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Anatomy of a Goal: Jimmy Medranda secures the Crew a point at Toronto FC

This week we look at Medranda’s first goal with the Crew which equalized in Toronto

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Anatomy of a Goal, where each week we dissect one goal (or near goal) from a previous Columbus Crew match. For match three of the 2023 MLS season, we take a look at Jimmy Medranda’s 75th minute goal that secured a vital road point away the Black & Gold’s to Trillium Cup rivals, Toronto FC.

Here is a look at Medranda’s first goal for the Crew.

Columbus trekked north to Toronto rolling out the same starting lineup that grabbed a commanding win against D.C. United a week before. The Crew poured on the pressure during the first 15 minutes but gave up a disheartening goal when Deandre Kerr sliced through the defense in the 24th minute. In the second half, the Black & Gold continued to possess the ball well but were unable to find the back of the net.

Medranda made his debut just a few minutes before his eventual goal, which begins with a Toronto FC throw in.

Kobe Franklin picks up the ball and launches into Columbus’ defensive half toward substitute striker Hugo Mbongue

Mbongue receives the ball under defensive pressure from center back Steven Moreira. The substitute has four options. He can play a backward pass to Franklin, try a quick touch pass to attacker Victor Vazquez, go with a longer drop pass toward winger Jonathan Osorio or hit a square pass toward attacker Federico Bernardeschi.

Mbongue picks out Vazquez and hits a quick pass toward the midfielder.

Vazquez receives the ball and is under immediate pressure from Crew midfielder Aidan Morris.

Morris out-muscles Vazquez and sends the ball rolling toward center back Milos Degenek.

Degenek picks up the loose ball and carries forward. As the Australian approaches Osorio and TFC midfielder Michael Bradley, he finds himself with five options. He can play a square pass into the path of wing back Mohamed Farsi, play a long through pass toward playmaker Lucas Zelarayan, attempt to carry the ball forward, try a square pass toward Medranda or a quick drop back to Morris.

Degenek hits a pass just behind new teammate Medranda forcing the wing back to quickly retreat to grab the ball.

Medranda drops back to receive the ball with Richie Laryea providing pressure and he can hit a square pass toward Morris, play a pass around the referee to midfielder Darlington Nagbe, hit a long ball up the sideline toward Farsi, a direct pass forward to Matan or attempt to beat Laryea off the dribble.

Medranda uses his first touch to quickly flick the ball forward toward Matan.

The ball rolls toward Matan while the attack springs into action. Medranda begins an immediate run forward, trailed by Laryea, while Morris steps into the open space created by Medranda’s run.

The ball reaches Matan who takes a touch back toward his defensive half. Zelarayan makes an onside run toward Matan while Medranda continues forward. Laryea has more or less abandoned Medranda and steps toward Matan, giving Morris plenty of space to step toward the midfield line.

Matan’s first touch sends him into a dangerous position between Laryea and Osorio.

Fortunately, Matan is able to use his second touch to hit a drop pass back to a wide-open Morris. Medranda continues his run forward and splits the space between Bradley and Toronto center back Matt Hedges.

Morris has time to wait for the ball. He picks his head up to evaluate the developing attack and sees that Medranda was able to easily step past Hedges and Bradley.

The young midfielder uses his first touch to hit a long ball over the top into the path of Medranda.

Medranda’s run was allowed to continue but the play was blown dead for an offside call following the eventual goal. Initial replays showed that Medranda’s run was very close to being onside. Remember, to overturn an on-field call, the official must find video evidence that the call on the field was a clear and obvious error. The above image is the moment in time that the VAR team gave the on-field referee to review Medranda’s run. From this specific moment in time, Medranda is clearly onside, rendering the on-field call a clear and obvious error.

This is great news for fans of the Crew but a pretty unfortunate turn of events for Toronto. Despite the clear and obvious standard, the VAR team still subjectively subjects the individual frame that they have decided is the moment the ball is played by Morris. A different VAR team could have chosen one to two frames in the future, which shows Medranda in an offside position. This subjectivity of frame selection is the biggest issue facing VAR review of extremely close offside calls. In this match it benefited Columbus but who knows what will happen the next time this team sees an offside review.

Medranda ran through the Toronto defense unmarked as the ball sails into his path. Laryea raises his hand for the offside call despite the fact that Medranda was his defensive responsibility.

The ball takes a bounce in front of Medranda with only TFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson between the ball and the goal.

Medranda lets the ball take one more bounce before hitting a first-touch chip toward Johnson’s goal.

Johnson has stepped out of the goal to cut off Medranda’s angle and leaps toward the ball but is ultimately unable to get a finger on the shot.

Toronto’s goalkeeper turns as the ball bounces over his head, on the goal line...

...into the back of the net!


  1. Morris and Degenek do well to immediately turn over Vazquez.
  2. Medranda uses one of his first touches of the match to send a quick pass forward and then makes a simple run forward following his drop back to receive the initial pass. With this forward run, Medranda opens up the space he leaves and forces Toronto’s defenders to either run with him or leave him to run unmarked.
  3. Laryea chooses a mix of these options, half-heartedly tracking Medranda while leaving the prior space open. No other defender steps toward the Crew wing back.
  4. Morris had an excellent match overall and played an in-perfect pass into the path of Medranda.
  5. With just his second touch on this play, Medranda hits a perfect chip over Johnson to secure a crucial road point.