The Headliner: Making this Homestand Count
Following their May 7 home opener, Toronto FC had their first four-game homestand of the year. It ended in disappointment, however, as their only win came in that home opener against FC Dallas. They drew twice and lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps in the other three matches.
Results like that absolutely won't be acceptable as their second of three four-game homestands kicks off today against DC United. The expected point total that has been floated out there, not by the club mind, is ten, meaning Toronto would have to go unbeaten during this stretch. Anything less than nine will almost certainly be considered a letdown.
After DC United today, Toronto plays the Columbus Crew in the Trillium Cup finale before hosting Real Salt Lake and the New England Revolution. All of these matches are winnable, and considering the fact that three come against Eastern Conference opposition they are crucial as well.
Going into this match Toronto FC sits fifth place in the Eastern conference, two points ahead of today's opponent. A win could see them pass the Montreal Impact in the standings, provided their 401 derby rivals lose today to the Philadelphia Union.
All eyes will be on Sebastian Giovinco today, as the Atomic Ant tries to finally break out of his eight-game goalless slump. It has been his worst stretch of playing since joining Toronto FC, but given his skill the frustration surely has to end soon and today could be that breaking point.
Key to the Game: Decisive Attacking Play
Toronto FC looked very uncomfortable trying to break down a 9-man San Jose side that went full defensive mode last Saturday. There is a good chance DC adopts a similar stance today when they visit BMO, so it will be another test in trying to open up a conservative opponent.
A big problem with Toronto against San Jose: they never looked comfortable in what they were trying to do. Their only path to goal seemed to be through crosses from Tsubasa Endoh, and they were rarely effective. Today they will need more creativity, especially from players like Jonathan Osorio and Sebastian Giovinco.
If they can do that, this should be a fairly comprehensive win for the team.
Toronto FC: Bono; Beitashour, Zavaleta, Moor, Morrow; Cheyrou, Delgado, Chapman, Endoh; Giovinco, Hamilton
Bench: Roberts, Hagglund, Bloom, Williams, Ricketts, Babouli, Altidore
DC United: Worra; Kemp, Birnbaum, Opare, Franklin; Marcelo; DeLeon, Acosta, Jeffrey, Sam; Saborío
Venue: BMO Field Toronto, ON
Kick Off Time: 7:30 PM Eastern
SB Nation Opposition Blog: Black and Red United
TV: Sportsnet 360
Streaming: Sportsnet Now