MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs Toronto FC

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

Match Preview

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.


Gallery: Exclusive images from Toronto FC’s 1-0 win at the Sounders

Seattle Sounders faced off against Toronto FC for the first time since the 2016 MLS Cup Final on Saturday evening, with the Reds getting revenge over the home side with a 1-0 win thanks to a first-half Jozy Altidore penalty.

Seattle suffered their first home defeat under Brian Schmetzer as they failed to find an equaliser, despite firing 12 shots towards Clint Irwin’s goal – only two of which were actually on target.

Toronto’s win was made all the more impressive considering Sebastian Giovinco was left in Toronto to rest following their midweek home win over Orlando, while Victor Vazquez, Steven Beitashour and Eriq Zavaleta were also rested.

Check out exclusive photos from Saturday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Paul Kahl.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Orlando City
Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, May 3rd – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Toronto FC 3/5 – Draw 14/5 – Orlando City 4/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC welcome Orlando City to BMO Field in a pivotal midweek clash at the top of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night.

Both sides have started the season well, picking up just one defeat each, and know a win in this fixture would really send out a message to the rest of the conference.

Toronto hadn’t looked convincing through six games but back-to-back home victories over Chicago and Houston have fired them into fifth place in the East. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore have snapped into form and will now be looking to tear teams apart on a weekly basis, as they did so often last term.

The Reds remain unbeaten at home and will be looking to pick up a third-straight win against an Orlando side that are running away at the top of the East at this early stage of the campaign.

Jason Kreis has watched his men win six of their opening seven matches, with the new Orlando City Stadium proving to be a fortress so far.

The Lions’ only loss so far this term did come on the road however. They lost 2-0 at Columbus but have since won 2-0 at Yankee Stadium and have only shipped five goals in total this season so far.

Orlando are the only side yet to draw a game in 2017 but they’d be happy to leave Toronto with a point to keep them atop the standings heading into a tricky weekend game in Houston.

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They have yet to win at Toronto in MLS, losing twice before a 0-0 draw last September. Their only goal at BMO Field came in a 4-1 loss two years ago so they must try and forget about their recent record if they are to get anything from Wednesday’s game.

Team News

Toronto FC remain without Chris Mavinga and Drew Moor, although the centre-back is close to returning. Clint Irwin, Ashtone Morgan and Jason Hernandez are also expected to miss Wednesday’s game. Greg Vanney might rotate his squad ahead of the weekend trip to Seattle.

Orlando City welcomed back Kaka for the first time since opening weekend as he scored in their 2-0 win over Colorado and the Brazilian will be looking to start after coming off the bench on Saturday. Kevin Alston remains out, while Rafael Ramos and Jose Aja are doubts. The Lions face a trip to Houston at the weekend so Jason Kreis might look to rotate his team too. Former Toronto duo Joe Bendik and Will Johnson will be looking to shine against their former employers.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s form: D/D/L/W/W

Orlando City’s form: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Defensive stand – Toronto and Orlando are two of only four teams to have conceded less than a goal-per-game so far this season, along with Sporting KC and FC Dallas.

Key Player: Jozy Altidore – The powerful Toronto striker has started the season in great form, scoring five goals in eight games. He has proven too good for Orlando in the past, netting five in four appearances against the Lions and will look to hurt them again here.

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 1-0 Orlando City – This has the makings of being a low-scoring affair between two sides that have defended impressively through the opening weeks of the season. Both have players capable of winning this game but Toronto have home advantage and have made the count the past two weeks. If anyone is likely to take all three points here, it’s the Reds. But you can expect this to be close.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo
Venue: BMO Field – Friday, April 28 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Toronto 8/15 – Draw 3/1 – Houston 9/2

Match Preview

Toronto FC welcome Houston Dynamo to BMO Field as Week 9 springs into life with this intriguing inter-conference clash.

Toronto got their first home win of the season in last week’s 3-1 victory over Chicago Fire and will be looking to follow that up with another three points in front of their own fans as they try to climb the Eastern Conference.

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The Reds are sitting in seventh place coming into the weekend but are only five points off Orlando at the top and will feel they are now in a position to start progressing after a fairly quiet start to the new season.

Greg Vanney’s men have only lost one of their last eight home regular season games – none of which have come this season – and they know they are expected to take the game to Houston here.

The Dynamo have been one of the real surprise packages so far in 2017. They enter Week 9 third in the West after posting a 4-1-2 record through their opening seven games.

The real positive for Houston has been the re-emergence of Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres, along with attacking players such as Alberth Elis and Rommel Quioto. The trio have scored 13 of the Dynamo’s 15 goals this term and look dangerous every time they come forward.

Houston have lost both away games so far this term though, and that will be the major worry for Wilmer Cabrera heading into Friday’s game in Toronto. They fell 4-2 at Portland before more recently suffering a 2-0 loss in New England.

It’s been almost two years since the Dynamo won away at an Eastern Conference side and they must start to change that record if they are to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield this term.

This will be the 21st MLS clash between the two sides. Toronto have only picked up four wins in the previous 20 games against Houston and are currently winless in four against the Texans.

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Team News

Toronto still have five players out through injury with Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Ashtone Morgan, Chris Mavinga and Jason Hernandez all set to miss out again here. The positive news is that Drew Moor is only expected to be out for another two weeks after an irregular heartbeat was discovered.

George Malki remains out for the season for the Dynamo, who could also be without four first-teamers that are are all doubts. AJ DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Agus and Ricardo Clark are all carrying knocks and might not be passed fit in time for Friday’s contest.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s form: W/D/D/L/W

Houston Dynamo’s form: L/W/L/D/W

Key Stat: Houston haven’t won away at an Eastern Conference side in MLS since May 2015, although that victory came at BMO Field in their most recent trip to Toronto.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Atomic Ant is back and has the fire burning in his belly if his reaction to being substituted in last week’s win over Chicago is anything to go by. Giovinco got two in last Friday’s victory and now has three in his last three. He got off to a slow start this season but is looking on his way back to his scary best – something the Dynamo defence will be very nervous about.

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 3-1 Houston Dynamo – It’s difficult to see the Dynamo’s road form picking up on Friday night. Toronto are unbeaten at BMO Field so far this term and got their first win against Chicago last week. The Dynamo attack have impressed and will expect to find the net but with Giovinco and Jozy Altidore looking like they’re nearing top form, the Reds should prove too strong.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, April 15 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST) 
Match Odds: Columbus 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – Toronto 2/1

Match Preview

Columbus Crew welcome Toronto FC to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday night in the latest clash between the Trillium Cup rivals, with both looking for three vital points as they look to prove their credentials in the East.

Columbus started the season poorly before winning three-straight games and climbing to the top of the conference But they fell short last weekend as they lost 1-0 in Chicago and they need to work on finding some consistency if they are to stay at the top of the East.

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They have one of the league’s most potent attacking units, with the addition of Kekuta Manneh making them even more of a threat, so it’s now about building a winning mentality as they look to get back to the MLS Cup Final this season.

Toronto FC have yet to lose a game this season but they’ve only recorded one victory in five outings so far and are capable of much better. Sebastian Giovinco got off the mark for the season in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Atlanta United but his struggle for form has meant the Reds have been finding it tough to put the ball in the net.

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They will remain tough to beat this season – something Greg Vanney will be delighted with – but they need to find their attacking rhythm if they are to get back to an MLS Cup Final this year.

Three of the last five meetings between these sides have ended all square. Toronto won last year’s Trillium Cup series 4-1 on aggregate but only won one of the three games and haven’t won away at the Crew for two seasons.

Team News

Columbus Crew will be without Gaston Sauro for the season, while there are doubts hanging over Dilly Duka, Jonathan Mensah, Harrison Afful and Brad Stuver.

Toronto have two players ruled out as goalkeeper Clint Irwin will miss out along with Ashtone Morgan.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s form: L/W/W/W/L

Toronto FC’s form: D/D/W/D/D

Key Stat: Toronto haven’t lost away to an Eastern Conference opponent in regular season play since June 2016 (3-2 defeat at Orlando).

Key Player: Justin Meram – The Crew attacker has been in great form so far this season, scoring three goals in Crew SC’s last two home games. If he is on song, Columbus will be in a great position to go on and win Saturday’s game.

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Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 1-1 Toronto FC – Despite being seven places behind Columbus coming into Week 7, Toronto are only three points off the Crew and will fancy their chances of getting a first win in Ohio since 2014 here. However, these sides have drawn two of their last three and another close battle is expected here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Atlanta United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Atlanta United FC
Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, April 8 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST) 
Match Odds: Toronto 3/5 – Draw 3/1 – Atlanta 4/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC welcome Atlanta United to BMO Field for their first ever meeting on Saturday night, with both sides looking to continue fairly solid starts to the season in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto have yet to lose any of their opening four games this season but they enter the weekend in sixth place as they’ve only managed to seal one win so far.

The 2016 MLS Cup runners-up have looked solid defensively – conceding just two goals – but haven’t been the attacking unit we have become accustomed to watching over the past two seasons.

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The Reds need Giovinco to get off the mark. The Atomic Ant has yet to score this term and Toronto will be hoping to take all three points in their second home game of the season here.

Atlanta have surprised many people with just how experienced they’ve seemed in their debut MLS campaign so far. The expansion franchise lost 2-1 to the Red Bulls on the opening weekend but have picked up seven points from a possible nine since and look to be in a great position.

