Toronto FC's season starts tonight, as does their quest to make the MLS playoffs for the first time. While they are only hours away from kick off against Vancouver (6 p.m.), we predict player contributions and form for the upcoming MLS season.
Ashtone Morgan: Last season, Morgan was nearly invisible with Justin Morrow occupying the left-back position. He is likely to see limited minutes again unless Morrow gets injured. Morgan will also want to impress Benito Floro with the CONCACAF Gold Cup approaching. He had an impressive preseason game against the New York Red Bulls, and hopefully his hard work will translate into opportunities.
Justin Morrow: Arguably the most impressive and consistent player for TFC last season, Morrow has established himself as one of the top left-backs in MLS. In addition to his defensive abilities, Morrow is able to move further up the pitch to provide another outlet to the likes of Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyrou, and Sebastian Giovinco. Now with more emphasis on attacks being created through the middle of the pitch, Morrow will be needed even more to send crosses into the box. As long as his ankle stays healthy, he will continue to be one of TFC's most important players throughout the season.
Jonathan Osorio: Osorio will be looking to have a much better season, putting his hamstring injury in the past. When he played for TFC as a rookie two seasons ago, the Canadian international showed promise and was also included in the MLS 24 Under 24. He may not be called to the Canadian Gold Cup side, similar to the Gold Cup in 2013 because he had an important role with Toronto FC. All signs are pointing to Osorio playing on the left flank, cutting into the central areas to link up with Bradley, Cheyrou, and Giovinco. He is highly rated among the TFC coaching staff as he is the only key Canadian player still with the squad.
Damien Perquis: Signed as a free agent after his contract was terminated by Real Betis, Perquis will quickly establish himself as one of MLS' best centre-backs. Hailed by many as the most crucial signing of the offseason, Caldwell finally has an experienced centre-back to partner with. He is injury prone though so his health will be key to TFC's success.
Collen Warner: Acquired from the trade that sent Issey to Montreal, Warner was a solid replacement for Bradley when he was at the FIFA World Cup. His role on the team is diminishing with the signing of Cheyrou. He will be important coming off the bench when TFC has a small lead. He reported to preseason as the fittest player and his short training stint with Werder Bremen definitely helped him improve as a player. He will see more time on the pitch when Bradley heads off to the Gold Cup,
Eriq Zavaleta: Drafted 10th overall in the 2013 MLS Superdraft, there is no question about how good he is. Started his career as a striker and now Greg Vanney hopes to finish his development as a centre-back. Speaking of Vanney, Zavaleta is the nephew of our head coach. That's most likely why Zavaleta is with TFC but with Caldwell and Perquis ways ahead of him, he is likely to see minutes if any one of the two CBs gets injured.