New York City FC vs. Toronto FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
New York City FC vs. Toronto FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Yankee Stadium - The Bronx, New York
Wednesday, July 19 - 7:30 p.m. ET
WATCH: TSN4; MLS LIVE in US
Is this when Toronto FC make their big move?
The 2016 Eastern Conference champs are tied for the current lead with the resurgent Chicago Fire, and can take it over with a result on Wednesday at New York City FC. With a win, they can also gain distance on another contender for the East crown.
The Reds' insane late-April-through-May roll has slowed a bit – but just a bit. They've still won three of their last four MLS outings, and with a Canadian Championship title already in the books, TFC have legit hopes of once again making a run at a double – or perhaps the league's first domestic treble.
NYCFC won't be pushovers, though. The Citizens sit third in the East, five points back of the co-leaders, and they've lost only once at Yankee Stadium this year. After having a four-match winning streak snapped in a 3-2 loss at Vancouver on July 5, they'll be looking to start another run and stay in the East hunt on Wednesday.
New York City FC
As this will be the first meeting in 2017 between the last two seasons' MLS MVPs, let's check in on both and see how they're doing.
For starters, David Villa has picked up in 2017 where he left off in 2016, after picking up in 2016 where he left off in 2015.
In other words, he's killing it again. The reigning Golden Boot winner and Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player has 12 goals and six assists on the season, and shows no signs of age at 35.
New York aren't a one-man show, though – with eight goals and five assists, Jack Harrison continues his growth into stardom in just his second professional season.
- Suspended: None.
- Int’l Duty: M Miguel Camargo (Panama), M Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica)
- Injury Report: OUT: F Khiry Shelton (hamstring injury), D Ronald Matarrita (foot surgery 6/30)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, right to left): Sean Johnson – Ben Sweat, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, R.J. Allen – Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera – Tommy McNamara, Maxi Moralez, Jack Harrison – David Villa
Notes: NYCFC right back Ben Sweat has proved to be an unexpected source of offense since taking over the starting role on April 29, his MLS debut. In his 11 appearances since he has a goal and four assists to his name.
In the Reds' corner, Sebastian Giovinco has been limited by injury to 14 of Toronto FC's 19 matches – but his productivity over that time shows that the Atomic Ant hasn't lost his bite.
Giovinco has nine goals and four assists heading into Wednesday's match and is coming off a brace in the Reds' 3-1 victory over Orlando City SC on July 5.
What, you thought we were going to leave everyone else out? Not when Jozy Altidore is on eight goals in league play after netting once against the Lions. Unfortunately for the Reds, though, they will have to find the goals from elsewhere – likely Jordan Hamilton – on Wednesday with the news that Altidore has been called into the US team for the Gold Cup knockout stages.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: M Armando Cooper (Panama), M Jonathan Osorio (Canada), F Tosaint Ricketts (Canada), D Justin Morrow (USA) F Jozy Altidore (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 – Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga – Oyvind Alseth, Marco Delgado, Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyrou, Raheem Edwards – Jordan Hamilton, Sebastian Giovinco
Notes: After not starting a game since Oct. 14, 2015, left back Ashtone Morgan – TFC's longest-tenured player – started the last two games for the Reds with Raheem Edwards away on Gold Cup duty with Canada. However, Edwards will be available for selection on Wednesday after being swapped out of the Canadian team for Cyle Larin.
Toronto swept the postseason series with NYCFC last year, but have yet to beat them in five regular-season tries.
- Overall: New York City 2 wins (11 goals) … Toronto 0 wins (7 goals) … Ties 3
- At New York: New York City 1 win (8 goals) … Toronto 0 wins (6 goals) … Ties 2
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Jose Da Silva, Danny Thornberry
Fourth Official: Jose Carlos Rivero