to win it all at +225 odds.
The Seattle Sounders have the second best odds at +300, followed by Orlando City SC at +375 before a bit of a drop off. Orlando City SC checks in with the fourth best odds in the MLS at +600 with Minnesota United right behind.
If you want to take a look at some of the longshots to make a run, FC Dallas has +1100 odds, New England Revolution is at +1400 and Nashville rounds out the final eight with odds of +1800.
The conference semifinals will get started on Sunday, Nov. 29 and run through Dec. 2 as we get closer to crowning a 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs champion.