Toronto FC’s 2017 season hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive so far. After a string of draws at home, both of them winnable matches, fans are starting to get restless.
But if there is one thing that the team can point to with pride so far this year it is their play on the road. Toronto FC opened the season with a solid one win and two draws on the road, well above the average road form of MLS teams.
A win, or even a draw, today in Columbus would continue to establish Toronto FC as one of the league’s best road warriors. The Crew, however, are no slouches at home where they have two wins and a draw this season.
How Toronto FC lines up at the back
There will be a little more anticipation than usual for this week’s starting 11. With centre back fixture Drew Moor ruled out of the match due to a cardiac arrhythmia, Toronto FC will display a new look backline. It is anyone’s guess as to how long he will be missing from the lineup.
Greg Vanney could do one of many things with this problem. He could shift Eriq Zavaleta centrally and give Chris Mavinga another run out in the back three. Likewise, Jason Hernandez could replace Drew Moor in the middle.
TFC could also change their formation, but this is unlikely. The 3-5-2, after all, was originally used against the Columbus Crew as a means of combatting their wide attacking options. If there was any game to keep it going, it is today.
Toronto’s Three Headed Attacking Monster
The biggest positive of Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw with Atlanta United last week was their offense. For the first time this season, Toronto looked dominant going forward, even if they still struggled to finish chances.
Central to this turnaround was the combination play between Victor Vazquez, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco. Toronto’s first goal of the night came from these three players, and it looked to be foreshadowing of what is to come.
Vazquez was brought in primarily to get better service to Toronto FC’s attacking duo. If he can continue to do that today the Columbus backline, which has been solid this season, will be in trouble.
Stuff to Read:
Toronto FC: Bono; Mavinga, Zavaleta, Hagglund; Morrow, Bradley, Cooper, Vazquez, Beitashour; Altidore, Giovinco
Subs: Pais, Hernandez, Edwards, Osorio, Delgado, Chapman, Ricketts
Columbus Crew: Steffen; Afful, Crognale, Naess, Raitala; Finlay, Artur, Trapp, Meram; Higuain; Kamara.
How to Watch:
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. Eastern
SB Nation Opposition Blog: Massive Report
Stream: TSN Go