Toronto FC vs. Portland Timbers
5:00 PM Eastern
BMO Field Toronto, ON
The Headliner: Can Toronto FC win without Altidore and Findley
Toronto FC have won three games in this early MLS season, four in all competitions and at least two of them (or three if you count Voyageurs Cup) were almost exclusively due to the play of Altidore. He has been the goal poacher that this team needs to get results they don't always deserve, and now he is out for and month and quite likely even longer.
Meanwhile, Robbie Findley is injured as well meaning the easiest replacement for Altidore is gone. Bright Dike, another valid replacement, is in San Antonio playing NASL. So it falls between Jordan Hamilton and Luke Moore for who will take Altidore's spot, and any betting man would bet on Luke Moore.
Ultimately, however, it will fall on the midfield to create chances. Micheal Bradley will be playing further up the field and Sebastian Giovinco is still the best player on the field in almost every MLS scenario. The two of them being able to provide consistent offense is going to be massive going forward.
Key to the Match: Bradley in his "new" spot
Micheal Bradley has been a revelation for Toronto FC since Greg Vanney moved him up the field. Now if Toronto want to succeed going forward his is going to have to continue to be the engine that powers this train at both ends of the field.
In many ways this could turn out to be a battle between Bradley and Diego Valeri in terms of offensive midfielders who can great and finish chances. Whoever has the better game could very likely determine which team comes away from BMO Field with the victory.
The @BacardiCanada Starting XI: Konopka; Morgan, Zavaleta, Perquis, Morrow; Osorio, Cheyrou, Warner, Bradley; Giovinco, Moore.— Toronto FC (@torontofc) May 23, 2015
No real surprises here. Pretty much the exact lineup that everyone predicted minus Eriq Zavaleta coming in for Nick Hagglund. Should be interesting to see whether that becomes a more permanent fixture after Hagglund has struggled a little bit as of late.
Follow along below in the comments section for what is sure to be an interesting game.