FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Toyota Stadium – Frisco, Texas
Saturday, July 1 – 7 pm ET
WATCH: TSN4 (CAN) | MLS LIVE Free Match of the Week
If anyone could dream up a super-hype-worthy, East-West match-up, this would probably be it. Toronto sit pretty at the top of the East after a monster 2-1 win in the Canadian Championship over the Montreal Impact. Seriously, you should go watch the late game-winner that got them there, by – who else? – Sebastian Giovinco. The Atomic Ant's sitting at third in shots on goal for the league – and that is, of course, also including his brief injury stretch earlier this season. That is to say, he's in super fine form, which should leave most opponents shaking.
Most opponents, however, are not Dallas, the defending Supporters' Shield winners and monsters of their conference for the past several years. Sure, they're sitting behind Sporting Kansas City in points on the Western Conference table, partially because of a disappointing draw in the most recent Texas Derby. But they turned that frown upside down with haste, summarily stomping the Colorado Rapids in the U.S. Open Cup. And there's no way they'll rest on their laurels; not today – Toronto FC day.
Some note that the Texas Derby is among the most underrated of MLS rivalries, and the most recent edition last week proved the sizzle in that state, with the in-form Houston Dynamo only letting Dallas eke away a draw. But, remember, the Dynamo are pretty great this year -- so Dallas can take this as a decent-enough result. (Okay, wait, wait, we know you hate Houston. Sorry.)
Anyways, Mauro Diaz is back, and has jolted the team's attack once again. This, along with the return of a healthy Ryan Hollingshead, bodes really well for the team's near future. It's just in time, too, as two other key team standouts – Kellyn Acosta and Matt Hedges – are both away on US men's national team duty.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: M - Kellyn Acosta, D - Matt Hedges (US)
- Injury Report: OUT – D - Walker Zimmerman (left MCL strain)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Jesse Gonzalez (GK) – Hernan Grana, Walker Hume, Maynor Figueroa, Ryan Hollingshead – Victor Ulloa, Carlos Gruezo – Michael Barrios, Mauro Diaz, Tesho Akindele – Maxi Urruti
Notes: FC Dallas has never lost to Toronto at home (6W-2D). FC Dallas averages 1.9 goals per home game against Toronto and have shut out Toronto three times.
With a Canadian Championship in the bag, Toronto are more fueled than ever to score their own treble. “We want to win every trophy; compete for every competition we're in," Michael Bradley said after that win. "At the end of the year we want to be the team that has held up the best, won the most, competed the hardest, and won the trophies. We got our first chance tonight.”
It's got to be extra-sweet, too, that the win ended a recent scoring drought for Giovinco in regular league play, in which he had not tallied a goal since May. If any of that was psychological, it's got to have diminished. Plus, he's got the dominant Jozy Altidore to back him up.
"We're here for a reason: to transform this club, and we're seeing it right before our eyes," Altidore said earlier this week. "Nobody's complaining. Seba's not complaining. He's working hard, he's up for the challenge. Form is temporary, that class he's got is permanent. That's not going anywhere.”
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: M - Armando Cooper (PAN); M - Raheem Edwards, M - Jonathan Osorio, M - Tosaint Ricketts (CAN); D - Justin Morrow (US)
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Nick Hagglund (torn MCL)
Projected Starting XI (3-5-2, right to left): Clint Irwin (GK) – Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga – Steven Beitashour, Marco Delgado, Michael Bradley, Victor Vazquez, Jason Hernandez – Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco
Notes: Toronto were beaten 3-0 on the in their last away game against New England. The loss snapped a three-game road unbeaten streak and ended a six-game road scoring streak.
Toronto has only beaten Dallas twice in their 15 all-time meetings, the first ever matchup and the most recent game last season in Toronto.
- Overall: Dallas 8 wins, 22 goals; Toronto 2 wins, 17 goals; 5 draws
- At Dallas: Dallas 6 wins (15 goals) … Toronto 0 wins (8 goals) … Draws 2
- Referee: Ricardo Salazar
- Senior Assistant Referee, near side: Frank Anderson
- Junior Assistant Referee, far side: Jeffrey Greeson
- 4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal