Toronto FC vs. New York City FC
7:00 PM Eastern
BMO Field Toronto, ON
The Headliner: Winning while they have the strength.
There is no question that this is a crucial part of Toronto FC's season, and it is integral that they put up points now. Getting as many wins as possible before a lot of the team leaves for the Gold Cup will go a long way towards the team ending up in a playoff position at the end of the year.
With Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan Toronto have proven to be a difficult team to beat this year. Without them it is going to be a lot more difficult for the club to get results.
There is the added fact that the next three matches will be played at BMO Field, where it has been no secret Toronto are trying hard to establish an identity. Getting at least six points out of this stretch would go a long way towards achieving both of Toronto's goals.
Today they will face the 19th/20 team in the league, New York City FC. While Toronto has made it a point with their comments not to underestimate their opponent, this really is a game that Toronto should win easily.
The Matchup: Michael Bradley vs. Mix Diskerud
The midfield is where Toronto FC could really win this game because it is the key to freeing up New York City's backline, which isn't very good. On a macro scale, this battle can be characterized by two US men's national team players: Mix Diskerud and Michael Bradley.
In New York, David Villa and Frank Lampard were supposed to be the big names to shepherd the team in their inaugural MLS season. So far that hasn't been the case: Lampard has yet to play a game and Villa has been hurt.
Instead, it has been Mix Diskerud who became the household name in the big apple. The American scored the first ever goal in New York City FC history, and he didn't look back after that. He will be running the team's midfield again today and shutting him down will be important.
On the other hand, Diskerud's international teammate Michael Bradley has been in top form as of late. He was the best player for any of the teams involved in the US national teams recent pair of friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands.
If he can keep that form up today there is a very good chance that Toronto will not only beat, but badly beat New York City FC.
Chris Konopka will continue in the starting role, while he still deserves despite a couple of slip-ups last week. Joe Bendik will likely get his opportunity on Wednesday to get back into the Toronto eleven. Up front Luke Moore will star while Jozy Altidore still looks to regain match fitness on the bench.