Match Preview: Winnable Game North of the Border
2022 is supposed to be a rebuilding year for Toronto FC. Most of us are aware of their signature signing of Italian international Lorenzo Insigne – but he will not arrive until the Summer. Right now, TFC are a very young and inexperienced team with 12 players 24 years of age or younger. In their last match, they had 9 players on the field under 24. Most TFC fans admit that they probably won’t make the playoffs this year, even with huge signings arriving later on. That said, now is a great time for DCU to be making the trip north.
So far, Toronto have played some decent teams (Dallas, RBNY, Columbus); but only have 1 point, which came against Dallas, away from home. If you were to watch that game, I think it’s fair to say that Toronto maybe stole that point? IMO, Dallas really could have – and should have - won it.
In week 2, TFC were destroyed by RBNY. In week 3, Toronto seemed to play better, but ultimately didn’t have enough in the second half to hold onto their lead, losing 2-1. Interestingly, TFC played Michael Bradley as a CB in their last match against Columbus…possibly signaling some inconsistency problems and/or roster problems at the back.
Sidenote – I know this isn’t the case, but Michael Bradley playing at CB for Bob Bradley as Manager has big time “little league” vibes. My son will bat third and be the starting pitcher, even if it makes no sense – kind of thing.
With that said, on paper, TFC are still competing. They’ve won the possession battle in every match, have a high pass completion percentage as a team, and have generated some good chances. To me, that signifies that maybe TFC are just a young team that will take some time to put full performances together. Let’s hope that it’s not this weekend.
From a DCU perspective; our players just need to play their game. At this point Toronto doesn’t have its stars and don’t have anybody that are huge matchup problems for us. As long as DCU are organized, they should be able to get a result in Toronto.
The last 2 blogs, I’ve written about how the central midfield needs to step up. In this matchup with TFC, I think we actually matchup okay in this area. Now, all eyes are on our front 3. Through 3 games, they haven’t really created much. We have 2 goals off of deflections and 2 PKs. I think it’s fair to give the front 3 time to sync; however, we need to see some signs of putting it together now. Now that Robertha is healthy, we have legitimate group of talented attackers (on paper). I’d like to see more creativity and interplay between the top 3…. And I’d like to see Flores get into better positions and be more decisive with the ball.
Make no mistake, this is an important game for DCU. 9 points from 12 to start the season is a heck of a lot better than 6 points from 12. Looking at DCU’s fixtures after the break… there will be some losses incoming. Beating a weakened and inexperienced TFC team now would be a massive result come September. These are the types of games you have to win if you want to be a playoff team.
That being said, I would probably still take a draw away from home.
Right now, Vegas deems TFC as the slightest of favorites. TFC don’t have a clean sheet yet this season, and have given up the second-most goals in the league (7ga) behind San Jose and Montreal (8ga). They also have yet to be shutout… for those reasons, I’ll be optimistic and pick DCU to win 2-1.
Let’s see some goals!