Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls: On The Road Again – Can TFC Repeat Past Success?
TFC vs NYRB ~ 7pm ET ~ Red Bull Arena ~ SN360
Ah the road, where Toronto FC is a Viking. Remember the halcyon days of the first eight games of the season? Where everything seemed possible? Now a four game home stand later, TFC has come away with only five points from a possible twelve, lost one of their top players to injury and underscored their desperate need for secondary scoring. Bright side would be staying relatively defensively sound during that time and only allowing a single goal over their last two games, including another clean sheet. But there’s no denying that the home stand was frustrating; from a scoring perspective, from a player fitness perspective (multiple injuries forcing Vanney to change his lineup) and for the first time we saw them look defensively shaky.
So now the team have had a week off after three games in eight days, most of their injured players are available for selection and they’re returning to the scene of their – surprising – season opening success in Harrison, NJ. They’ve won their last two games against the energy drinks, and if they can put the drubbing the Red Bulls laid on City-lite last weekend out of their minds and focus on what they did in game one then they’ve a chance.
It is unfortunate that the Red Bulls seem to have turned their season around after a disastrous start – Bradley Wright-Phillips is back on a scoring tear, Dax McCarty is in good form, Mike the Gorilla (yes I know his name is Grella) continues to impress – well it’s annoying really, their bounceback – we were all kind of enjoying their inadequacy. TFC’s biggest issue in playing with the boys from Harrison is containing their speed and counter attack; Toronto handled them well back in March but with the team currently without Michael Bradley in the midfield there will need to be changes. Fans have to hope that Sebastian Giovinco’s snub by the Azurri will serve as a motivator and not just frustrate him.
Things To Know:
- Michael Bradley is away with the USMNT
- Jozy Altidore is still out hurt
- Marky Delgado and Benoit Cheyrou could be available
- Seba should have a giant chip on his shoulder.
- TFC villain Aurélien Collin now plays for the energy drinks; expect trouble.
- Will Johnson will have to lead the midfield in Bradley’s absence
- Bradley Wright-Philips will score
- Expect Jonathan Osorio, Mo Babouli and Tsubasa Endoh all to start
This – like any other game – is a winnable one for TFC. They’ve played well against New Jersey the past couple years and will be buoyed by the early season success. The team will also be looking to get back to winning ways after their tepid home stand. As mentioned hopefully Seba is playing with a giant chip on his shoulder and will be able to life his team. The midfield will need to be razor sharp with the absence of Bradley and Babouli will need to finish his chances. Should be a good game though I think they will struggle so am sticking with my podcast prediction of 2-1 Energy Drinks (but hope I’m wrong).