Mason Toye of Minnesota United celebrates his goal against the Portland Timbers in the 2019 US Open Cup Semifinals. Photo: Minnesota United
Minnesota United FC’s Mason Toye is another example of a young player who has used his performance in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup to earn playing time with the senior team. Toye has leveraged his goalscoring in the tournament into more regular playing time in Major League Soccer play and has earned him a reputation as a key piece of the club’s squad.
Toye’s 90th minute game-winner against the Houston Dynamo in the Round of 16 helped United reach the Quarterfinals for the first time in club history. He followed that up with a man of the match performance in the 2-1 win in the Semifinals against the Portland Timbers, scoring the game-winning goal in the 64th minute.
Kevin Molino started the play with an outlet pass in front of Toye just past midfield. The New Jersey native ran on to the ball with Portland’s Claude Dielna closing in on him. As he approached the 18-yard box, he sent a curling shot that beat Portland’s Steve Clark who had come off his line and found its way into the side netting.
Mason Toye of Minnesota United dribbles the ball just before scoring his goal against the Portland Timbers in the 2019 US Open Cup Semifinals. Photo: Minnesota United
Thanks to Toye’s game-winner, Minnesota United becomes the first team from the North Star State to ever reach the USOC championship game. For his effort, he has been voted TheCup.us Player of the Round for the semifinals. The award is voted on by TheCup.us staff and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters and select backers (those that pledge $10 or more) from TheCup.us’ Patreon team.
Toye narrowly edged Eric Remedi of Atlanta United by just a few votes and Minnesota teammate Kevin Molino finished just a few votes shy in third place. Brad Guzan of Atlanta United finished fourth.
Toye is the first Loon to ever be awarded TheCup.us Player of the Round.
“He wants to be good,” Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath said about the game’s hero Mason Toye. “He’s willing to put the hours in to make himself good. That’s why there’s not a person on the coaching staff that’s not absolutely delighted for him.”
Born in South Orange, New Jersey, Mason Toye was a high school All American and Gatorade Player of the Year at Seton Hall Prep. He scored a conference-leading 10 goals for Indiana University and a runner-up spot in the 2017 College Cup in his only year of college before he was drafted 7th overall in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. As a fringe member of the Loons, Toye was loaned out to Colorado Springs Switchbacks and then Forward Madison, where he made his name before making his debut for the parent club on May 19.
Now, he is part of a team that is one win away from lifting a major trophy for the first time since joining MLS.
2019 TheCup.us Player of the Round winners
Round 1: Charles Boateng (Richmond Kickers, USL-1)
Round 2: Bryant Martin (Florida Soccer Soldiers, USASA)
Round 3: Blake Frischknecht (Orange County FC, NPSL)
Round 4: Teal Bunbury (New England Revolution, MLS)
Round 5: Sam Fink (Saint Louis FC, USL-C)
Quarterfinals: Adam Grinwis (Orlando City SC, MLS)
Semifinals: Mason Toye (Minnesota United FC, MLS)