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Toronto FC defeats Atlanta 2-0; Insigne leaves with right leg injury

By The Associated Press
Posted 10:45PM on Saturday 23rd March 2024 ( 2 months ago )

TORONTO (AP) — Tyrese Spicer scored in his first MLS start and substitute Prince Owusu added his first MLS goal to help Toronto FC beat Atlanta United 2-0 between depleted teams on a chilly Saturday night.

Both teams were missing players. Toronto (3-1-1) through injury and Atlanta (2-2-0) through international duty.

Lorenzo Insigne and defender Shane O’Neill didn’t finish the first half for Toronto. O’Neill, who had concussion issues last season, had to be helped off in the 27th minute after taking a knock to the head. Insigne hobbled off in first-half stoppage time, trying not to put weight on his right leg.

Toronto's Luka Gavran collected his fourth shutout in five starts this season. Toronto has 10 points, having collected just 22 in 34 games last year when it finished last in the league at 4-20-10.

Insigne fed Deandre Kerr who teed the ball up for Spicer at the edge of the penalty box. Spicer found a space between defenders before firing a low shot that beat a diving Brad Guzan in the 35th minute.

Spicer made his debut last week, playing 15 minutes off the bench in a 2-1 loss at New York City FC. He is the sixth top pick in the MLS draft to score in his first career start. Canadian Cyle Larin also did it in 2015 with Orlando.

Owusu, a 27-year-old German forward making his fifth MLS appearance, knocked in a rebound in the 71st minute after Guzan could not hold onto an Alonso Coello shot.

Guzan made eight saves for United, which had a two-game win streak end. Gavran had three saves for Toronto.

Toronto hosts Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. Atlanta plays at home against the Chicago Fire on March 31.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

Toronto FC defender Tyrese Spicer (16) celebrates his goal against Atlanta United with teammate Aime Mabika (6) during the first half of a MLS soccer match in Toronto on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Arlyn McAdorey/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto FC defender Sigurd Rosted (17) chases the ball while being pursued by Atlanta United attacker Daniel Rios (19) during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Toronto on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Arlyn McAdorey/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto FC defender Aime Mabika (6), left, and midfielder Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty (7), right, celebrate during the second half of an MLS soccer match against Atlanta United in Toronto on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Arlyn McAdorey/The Canadian Press via AP)

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