The Headliner: Who Steps Up to the Plate?
Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Will Johnson, Clint Irwin, Daniel Lovitz, Ashtone Morgan and Josh Williams. That is the list of players who will not be available in any capacity for Toronto FC today through injury, and there's a possibility it is even longer if players like Damien Perquis and Steven Beitashour remain unavailable.
As always, having that many players out of the lineup is going to create opportunities for others to step up and make an impact. It has already seen players like Mo Babouli and Jordan Hamilton feature consistently in the Toronto lineup, and both have looked positive.
All eyes will be on Alex Bono today, or Quillan Roberts should Toronto FC choose to go in another direction. Bono had a solid Canadian Championship final against the Vancouver Whitecaps after struggling in his first ever MLS minutes against Orlando City SC last Saturday.
In his home debut, the Sounders will be looking to test his nerves with every opportunity they get. Toronto FC will try their best to make sure he gets as little action as possible, but inevitably something is going to slip through. It is going to be up to Bono to make the saves necessary for Toronto to earn a victory.
With Bradley and Johnson out of the midfield, at least two starting spots have opened up. One of them will almost certainly be filled by Tsubasa Endoh, who did not start Wednesday against Vancouver. Bradley's spot has been occupied by Benoit Cheyrou, but if the veteran needs a rest it will likely be Jay Chapman who gets the start.
Chapman has not been overtly good to start this year, but recently has looked like he is turning the corner a little bit after putting in some positive performances off the bench. This stretch will be a big chance for him to prove that he can still be an important depth piece for Toronto.
Key to the Game: Making it Count
The Seattle Sounders are a good defensive team, but with how much they have struggled this season on the road this season Toronto will certainly have chances. Converting on those chances has been something they have struggled to do all season, even at full strength.
But entering a stretch where they will be missing a lot of key players, they really need to start taking those chances as they have less and less of them going forward. Jordan Hamilton is likely to start up front after scoring his first MLS goal last Saturday.
Whether it is he or Giovinco, or another player, that the chance ultimately falls to Toronto FC have to start putting them away. If they can, they are likely to get a much-needed win against a Sounders team that has really struggled to score all season.
Toronto FC: Bono; Zavaleta, Hagglund, Perquis, Beitashour; Bloom, Delgado, Chapman, Endoh; Hamilton, Giovinco
Subs: Roberts, Moor, Morrow, Cheyrou, Babouli, Osorio, Edwards
Seattle Sounders: Frei; Mears, Marshall, Scott, Jones; Alonso, Friberg, Roldan; Ivanschitz, Kovar, Morris
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Time: 7:30 PM Eastern
SB Nation Opposition Blog: Sounder at Heart
Available TV: TSN 4
Available Streaming: TSN Go