FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC
8:30 PM Toyota Stadium Frisco, Texas
Even with Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC's new shiny toys have been unable to keep fans distracted from a disheartening start. While Giovinco and Altidore, and Cheyrou for that matter, run around the field showing how much this team's attack has improved, any time the ball gets near the backline things change.
So far Toronto has allowed 2 goals a game, making it no surprise that they have been unable to grab more than three points on the season even with their offensive weapons. They have the second most goals allowed in the Eastern Conference, even though they have played less games than every other team except Montreal Impact.
A huge part of their back line deficiencies have come from injuries, and they will get some help on that front today. Damien Perquis is back and will be starting at his usual centreback position. Having his veteran presence should help show at least a bit of improvement to Toronto's backline.
In this regard, Toronto's opponent, FC Dallas, is fairly similar. They have all sort of attacking options, likely more than Toronto FC when healthy, and demonstrated that to full effect at the start of the season. Then last week they had a full defensive breakdown and lost 4-0 to the lowly Colorado Rapids. All of the sudden there was hope for Toronto.
What does still cause worry, however, is how good FC Dallas are on set pieces. They have a number of players who can score, like Blas Perez and Tesho Akindele, and players with decent service, like Michel and Kyle Bekker one out of five times. Toronto has been incredibly poor at defending in the air all season.
A win for Toronto would go a big way towards restoring a road trip that still isn't a disaster yet, but could be if Toronto can't find at least some points in Texas tonight.
Definitely a couple of surprises here, not the least of which is Justin Morrow remaining in the centre of defense alongside Perquis. Nick Hagglund at rightback, in place of the suspended Warren Creavealle is a smart move though.
Probably the biggest surprise is that Benoit Cheyrou will not be playing in the centre of midfield, as he has been one of Toronto's best players so far this season. Whether there is something else behind this it hasn't become public. Collen Warner will take his spot in the midfield, while Jackson will join out wide in place of Robbie Findley.
Follow along in the comments section below as Toronto FC look for their second victory of the season.