Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: BMO Field – Sunday, September 18 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)
Match Odds: Toronto 5/4 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 2/1
Toronto sit top of the East heading into the weekend and have a game in hand over the New York sides that are both on their tail. The Reds have won seven of their last ten and look to be flying, with a second successive playoff berth all but guaranteed.
They sealed a 2-1 win at Chicago last weekend and will now be looking forward to playing five of their last six regular season games at home.
The Red Bulls will offer a stiff test but Toronto fans will remember their opening day win at Red Bull Arena and know they’re more than capable of outclassing the league’s top sides.
For the visitors, it’s a must-win contest if they are to try and take control of the East heading into the final stretch.
New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in 11 games – a franchise record – and look extremely solid. They will be devastated with the way they threw a 2-0 lead away at home to DC last weekend, with the game ending 2-2, but have to now respond.
Their 1-0 win at Vancouver two weeks ago saw them win an away game for the first time since May and the challenge is now to try and win back-to-back road games for the first time in over a year.
Jesse Marsch’s side have the joint-best attack in MLS, scoring 49 goals in 29 matches so far. A high-scoring contest is expected on Sunday, even though Toronto are still set to be without star man Sebastian Giovinco.
Toronto FC will be without Jay Chapman and Ashtone Morgan, who are both injured, while Mark Bloom, Clint Irwin and Tosaint Ricketts are doubts. Sebastian Giovinco is nearing a return from injury but isn’t expected to be fit enough for Sunday’s game.
New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch remains without Gideon Baah and Connor Lade for the rest of the season, while Omer Damari and Ronald Zubar are doubts. Dax McCarty is expected to make his return following a few weeks on the sidelines.
Toronto’s last five: D/W/W/L/W
NY Red Bulls’ last five: W/D/W/W/D
Key Stat: Form – These two sides are the league’s best as far as recent form goes. Toronto have taken 19 points from their last eight games, with the Red Bulls taking 16.
Key Player: Jozy Altidore – The powerful Toronto striker has been in great form of late, scoring six in his last eight. Last weekend saw Altidore pick up a goal and an assist in the same game for the first time in his MLS career and he looks to be a real threat overtime Toronto go forward.
Toronto FC 2-2 New York Red Bulls – Toronto are the league’s in-form side but they haven’t been as good at home as they would have liked to have been to this point. They should still take something from Sunday’s game but the Red Bulls look unbeatable at the moment and will offer a real test. Goals are expected but ultimately this looks set to end all square.