Orlando City SC vs. Toronto FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Orlando City SC vs. Toronto FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Orlando City Stadium – Orlando, Florida
Wednesday, July 5 – 7:30 pm ET
WATCH: TSN1/3/4; MLS LIVE in US
After a flicker of dark times, it happened. Orlando City finally won on the road and restored their fans' hope after a bumpy stretch. It may not have been the prettiest win, with the Lions topping Real Salt Lake, 1-0, last Friday night. It did, however, finally snap a winless road streak that started in April. That's got to be comforting for the squad, who return this time around to a place where their luck has fared much better -- Orlando City Stadium.
There's a big thing, though. They'll have to host Toronto FC, one of the deadliest sides in the East, who trail conference (and Supporters' Shield) leaders Chicago Fire by only two points. They might be smarting a little bit after a 3-1 loss at FC Dallas, but that comes as a relative speed bump. They're still the recently minted Canadian champs, after all, and are currently unabashed in their quest for a treble. Expect sparks to fly.
Orlando City SC
There are a few major points to note from the outing at Real Salt Lake. First, of course, the big one: Cyle Larin returned to the fold after missing three games and undergoing the league's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program, following a DUI on June 15.
“Cyle addressed the team before the [training] session, so it’s obviously nice to have him back, and nice to see that he’s regretful about his actions,” said head coach Jason Kreis last week. “As we’ve said before he left [for the league’s SABH program], once we take responsibility for our actions and apologize for that, we forgive and we move forward."
And determined, perhaps, to make good, Larin put in work during his return vs. Real Salt Lake. "I thought he really worked hard for us. I thought he was quite good on a couple of occasions,” Kreis said that night.
Still, Larin wasn't the one who wound up on the scoreboard. Instead, that was midfielder Will Johnson, who called the result "a relief." That's also ought to give the Canadian MLS staple some added confidence heading back home.
One more thing, though -- Kaká didn't look super happy that night when Kreis subbed him off. Grab the popcorn to see how this pans out.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT – M - Carlos Rivas (sprained ankle)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Joe Bendik (GK) – Scott Sutter, Jose Aja, Jonathan Spector, Donny Toia – Will Johnson, Cristian Higuita – Antonio Nocerino, Kaká, Giles Barnes – Cyle Larin
TFC left Toyota Stadium wincing, but you almost can't get too upset about the loss. It was FC Dallas, after all, continuously a top contender and fierce about defending their home fortress.
The Reds can at least look to one bright spot from this past week, anyways. That would be a top-notch save from goalkeeper Alex Bono, who denied the New England Revolution's Teal Bunbury the week before to earn Save of the Week honors.
The results in Orlando, in any event, will matter big to Toronto, who could already be seriously battling the Chicago Fire for this year's Supporters' Shield. Plenty in the race for that silverware will ride on their meeting on August 19; now is the time for contenders to rack up as many points as possible.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: M - Armando Cooper (Panama); M - Raheem Edwards (Canada), M - Jonathan Osorio (Canada), M - Tosaint Ricketts (Canada); D - Justin Morrow (USA)
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Nick Hagglund (torn MCL), D - Steven Beitashour (abdominal injury)
Projected Starting XI (3-5-2, right to left): Alex Bono(GK) – Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga – Oyvind Alseth, Marco Delgado, Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyrou, Ashtone Morgan – Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco,
- Overall: Orlando 1 win, 6 goals; Toronto 5 wins, 17 goals; 1 draw
- At Orlando: Orlando 1 win (4 goals) … Toronto 2 wins (6 goals) … Draws 0
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Claudiu Badea
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik