Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders
Century Link Field Seattle, Washington
10:00 PM Eastern
The Headliner: Can Toronto win Ugly and Unlikely?
When the absences and circumstances of this match became clear, most in the Toronto community decided anything but a lopsided loss tonight could be considered a success. But for a team with as much pride as Toronto FC has demonstrated this season, they will not be content to leave without a result.
Getting that result is going to be incredibly difficult. Toronto FC are without their two leading scorers: Sebastian Giovinco (injury) and Jozy Altidore (international duty). Plenty of others are out as well, Damien Perquis is still injured, while Collen Warner is serving a suspension after a vicious tackle on Dominic Oduro last week.
Toronto will need to play tight defensive soccer and try to catch Seattle on the counterattack, making the most of their chances. Away from home Toronto have had incredible difficulty keeping the ball out of the back of their net, and will need their best efforts today to avoid such a scenario.
Without Giovinco and Altidore Toronto FC are unlikely to get more than two goals, so they will have to make sure they don't allow more than that amount of goals. Luke Moore has had some good games playing up front for Toronto this season, but hasn't found the back of the net with any regularity. He will still be Toronto's main goal threat in this match.
The one key player who by design is not missing from this match is Michael Bradley, and thus he will be Toronto's most important player. If Bradley can get free to create chances than TFC have a much better chance of winning this match.
This match also has playoff implications. A win for Toronto FC would put them just 9 points away from a guaranteed playoff spot. Meanwhile for Seattle, things are not quite as promising. The Sounders currently sit in the last spot in the Western Conference playoffs, tied on points with the San Jose Earthquakes who have played one less game.
The Key Matchup: Obafemi Martins vs. Josh Williams
Josh Williams might have the most unenviable task in the entire league tonight. The right back by trade turned centreback for Greg Vanney's increasingly confusing uses, will be covering one of the league's best players tonight. As he looks to be the lone centreback in an incredibly risky three at the back lineup Williams will be looked upon to keep Obafemi Martins from scoring.
Martins has been superb this year despite only playing 14 matches, as he has an outstanding 10 goals and 4 assists in that time. He is also in form going into this match, with three goals in his last three matches. Playing alongside Clint Dempsey, as he is again tonight, he forms the league's best partnership.
Williams has been solid in the middle of the park since joining Toronto FC, but where he has struggled the most was against Dominic Oduro last week. Obafemi Martins is an equally fast player who has been known to scorch defenders with his speed.
Toronto FC- Konopka, Zavaleta, Williams, Simonin, Delgado, Bradley, Osorio, Morgan, Findley, Gomez, Moore
Subs: Bendik, Kantari, Manella, Chapman, Hamilton
Chris Konopka continues in goal after allowing just one goal in the past two matches. In defence Toronto FC are playing a fairly risky and inexperienced three of Eriq Zavaleta, Josh Williams and Clement Simonin.
In the midfield Toronto is hoping Michael Bradley and Jonathan Osorio can control the centre of the park while Marky Delgado and Ashtone Morgan will play on the wings.
Up front Luke Moore will lead the line of a front three that includes Hercules Gomez and Robbie Findley. Findley has been in good form as of late, and may be the one to watch during this match.