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Week IV - Toronto FC vs Colorado Rapids - Match Preview

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The Reds head to Colorado in what looks to be the most winnable match of the remaining road stretch.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup

The Rapids have a come a long way since their BMO Field MLS Cup win in 2010. Unfortunately, that long journey has been down, all the way to TFC-like levels of puzzlingly bad decision making. Things seem to be looking up for the Rapids, though, and they've been defensively sound over the past two seasons - in no small part thanks to Drew Moor and Clint Irwin. They're ours now, though. They can't have them back, and that's that.

Post-international break,  both teams have some concerns to be addressed. TFC's midfield will probably need to limit minutes for Will Johnson and Michael Bradley, who both played 180 minutes in four days for Canada and the United States respectively. Jozy Altidore seems prepared to make an impact, either from the start or off the bench, having featured briefly in the US Men's National Team's loss to Guatemala, and came on late to notch a well-taken, opportunistic goal in Columbus for the Red White and Blue.

The Rapids were not so lucky in the international break, losing Kevin Doyle to a shocking (view at your own risk) leg gash that will keep him out for a few games at least. The Rapids don't have a lot of other pieces to play at Centre Forward and the Reds should be able to put in a good defensive performance.

The Lineup

football formations

Expect something like this. Bradley and Johnson will both see time on the field, though maybe not the whole game. Cheyrou and Osorio will likely round out the midfield duties. Daniel Lovitz is back to being available after suffering a concussion in training, and could feature on the left. Drew Moor is also back after illness. Altidore will likely come in off the bench, regardless of the score. Once he returns to full fitness, it will be interesting to see where he'll play in Vanney's 4-3-3.

The Outlook

With little offensive threat in the Rapids team, look for TFC to try to absorb pressure and counter the Rapids. The midfield battle is theirs for the taking regardless of what combination of Johnson, Bradley, Cheyrou, Osorio and Delgado sets up in the central 3. A moment or two of Giovinco-brand magic could be all it takes to put the game away in the Reds favour. Prediction: 2-0 Toronto FC.

The game kicks off at 8pm on TSN.