Toronto FC vs New York City FC: Can TFC Add To The Pizza Rats Poor Form On The Road?

Toronto FC vs New York City FC ~ 4pm ET ~ BMO Field ~ TSN4

The wild and wacky world of the Voyageurs Cup is on the back burner as TFC have to turn their attention back to MLS and hopefully continuing the climb out of the lower depths of the Eastern Conference.  Toronto haven’t lost a match (in all comps) in six, the last MLS tilt being the draw against the AU Guys.  Today’s game against the pizza rats sees them take on another of MLS’s top teams, and a team that should give them another tough test.  TFC have had a fair amount of (playoff) success against New York – half of the regular season matches between them have been draws – and they lost 2-1 in their last meeting at the end of June.

However, this is a different Toronto FC team than the one that played back in June – a loss that was part of a six game winless streak that included a loss to the Loons – then they were reeling from poor play and dealing with their season of injured players.  But now with the exception of Drew Moor (who’s been back in full training with the team), and Auro (re-injured in the VCup match against Vancouver), they’ve got most of their first choice squad available and that makes a huge difference.  Sadly for TFC, the pizza rats have David Villa back from injury for the first time since he was hurt in that match against Toronto back in June – hey who wouldn’t want one of the top players back, right?  Well, no one said this would be easy – TFC’s players are full of positivity and that can help carry a team through.

General Thoughts

  1. TFC will have to be very responsible on defense today – they’re missing Chris Mavinga to suspension and his return has made a world of difference in plugging up leaks at the back.  Add to that the question mark about Auro and they could be in for some trouble.
  2. David Villa – he loves to score against Toronto, he’s going to be itching to get on the scoresheet after a six week absence – whoever has him as their assignment will have a lot of work to do this afternoon.
  3. Maxi Moralez – equally (if not more so) as dangerous as Villa this season.  He scores, he assists, he creates havoc in the midfield – fun.
  4. Sebastian Giovinco – Seba was held out of Toronto’s VCup mid-week match (as were Vazquez and VdW), he’s well rested and has started to look like his old self of late.  Now would be a great time for some vintage Seba.
  5. Weather – for once it’s not really a concern, it’s a bit warm today but a far cry from the humid, sweltering heat we’ve dealt with more than once this season.
  6. Orlando/DCU – TFC fans should be cheering on Rooney and co. this afternoon – a positive result for Toronto and a loss for the Lions would allow TFC to leapfrog over Orlando and be that much closer to the playoff line.
  7. The pizza rats have been unbeatable at home this season, but their road record is not remotely as shiny, having only won 3 (losing 5 and drawing 3) – NYC seem to have trouble away from the cozy confines of Yankee Stadium.

If Toronto can stay organized at the back, this game is theirs for the taking – they’ve got all their scoring threats healthy, they managed to rest several of their top players mid-week and they’re riding that unbeaten streak.  They need to watch the wings, and take advantage of their midfield.  I went with a 3-1 TFC win in this week’s podcast and I’m sticking with it.

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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