These are the matches that tripped up Toronto FC last season. After clinching their first ever playoff spot, they seemed to take a deep breath, which resulted in losing all of their remaining matches. With four games remaining in Toronto FC's season, they can't afford to have this happen again if they want a favourable MLS Cup playoffs position.
Toronto FC is still in a good spot in terms of winning the Eastern Conference, but back-to-back draws at home have made things a bit more difficult. That's especially true when it comes to the Supporter's Shield, for which some once considered TFC to be favourites. They would have to win all their remaining matches at this point to have a chance at that honour.
Here are three stories going into tonight's match:
A big reason why Toronto is winless in its last two matches has to do with starting games slowly. Against both the New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union they fell behind early, courtesy of some complacent play. Toronto has yet to come from behind and win this season, so they cannot afford to have that happen again tonight.
Tactical decisions have led to Toronto's struggles both times, which Greg Vanney was able to correct but when the damage was already done. TFC supporters will be hoping he has gotten his team selection right this time around.
The biggest question ahead of tonight's match will be whether or not Sebastian Giovinco sees any action tonight for Toronto FC. The atomic ant has missed the last couple of Toronto FC matches with a quad injury, and the team has certainly missed him.
Toronto will be getting some relief, however, as Tosaint Ricketts is available for selection. Also returning is Armando Cooper from suspension and potentially Jay Chapman from injury as well.
Game in Hand
Toronto FC has had a leg up on the other teams racing for the Eastern Conference summit of late because they have had a game in hand. That ends tonight, as Toronto cashes in its game in hand against Orlando City SC. Anything other than three points for Toronto tonight will be a problem, as the teams in their rearview mirror will draw ever closer.
A win or a draw tonight puts Toronto FC back into first place in the Eastern Conference. A win, however, would be a lot more helpful in seeing the team hold that position for the rest of the year.
Toronto FC: Bono; Morrow, Hagglund, Moor, Beitashour; Bradley, Cooper, Delgado, Osorio; Ricketts, Altidore
Subs: Irwin, Zavaleta, Cheyrou, Johnson, Babouli, Lovitz, Hamilton
Orlando City SC: Bendik; Alston, Mateos, Aja, Boden; Carrasco, Molino, Shea, Kaka; Rivas, Larin
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Eastern
SB Nation Opposition: The Mane Land
TV: TSN 4
Streaming: TSN Go