The Headliner: Finding a Home on the Road
If there's one thing that Toronto FC can point to this season as a sign of progress, it is road form. Not only the results the team has been able to achieve, but also how they have played. Only once, in an unfortunate outing against the New York Red Bulls where Sebastian Giovinco went down to injury in the first half, has the team been blown away on the road.
Otherwise, their only losses on the road have come by one goal. Many of those games have also been partially decided by controversial refereeing decisions, that if reversed could have seen the match go the other way. They also have three wins on the road, and, after a 1-1 match in Columbus on Wednesday, three draws as well.
A win tonight would tie Toronto FC for the most road points they have captured in a single season, equaling last year's record of 15. They would do so with five road games remaining, and have a good chance at breaking the club's record for road wins in a single season, which currently sits at four.
Toronto FC's opponent's for today's match, on the other hand, the San Jose Earthquakes, are not road warriors at all. They have yet to win on the road this season. Unfortunately for Toronto FC, this match will be played in San Jose, where they Earthquakes have only lost once all year.
So it will be Toronto FC's road form put on test tonight versus San Jose's home form. Keep in mind also, however, that San Jose's overall form has been lacking, as they have not won in their last seven matches.
Key to the Game: Play it Safe at the Back
The San Jose Earthquakes are not blessed with a wealth of attacking players who are able to break down opponents. However, what they do have is proven goalscorers when given the chance, led by Chris Wondolowski who has seven goals so far this season.
Give Wondo a chance, and he will bury it, as Toronto FC has learned many times in the past. So being tight and playing it safe at the back is important if Toronto wants to make sure they earn points on the road.
The Earthquakes have really struggled to score goals as of late, there is no reason Toronto FC needs to give them any extra motivation.
Toronto FC: Bono; Beitashour, Williams, Moor, Morrow; Cheyrou, Chapman, Osorio, Endoh; Giovinco, Hamilton
Subs: Roberts, Bloom, Hagglund, Zavaleta, Delgado, Babouli, Altidore
San Jose Earthquakes: Bingham; Francis, Stewart, Bernardez, Cato, Dawkins, Godoy, Alashe, Quintero, Wandolowski, Amarikwa.
Venue: Avaya Stadium San Jose, California
Time: 10:30 PM Eastern
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TV: Sportsnet 360
Streaming: Sportsnet NOW