Toronto FC suffered a closely contested 2-0 loss to Orlando City SC at BMO Field on Saturday night.
The final match of the 2023 season marked the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new era. TFC midfielder and captain Michael Bradley made his final start for the Reds, while John Herdman took control of the TFC dugout for the first time.
The opening half saw Toronto FC register seven shot attempts to Orlando's two. The first goal-scoring opportunity of the game fell to TFC in the ninth minute when defender Kobe Franklin's cross-connected with Prince Owusu, who headed the ball just over the Orlando net.
In the 17th minute, TFC was forced to make a substitution as midfielder Alonso Coello was introduced onto the field for the injured Aimé Mabika. Orlando found themselves with a dangerous chance in the 24th minute when Antônio Carlos' header from the center of the box redirected the ball towards the bottom right corner of the TFC net. Fortunately for the Reds, TFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made an acrobatic save to deny the opposition's attempt and keep the game level.
The best opportunity of the half fell to the Reds in stoppage time when Lorenzo Insigne unleashed a wicked right-footed shot from outside the box towards the bottom left corner of the net, but Orlando goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar produced the goal-denying save.
TFC kicked off the second half on the offensive front foot by crafting two great early chances after the restart. Lorenzo Insigne's left-footed shot from the left side of the six-yard box was saved in the bottom right corner by Orlando goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar in the 46th minute. Just four minutes later, Petretta spotted Federico Bernardeschi in the center of the box with a great pass, but the Italian's subsequent shot attempt was saved by the Orlando goalkeeper.
The missed chances would come back to haunt TFC later on in the half. Unfortunately for the Reds, Orlando would go on to secure the lead in the 64th-minute courtesy of striker Duncan McGuire's finish into the top left corner of the TFC net. Just ten minutes later, Duncan McGuire would go on to double his scoring tally and further Orlando's lead to two. This turned out to be the final scoring moment of the game, but it wasn't for a lack of effort from the home side as TFC pushed on late in search of equalizing efforts.