Toronto FC vs. New York City FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Toronto FC vs. New York City FC
2017 MLS Regular season
BMO Field - Toronto, Ontario
Sunday, July 30 - 2 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN, TSN 4/5, ESPN Deportes
A little more than a week after two of the Eastern Conference's top teams split the points in a unsatisfying midweek draw at Yankee Stadium, Toronto FC and New York City FC meet again on national TV with the top spot in table potentially on the line.
The big questions for Greg Vanney: Will Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley go right back in the TFC XI after the Gold Cup final on Wednesday? And how will he replace Benoit Cheyrou, out for two months with a calf tear? Meanwhile, Patrick Vieira will be looking to maintain regular-season hegemony in a matchup that's seen NYCFC's go undefeated in six games all-time.
Those six games don't include the playoffs, of course, a season-ending memory the blue side of New York is still trying to forget. Perhaps a win in Toronto and a place at the top of the standings can assuage the pain caused by a 7-0 aggregate embarrassment last season in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The Reds felt robbed back on July 19, when Jay Chapman's would-be game-winner was called back by referee Jorge Gonzalez. Chapman didn't know much about the play -- Ben Spencer's centering ball banged off his shin and past the goalkeeper -- but further review between center and assistant referee resulted in the go-ahead goal being disallowed.
It didn't go over well with TFC, and it's a play that they'll surely remember when they take the field on Sunday.
“I was shocked,” Chapman told the Toronto Sun at the time. “I didn’t know too much about the play. For me, it was my first goal so I was pretty excited. I guess the referees saw something I didn’t. That’s football."
Fortunately for Chapman, it didn't take long for him to find the net again. The Homegrown midfielder scored the Reds' lone goal in a 1-1 draw against Colorado a few days later.
- Suspended: None
- International duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Steven Beitashour (abdominal injury), M - Benoit Cheyrou (calf tear)
Projected Starting XI (3-5-2, right to left): Alex Bono – Jason Hernandez, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga – Raheem Edwards, Marco Delgado, Jay Chapman, Victor Vazquez, Nicolas Hasler – Sebastian Giovinco, Tosaint Ricketts
Notes: Toronto are unbeaten in their last 11 home league matches (8W-3D) and have outscored the opposition 25-9 along those games. The 1-1 draw with Colorado last weekend snapped a three-game home shutout streak. … Victor Vazquez created five chances against Colorado last weekend, his third MLS game this year with five or more key passes. Only Sacha Kljestan (6), Romain Alessandrini (5), Benny Feilhaber (4), and Lee Nguyen (4) have had more games with five or more key passes this season.
New York City FC
NYCFC are 90 minutes away from recording a pair of wins against their top two Eastern Conference challengers in the course of the week. Though they were down a man against the Fire last Saturday, David Villa managed to lead the home team to a gut-check 2-1 win.
Talented young defensive midfielder Yangel Herrera received that red card and will miss Sunday's match through suspension, as will a laundry list of possible starters thanks to injury, but Vieira still has reason to feel confident his team can march into BMO and take three more points as well as the top seed in the East going into the All-Star break.
And while NYCFC have the advantage in the regular season (2-0-4 all-time), Vieira knows this game could make a statement to the rest of the conference and the league. That playoff loss still looms large, after all.
“When you look at all the games that we’ve played since I’ve been at this club, they’ve always been the better team,” Vieira told amNY. “I think the momentum and confidence is more in their camp than it can be now because we suffer every time we play them, and that’s something we need to change around.”
- Suspended: Yangel Herrera (red card)
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: F - Khiry Shelton (hamstring injury, out 4-6 weeks), D - Ronald Matarrita (foot surgery), M - Miguel Camargo (non-displaced hip fracture), D/M - James Sands (right ASIS apophysitis injury), M - Rodney Wallace (right adductor strain), D - Maxime Chanot
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3) GK: Sean Johnson – R.J. Allen, Frederic Brillant, Alexander Callens, Ethan White – Maxi Moralez, Alexander Ring, Mikey Lopez – Jack Harrison, David Villa, Tommy McNamara
Notes: NYCFC have lost three of their last five road league games (2W) though they have outscored the opposition 9-8 across the five matches. Their 1.6 goals per away game is second best in the league to the LA Galaxy. … NYCFC average 25.4 touches in the opposition box per game, the most of any team in the league.
The two teams played to a 2-2 draw on July 19 at Yankee Stadium in their lone meeting so far this season.
- Overall: Toronto 0 wins (9 goals) … NYC 2 wins (13 goals) … Ties 4
- At Toronto: Toronto 0 win (1 goals) … NYC 1 wins (3 goals) … Ties 1
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: Jeff Muschik, Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Geoff Gamble