Toronto FC vs LA Galaxy: Will The LA Zlatans Steal The Show?

Toronto FC vs LA Galaxy ~ 730pm ET ~ BMO Field ~ TSN1/4

What a difference a year makes; last September (almost to the day) TFC were almost unstoppable and hammered the Galaxy 4-0 – including a brace from Tosaint Ricketts and that delightful header from Drew Moor – ah the good old days…it truly was a different time and a different team. A team that could come back to win games – something they’ve been woefully unable to do this season – they were composed at the back, controlled the midfield and scored almost at will. This year they look fragile, confused and lacking the chemistry that bonded them together throughout the 2017 season.

Today’s match is between two teams that are in desperation mode; Toronto basically needs to win every match from here until the end of the season, and while the Western Conference is more open the Zlatans are winless in six and floundering. Does either team have a solution for what’s ailed them? TFC have been poor defensively for most of the season, often relying too much on memories of goals scored in the past to lift them up – we’ve said many times that they just need to play boring, competent football, forget the fancy tricks and highlight reel goals.  As for LA, they’ve suffered a similar fate, trying to ride Zlatan’s man bun to glory.  So do we see a grinder of a match or do we get a goal fest (hint: it’s goal fest).

On the bright side for Vanney’s team is the refreshing lack of new injuries, everyone that’s been healthy/recently returned from the trainer’s table appears to be available; as for Mavinga, Auro and Vazquez I’m hoping we don’t see them – too often the team has rushed back players suffering from knocks and paid the price. On the not so bright side, the Zlatans have all of their players available, joyous. The other potential point in LA’s favour is getting the new coach bump after Sigi Schmid stepped down earlier this week, leaving MLS coaching mainstay Dominic Kinnear in charge – will having not just a new coach, but one of Kinnear’s abilities be the change that Los Galacticos need?

General Thoughts

  1. Defend. Defend. Defend. Like their lives depend on it, because well they do.
  2. Mark the ever loving hell out of Zlatan. The team may not be performing well but his ability to score from pretty much anywhere should worry Toronto.
  3. Alessandrini
  4. Seba needs to share the ball; they are better this season when he’s not trying to lift the team on his tiny shoulders and do it all himself. His playmaking has been the difference in several games, more of that please.
  5. Keep your cool Michael Bradley – one more yellow sees Bradley suspended for their next match. The team has had enough damage done from immature behaviour and temper flare-ups this season, they can ill afford it now.
  6. Give the ball to Oso – second only behind Seba (that still boggles my mind), Osorio’s been a reliable force in front of the net, most recently helping the Canadian men’s team to their 8-0 victory over the US Virginal Islands.
  7. Don’t get injured.
  8. Everyone’s sending good vibes to the Philadelphia Union, right?
  9. How many Zlatan kits will be spotted and from which clubs? (Hello new TFC *fans*, welcome to BMO)

Every match from here on in is basically a playoff match for Toronto FC – though that’s been the case for awhile and it doesn’t seem to have lit a fire under them, perhaps Bradley’s blunt assessment of the season after the 4-2 loss to Zombie Chivas will motivate them – gods know something has to.  I think I’ll stick with my 2-2 podcast prediction – price me wrong boys, I’d love to see a footy miracle.

 

Kristin Knowles

Author: Kristin Knowles

Raised on basketball and baseball, Kristin soon saw the error of her ways when enrolled in a local football league as a child. Geography dictated she choose TFC as her team and ten years later she's still yet to flee the city. Cynically optimistic, she now channels her inner hooligan by singing random pop songs and making poor puns in the stands. May contain adult content. Find me on the internet machine @kzknowles

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