They enter the weekend in second place in the East and could go top with a win depending on Columbus Crew’s result in Chicago earlier on Saturday.

The loss of Josef Martinez to injury is a major blow for Atlanta, who drew 0-0 at Seattle without the Venezuelan star last week. Tata Martino’s side would probably settle for a draw in the second of four-straight road games here.

Team News

Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin is out after leaving the SKC game with a hamstring strain last week so Alex Bono will start his second game of the season. Ashtone Morgan remains sidelined with a foot injury.

Atlanta are set to be without MLS Player of the Month Josef Martinez for the second-straight week as he continues with his recovery from a quad injury. Zach Loyd is out with a groin problem.

Key Points

Toronto’s form: D/D/W/D

Atlanta’s form: L/W/W/D

Key Stat: Atlanta have registered 21 shots on target through their first four games – averaging the second-highest amount per game in the league so far.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – We’re six weeks into the new season but incredibly Giovinco has yet to get off the mark. He missed the game in Vancouver through injury but has played two-and-a-half games without firing for Toronto. He will be hoping to shine as the Reds look to get their first home win at the second attempt on Saturday.

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Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-1 Atlanta United – Atlanta did well to leave Seattle with a clean sheet last week but they conceded several chances and might be in trouble if Giovinco finally finds his form. The Reds are favourites and look primed to get their first home win of the season here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC
Venue: BC Place – Saturday, March 18 – 16:00 ET (20:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports Mix in UK) 
Match Odds: Vancouver 11/8 – Draw 9/4 – Toronto 15/8

Match Preview

Vancouver welcome Toronto to BC Place for the first all-Canadian clash of the season on Saturday afternoon, with both sides still looking for their first wins of the new season.

The Whitecaps let a 2-0 lead slip at San Jose last weekend, losing 3-2 after goalkeeper David Ousted was sent off in the first half. They will be without their excellent stopper here and need to defend better than they did last time out if they are to take anything from this game.

Carl Robinson’s squad might also be suffering from fatigue after travelling to Tigres for the first-leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semi-final on Tuesday. They lost that game 2-0 and are in desperate need of a pick-me-up against Toronto.

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Vancouver need to give their supporters something to cheer about this weekend, especially after their home opener ended 0-0 against Philadelphia two weeks ago.

Toronto FC have drawn both of their games to begin the new season and while that in itself isn’t great, the fact that both have come on the road means the Reds are still in a strong position in the East.

The major concern for Toronto this weekend is that they will be without star man Sebastian Giovinco after the Atomic Ant left last week’s 2-2 draw in Philadelphia with a leg contusion. He is not expected to be out for long but he won’t be in Vancouver this weekend, instantly making the visitors less threatening.

Toronto’s draw at the Union last week was full of drama as both sides earned penalties and threw away leads in a back-and-forth contest. Greg Vanney will want his side to show more composure here as they look to take their first three points of 2017 against a side they have only beaten once in eight previous trips to BC Place.

These two sides met a total of three times last season, once in MLS and twice in the two-legged Canadian Championship final, which Toronto won on away goals in June. Vancouver won the regular season meeting 4-3 at BMO Field in an end-to-end goal fest.

Team News

Vancouver will miss David Ousted here so Paolo Tornaghi will fill in between the sticks. The Whitecaps also remain without David Edgar, Yordy Reyna and Brett Levis.

Toronto are going to have to try and cope without Giovinco as he is in Italy receiving treatment on a leg contusion picked up at Philadelphia last weekend. Ashtone Morgan is still out while Steven Beitashour is a doubt after missing last week’s game with concussion.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: D/L

Toronto’s form: D/D

Key Stat: There have been 26 goals in the seven previous MLS regular season clashes between these sides – an average of 3.7 per game.

Key Player: Jozy Altidore – With Giovinco out, even more pressure is on Altidore’s shoulders to fire his side to three points in Vancouver this weekend. The powerful forward earned and converted the penalty that got Toronto back into last week’s game and he’ll look to cause havoc for stand-in ‘Caps goalkeeper Tornaghi.

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Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 Toronto FC – This is an intriguing game as both sides are missing star players in Ousted and Giovinco. Vancouver’s midweek trip to Mexico might leave them feeling the effects against a Toronto side that has had a full week to recover from their draw at Philadelphia. There should be goals here, but the away side look to be in a stronger position to go and get all three points.

Relief for Toronto as Giovinco’s injury not thought to be serious

Sebastian Giovinco’s injury is not thought to be serious, despite initial concerns as he limped off the field in Toronto’s 2-2 draw away to Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening.

Toronto fans would have feared the worst when they saw the Italian star replaced by Tosaint Ricketts in first-half stoppage time, but Greg Vanney revealed after the game that the injury is not as serious as it appeared.

“He’s OK,” the Toronto head coach said after the game. “He’s sore. It was a contusion around the side of the leg. When that gets swollen and tightened up, it’s tough to loosen up and move. We’ll see how he progresses over the next couple of days.”

Giovinco was forced off after a heavy challenge from defender Oguchi Onyewu, just moments before Toronto then earned a penalty which Jozy Altidore dispatched to get them back into the contest.

The Reds then went 2-1 up on 71 minutes thanks to a Justin Morrow goal but were pegged back two minutes later when CJ Sapong rounded Clint Irwin to seal a draw.

Toronto have started the season with back-to-back road draws but will be frustrated after letting their lead slip at Philadelphia, just a week after Giovinco missed a penalty at Real Salt Lake in that opening 0-0 draw.

They travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps next weekend but it is unclear whether Giovinco will be back in time to play on the artificial turf at BC Place.

2016 MLS Cup Final: Exclusive photos from the Sounders’ penalty win over Toronto

The 2016 MLS season is now officially over. Saturday’s MLS Cup Final was far from the game many had hoped for, with Seattle Sounders and Toronto playing out a disappointing 0-0 after 120 minutes of action, but history was made at the end at BMO Field.

Seattle lifted a first ever MLS Cup title after edging past Toronto in a tense penalty shootout, with centre-back Roman Torres slotting in the winning penalty to send the travelling Sounders fans into raptures.

Toronto captain Michael Bradley missed in the shootout, but it was Justin Morrow’s shot that cannoned off the crossbar which allowed Torres to seal the victory.

Check out exclusive photos from Saturday’s final below, taken by our MLS Photographer Denise McCooey.

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MLS Cup Final Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Seattle Sounders

Competition: 2016 MLS Cup Final – Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders 

Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, December 10 – 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Toronto 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle 14/5

Match Preview

Toronto face Seattle Sounders in the 2016 MLS Cup Final on Saturday night in what is set to be a historic night for one of these two sides, with both making the final for the first time.

Both teams deserve to be here after strong runs and both have plenty of goals in them, so we’re in for a real treat in this year’s showpiece game.

Toronto head coach Greg Vanney believes this will be the “biggest MLS Cup to date”, given the fact that two of the league’s major-market franchises are going head-to-head, and he’s probably not wrong.

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Toronto have set a record during their run to the final. The Reds scored 17 goals during the playoffs, more than any other side has managed in history, so they’ll be confident of adding to that tally in Saturday’s final.

This is the first time a Canadian team has ever made the final and the Reds will now be aiming to lift the trophy on home soil in what will be a special night.

Seattle are a really dangerous opponent though and travel to Toronto off the back of one of the most incredible turnarounds this season.

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Sounders fans won’t want to recall their horrendous start to the season. They sat ninth in the West at the halfway point but have managed to completely transform their fortunes and have gone on to prove themselves as one of the league’s most dangerous sides.

A 3-1 aggregate win over Colorado got the Sounders here, and they will be expecting to cause Toronto troubles given the creativity of Nicolas Lodeiro and pace of Jordan Morris in attack.

The only meeting between these sides during the regular season ended 1-1 at BMO Field but Seattle had won two in a row at BMO before that draw in July.

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Team News

Toronto have no injuries or suspensions to worry about ahead of the final and so Greg Vanney can put out his strongest possible team for this crunch tie.

Seattle remain without Clint Dempsey, who has been out for a long time with an irregular heartbeat, while Oalex Anderson is listed as ‘questionable’. Other than than, there are no concerns and so an unchanged lineup could be sent out at BMO Field on Saturday.

Key Points

Toronto’s last five: W/W/W/L/W

Seattle’s last five: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Goal-fest – There have been 15 goals in the last five meetings between these teams, with both sides scoring in each of those five clashes.

Key Player: Jozy Altidore – A number of talented players will be on show during Saturday’s final, but Jozy Altidore is arguably the in-form player in MLS coming into this one. He has five goals in his last seven and has played a starring role in guiding Toronto to their first ever MLS Cup Final. Playing at BMO Field will play into his hands, so expect the powerful forward to shine here.

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Score Prediction

Toronto 2-3 Seattle – Goals are expected in what will be a historic MLS Cup Final on Saturday night. Both sides have reason to be optimistic but Seattle have worked wonders to get this far and will be intent on making sure they finish the job after an incredible run to the final. Home advantage is in Toronto’s favour, but as we saw last season in Columbus, home form doesn’t always mean that much in a game of this magnitude. It could honestly go either way, but we expect to see Seattle lifting the trophy come the end of the night.