Toronto FC vs Orlando City SC: With the Lions in Freefall, Can TFC Take Advantage?
Toronto FC vs Orlando City SC ~ 8pm ET ~ Orlando City Stadium ~ TSN4
The last time Toronto and Orlando met, I wrote this – TFC did indeed beat the Lions but their season hasn’t looked much brighter in the intervening two months. There was the win over the Union, and a couple of not so thrilling draws (yes they got a point, but you watched how they got them, right?), and of course the losses. The bright spot in the past two months was last weekend’s 2-2 draw with the Sporks (yes I know they beat the Union, but that was short-lived joy), they didn’t concede early, they were defensively compact for much of the game, Jordan Hamilton had a gorgeous goal, and they escaped Kansas City with a point; which is something that they rarely do so good job and all that.
Tonight’s match is much different – and should have a more pleasing outcome if you’re a TFC fan – in that instead of facing one of the best in the west, Toronto is playing one of the least in the east (what, I like a good rhyme scheme). If Toronto FC are bad, Orlando City are REALLY bad, like TFC 2012 bad – it’s not pretty, even getting a new coach hasn’t helped – the Lions are imploding at the moment and Toronto really need to take advantage. This is the only week in the month of July that TFC only play one game – the rest have either been full of MLS fixtures, or will have Voyageurs Cup matches to work around – this week they were able to rest, stay home for a few days and try to build off the game against the Sporks.
- Orlando are bad, Toronto should win tonight
- Jozy has travelled with the team – do NOT get too excited, the man hasn’t played a professional match in almost four months – but it’s good to see that his trajectory is approaching playing. Maybe he’ll get a run out late in the game.
- Don’t let Dom Dwyer score – hell don’t let any of them score – but he’s really irritating so as a personal favour, just keep him off the scoresheet OK? Thanks.
- Toronto have only lost once to Orlando since they joined the league – the Reds have basically owned them – in fact the last time they were in Orlando, TFC did this; they’ve won four of the last five matches played between the two teams, with the other a 0-0 draw back in September of 2016.
- Don’t concede early. Until they go several games without doubt so, I’m going to mention it every week.
- Stick with the 4-4-2, once they start consistently playing competent football (or the walking wounded are well and truly back), then you can switch things up, but this squad needs to succeed while executing the basics.
- Don’t be afraid to let the kids play, Liam Fraser’s done well (congrats on the Homegrown Game selection!), Jordan Hamilton is playing some of his best football and Ryan Telfer has been solid for much of the season – they may not be your first choice, but they’re not bad choices. In fact I’d like to see Jay Chapman added to that list in situations where the team needs a little attacking flair – maybe not to start but later in the game? Why not.
- Don’t lose. Seriously, please don’t lose to an imploding team. Please.
They should win. Really it will be a surprise – and a pretty bad one at that – if they lose. And they need to win (yes I know that you know), as their season is still very much in danger. Plus with the Voyageurs Cup starting they need to be in a winning frame of mind as getting back into the CCL is going to be this season’s highlight.
We were all rather optimistic about this match on this week’s podcast (we all predicted a win), so prove us right TFC, prove us right.