Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy
10:30 PM, Eastern
Stubhub Center Los Angeles, California
Headliner: American Non-Dependence
Today may be independence day but Toronto FC are going to be a whole lot less American. With Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley off with the United States at the Gold Cup, Toronto FC will have to rely on their youth to pull out a victory against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan are with Canada as well, meaning there are four absences in Toronto's starting lineup. Luckily Benoit Cheyrou is back from injury and will be going back into his role as a central midfielder. With Osorio out of the lineup, Jay Chapman will get his first ever Major League Soccer start.
The Galaxy have been very up and down as of late. After absolutely smashing their opponents by 5 goals each in two of their past three games they lost 3-1 SJ Earthquake. That loss put them in the fourth place in the MLS Western Conference, the same spot Toronto is in the East. They do, however, have five more points than Toronto, albeit in five more games played.
Toronto also have not beaten the Galaxy in nine consecutive Major League Soccer matches. The last time that that they beat the defending MLS Cup champions was in May of 2008 off of goals from Julius James and Jeff Cunningham. They have since beat them in a two legged CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal in 2012.
Key Matchup: Toronto Young Guns vs. LA's Veterans
The LA Galaxy are tired, which is probably why two victories with 10 goals combined gave way to a 3-1 defeat last Saturday. One good thing about the Altidore and Bradley departures is it introduces a lot of fresh legs into the Toronto lineup. Those fresh legs have something to prove.
For Jay Chapman, this is his first Major League Soccer start, something he has been angling for ever since impressing in preseason with the club. So far this year he has played 47 minutes in Major League Soccer. He will slot in as an attacking midfielder, and Toronto will rely on him to fill the offensive shoes of Michael Bradley.
Even before Altidore and Bradley were gone Marky Delgado had earned himself a spot in the Toronto FC lineup. The American impressed with the United States U20's and came back with a new swagger. His technical abilities will be challenging for LA to deal with, but he will need the performance of his life for Toronto to win.
Los Angeles come in with plenty of fire power. Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane and former Toronto FC forward Alan Gordon are all lethal. Juninho is having the offensive season of his life in the midfield while Baggio Husidic has been the team's setup man this year with four assists.
ICYMI - The @BacardiCanada Starting XI: Konopka; Morrow, Zavaleta, Perquis, Creavalle; Warner, Chapman, Cheyrou, Delgado; Giovinco, Findley.— Toronto FC (@torontofc) July 5, 2015