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Toronto FC vs Orlando City SC: Game Thread & Lineups

Follow along as TFC try to rebound against the Lions of Orlando and keep their place in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC vs Orlando City SC

4:00 pm ET

BMO Field, Toronto


The Headliner: Rebounding from Poor Performances

Truth be told, TFC were pretty awful against New England, and bad against Sporting Kansas City. The attack isn't clicking and the defense has been poor. Fortunately, it seems likely that Greg Vanney is going to try something new with his lineup, and fortunately, Orlando City are ripe for the taking at BMO. That's not to say it will be an easy game, but certainly a winnable one.

While TFC look to get Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, and Sebastian Giovinco back in sync, Orlando will be looking to Kaka and local boy Cyle Larin to exploit the Red's suspect defense. Josh Williams was a nice sight against New England - despite the loss - and looked comfortable at centre back. With Damien Perquis out due to injury, he seems likely to get the call to stop the Lions attack.

Key to the Match: Home Fortress

BMO field can be an intimidating place to play, though TFC haven't taken advantage of that in recent times. A home clean sheet is nearly two months removed - a dull 0-0 with D.C on June 27, 8 games ago. If the Reds don't shore up their defensive weakness with a change in strategy, it won't matter how many goals Giovinco scores. You cannot expect to win games consistently if you give up 22 goals between clean sheets. Only Philadelphia Union have allowed more goals than TFC this year, and the 22 goals against in their last 8 is worst in the league. The Reds need to be better going forward toward the playoffs.

The Lineup

Jackson makes a return to Right Back, while Warner and Cheyrou take two holding midfield roles. Interesting to see what they do against Kaka. Giovinco starts alone up front. Jozy on the bench. As many had hoped, Chris Konopka starts in goal, pushing Joe Bendik to the bench. A more defensive-looking lineup than usual for Greg Vanney's side. We'll see if it pays off.