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Two weeks ago, Toronto FC played what was perhaps their most disappointing match of the season. At home, where they have rarely dropped points all year, they allowed the Colorado Rapids, last place in the western conference, to escape with a 1-1 draw.
Stereotypically in sports, these types of matches are labelled “trap games”: where top teams go in overconfident and therefore are undone by a lesser opponent. Whether that was the case against Colorado or not, Toronto certainly failed to finish off the Rapids.
Toronto face a similar scenario today, when they visit last place D.C. United knowing only a win will meet expectations. United only have 18 points so far this year, and are winless in their last six matches. To put that in perspective, Toronto FC has 16 points on the road this season.
What Toronto can expect when they walk into RFK Stadium is similar to the Colorado match. D.C. will try to stay resolute and organized defensively and catch TFC when they make mistakes.
D.C. United may have the worst offense in the league, but in Lloyd Sam and Luciano Acosta they do have two players capable of punishing Toronto. Lamar Neagle remains a danger, but is having a very disappointing season offensively.
Toronto, on the other hand, have several pieces they didn’t have when they met Colorado. Jozy Altidore, Justin Morrow and Michael Bradley returned from the Gold Cup and started in TFC’s 4-0 thrashing of NYCFC last weekend.
Bradley, Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco did all feature midweek in the MLS All-Star Game midweek (D.C. was not represented as their place in the standing would suggest). However, having all played limited minutes, expect all three to be in the starting lineup tonight for Toronto.
So Toronto FC will have their big guns, now they have to make sure they don’t get complacent.
Kick-off: 7 p.m.
Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington D.C.
TV Channel & Live Stream
TV: TSN 2
Stream: TSN Go
Radio: TSN 1050
Steven Beitashour and Benoit Cheyrou are still weeks away from returning to the lineup. Oyvind Alseth suffered a laceration in his foot, which forced him to be subbed off against the Colorado Rapids, his availability is unlikely. Justin Morrow has also subbed out against Colorado, and is listed on the MLS website as having an undisclosed injury. It’s still probable he is in the 18 if not starting.
D.C. United doesn’t have too much on the injury front, beyond Ian Harkes suffering an ankle injury. Rob Vincent and Patrick Nyarko will also likely miss the match against TFC. In transfer news, D.C. announced the acquisition of 19-year-old forward Bruno Miranda from Universidad de Chile yesterday. He will not play against Toronto as his paperwork is still being processed.
Toronto FC: Bono; Mavinga, Moor, Hagglund; Morrow, Delgado, Bradley, Vazquez, Hasler; Giovinco, Altidore
D.C. United: Hamid; Korb, Birnbaum, Robinson, DeLeon; Jeffrey; Neagle, Acosta, Buescher, Sam; Brown