Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC
Venue: Toyota Stadium – Saturday, July 1 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: FC Dallas 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – Toronto FC 13/5
Table-topping Toronto FC travel to Texas this weekend to take on FC Dallas in a battle between two Major League Soccer heavyweights.
The meeting between the two sides last season saw Toronto come out on top in a 1-0 win at BMO field but they know they’ve got their work cut out if their to claim a first ever MLS win at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas will be searching for a desperate victory after a recent run of form that is below expectations. With just one win from their last eight league outings, they have been well off the pace and must start improving here if they are to be in contention for the Supporters’ Shield come the end of the regular season.Embed from Getty Images
The current run has seen Sporting Kansas City leapfrog Dallas to top of the Western Conference, and given Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers a way back into the battle for the West title. A change in form is needed and playing the league’s top side is not ideal when three points are of urgent need for Oscar Pareja’s men.
The other issue is that Dallas are without three key men for Saturday’s game. Walker Zimmerman is injured, while fellow defender Matt Hedges is away with the US Men’s National Team, alongside midfielder Kellyn Acosta so squad depth will be seriously tested here.
Toronto are, as mentioned, the top side at the moment. Boasting a strike force of Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore should of course demand such results, but a lot has to be said of their defence. Conceding only 15 goals in 17 games in such an attacking league has to be commended.
If it wasn’t for the amazing form of Chicago Fire, we feel Toronto would gain even more credit for the performances they are showing. A battle for the Eastern Conference is heating up between the two sides and is expected to remain close through the second half of the season.Embed from Getty Images
The Reds will come into this game in high spirits after win a second successive Canadian Championship title on Wednesday night, thanks to a dramatically late Giovinco goal. That result will have kept confidence high but Greg Vanney knows there is a risk they will be fatigued.
This is a huge clash between two sides going for Conference titles, so drama drama, and hopefully and few goals are to be expected at Toyota Stadium on Saturday evening.
FC Dallas have only one man missing through injury as Walker Zimmerman is still out with a knee problem. However, they are going to be without Matt Hedges and Kellyn Acosta, as both are away with the USMNT in preparation for the Gold Cup.
Toronto FC are also missing a defender with a knee injury as Nick Hagglund is still suffering and won’t be involved here. Justin Morrow will be the team’s only absentee as a result of Gold Cup participation this weekend.
FC Dallas’ last five: D/W/L/D/D
Toronto FC’s last five: D/W/L/W/W
Key Stat: FC Dallas have only lose two of their last 26 home matches in the league.
Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – Italian genius Giovinco has had a quiet year by his standards so far. But he has been improving in recent weeks and was instrumental as ever in Wednesday’s Canadian Championship win. We expect him to improve dramatically as Toronto hunt down that elusive first MLS Cup crown.Embed from Getty Images
FC Dallas 1-2 Toronto FC – Toronto look far too strong this term for a Dallas side which has been unusually average by their standards in recent weeks and is missing some key men for this clash.. This is likely to be a tense affair but if either side is going to edge it, it looks more likely to be Toronto.