Toronto FC vs. DC United
5:00 PM Eastern
BMO Field Toronto,ON
The Headliner: Taking Down the Kings
For years people have been calling for the king's head, saying DC United are playing a game that is statistically unsustainable. Somehow, however, they have sustained it and are once again at the top of the league this year.
They were also the opponent for Toronto FC's biggest victory of the year, which came in a come from behind 2-1 victory at RFK Stadium. Not surprisingly, Sebastian Giovinco had both goals in that game as he dominated DC.
It was also the match that saw the return of Jozy Altidore after injury had held him out of the last couple of matches. He made a brief substitute appearance but it was still enough for him to dummy a ball that ended up on the foot of Giovinco for the winning goal.
Now Altidore is back in the starting lineup, for the last time before he joins the United States at the Gold Cup after this afternoons match. He is also back in form after a massive game against Montreal that saw him score the winning goal in a 3-1 win for the reds of Wednesday.
The same can be said for Michael Bradley who is also in his last game before Gold Cup duty calls. He was with the United States the last time these two teams met, during a crucial camp where they beat both Germany and the Netherlands. He was the best player for the Us in those games, and has been the best player for TFC as of late.
Another player who missed that match but likely never would have played anyway, Marky Delgado, is now back from the U-20 World Cup where he played with the United States. On Wednesday he got his first start for Toronto and impressed enough to earn a follow up in today's match.
Key Matchup: Collen Warner vs. DC United Attack
With Benoit Cheyrou not playing due to injury, Collen Warner is going to be crucial if Toronto FC want to get a victory today. At the base of Toronto's midfield diamond it is crucial that he provides cover for a backline that has been up and down throughout the season.
On Wednesday he did a mediocre job of this coverage, and was caught on the counter by the Montreal Impact on several occasions. He will have to be better today against an attacking team like DC United who have far more options who can harm Toronto.
If Warner can do his job it will free up the trio in front of him, Jonathan Osorio, Delgado and Bradley, to do what they do best: attack. All three were dominant against the Montreal midfield on Wednesday and are technically gifted with the ball at their feet.
No surprises in the Toronto lineup. Chris Konopka continues to get the start in goal after adding yet another victory to his resume in a surprise start on Wednesday. Ashtone Morgan returns in defense after missing Wednesday's game with the flu. Toronto will replicate the midfield diamond that dominated the Impact while their designated duo will start up top for the final time until later in the season.