TFC put in a vintage performance against New England -- In the worst way possible. Three goals off restarts. Two set pieces
defended poorly not defended. The Reds need a bounce-back performance at BMO Field.
Of course, Jozy Altidore didn't exactly help the cause with his Red Card for kicking out at Jose Goncalves. Collen Warner is back from his suspension due to Yellow Card accumulation and Ashtone Morgan is available after missing time due to injury - two much needed additions.
Match Talking Points
Cyle Larin is one goal away from the rookie goal scoring record, and while as Canadian National Team fans we are excited, as TFC fans, we should be worried. Larin's biggest strength is that he gets incredible service from former world player of the year Kaka and he finishes instinctively. The 20-year old will give Perquis and Kantari a run for their money.
Josh Williams is expected to be available for selection, though its unlikely he will start now that Morgan is fit. That gives good cover for a backline that has been leaky over the past few weeks. Although Kantari didn't exactly impress against New England, as time goes on he should prove to be a good addition.
Giovinco's withdrawal at halftime may have signaled surrender - but it also means he got extra rest for his nagging heel injury. He is ready to go against Orlando City, and will (again) carry the burden of offense without Jozy Altidore.
TFC Starting XI
While Findley has done anything but impress since scoring in his first game for TFC, he looks likely to get the nod. Jordan Hamilton, who netted in the loss to Louisville last weekend, will be on the bench as Luke Moore is still out injured, and TFC announced that they have waived Bright Dike. TFC's forward options are left thin at this point, though goals are not usually the concern. Jonathan Osorio could move to the tip of the diamond for more attacking impetus, especially since Delgado's 'advanced stopper' role that was so effective against Philadelphia's and, to a lesser extent, Columbus' deep lying playmakers doesn't match up tactically to Orlando.
Keys to the Game
Obviously, not giving up 3 (or 4) goals is first priority. There are still those who are on the warpath to hand the starting goalkeeper spot to Konopka, but Joe Bendik is hardly the problem here. TFC are woeful defending set pieces and vulnerable to speed up the middle. The goalkeeper organizes on set pieces, true, but missed marks are not his fault.
TFC need some secondary scoring. Giovinco can and does do it all, but doing it all all the time is more than he should be asked to do. Osorio's first goal of the season hopefully opens the floodgates for him to notch a few more this year.
Obviously, Kaka is really good. Shutting him down is important and really hard. The TFC midfield will have to work hard to contain him.
Edit: Orlando City SC has announced that Kaka did not make the trip for tonight's match. The star DP is nursing a knock.
The game kicks off at 8 p.m. You can catch it on TSN.