For once Toronto FC's injury list is almost a blank page. Greg Vanney confirmed to media at training this morning that everyone on the team is healthy, words rarely spoken by a Toronto FC manager. Over the past two seasons it seems like a least one important piece of the Toronto FC puzzle has been missing at all times, something that has certainly affected the team's play.
With the exception of the rarely used, often injured defender Clement Simonin who is still out with long-term injury, Toronto FC will be firing on all cylinders when they pay a visit to the New England Revolution this weekend. Jozy Altidore appears to be fully recovered, as does Jonathan Osorio, and rookie Tsubasa Endoh should be good to go after a lower-body contusion forced him to miss out on the Colorado match.
With all hands on deck, Toronto FC have a chance to do something they rarely have in their MLS history: beat the New England Revolution. A result this weekend would get the club back on track after failing to win since the opening game of the season.
New England, historically, have presented a big challenge for Toronto FC especially at home. Toronto FC have only won twice in 13 visits to Gillette Stadium, the last time in August of 2013 on a goal from Matias Laba. They have only ever beat the Revolution four times in their history, losing 10 times and drawing 8.
This year's Revolution, however, have hardly been anything special. They picked up their first win of the season this past weekend as a result of a controversial goal scored while an opposing player was injured. As such, Toronto FC have a chance to take some points out of Massachusetts while the home side is down.
Having a healthy lineup only increases Toronto FC's odds of getting back on track. The biggest hope is that Jozy Altidore will be able to start, as Toronto FC have been missing his presence in the middle of attack. This would allow Sebastian Giovinco to be more effectively deployed out wide, and hopefully iron out some of the wrinkles in the team's attacking game.
A hamstring injury has meant Altidore missing most of this season for Toronto FC. He has only played 43 minutes all year, and has had just one shot on target in that time. After Toronto FC were shut out the past two games his return to health is crucial to the club's chances at three points in Foxborough.
Another week to recover from a knee injury should also help Osorio, who is expected to start over the suspended Benoit Cheyrou on Saturday. Osorio didn't quite look 100 per cent against the Rapids after coming on as a substitute early on, albeit when the club. Toronto are looking at appealing Cheyrou's suspension, but given the league's track record it is unlikely that it is removed.
The match on Saturday will kick off the second half of Toronto FC's eight game road trip. It is important that the club use this game against New England to make sure it gets off to the right start. The club are currently on pace to meet their minimum goal for the season opening road trip: 8 points in 8 games. They currently have 4 after 4 matches.