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Game thread: Seattle Sounders 3-2 Toronto FC (FT)

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Not quite.

MLS: Seattle Sounders at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

FT — That’ll do it. TFC had a couple of looks toward the end as they sought an equalizer, but no dice. The Reds’ unbeaten streak ends in Seattle.

75’ — Ashtone Morgan slots into the game for Jonathan Osorio.

70’ Seattle 3-2 Toronto — It ain’t over though! Jozy Altidore scores again with a lovely little finish off the far post as Pozuelo picks him out with yet another perfect pass.

68’ Seattle 3-1 Toronto — Ow. Cristian Roldan smashes in an excellent goal from the corner of the box just two minutes after the previous one and it’s 3-1. Tough few minutes for the Reds.

66’ Seattle 2-1 Toronto — Steven Caldwell jinxed us. Just as he’s saying Seattle don’t have any answers, Will Bruin comes sliding in to knock in a ground cross to give the Sounders a lead.

60’ — Kim Kee-Hee gets a yellow card for catching Jozy with his arm. Things are fairly dull at the moment; neither side has had many real chances in the second half.

46’ — Back out for the second, and TFC have changed it up a little. Jay Chapman draws in and Eriq Zavaleta checks out; looks like Greg Vanney is dropping Nick DeLeon into a four-man backline.

HT — Not a bad half overall. TFC started out on the front foot, but once the Sounders scored the Reds had to weather a storm. The pace fizzled toward the end of the half as the clubs started settling in a bit; we’ll see how breaks the deadlock in the second frame.

24’ Seattle 1-1 Toronto — Will Bruin levels for Seattle on a diving header as he evades Chris Mavinga and nods in a perfect cross.

11’ Seattle 0-1 Toronto — Jozy Altidore! He nods in an excellently-placed header off a perfectly-chipped cross from the corner of the box by Pozuelo. This connection is turning into something special.

1’ — Underway. Seattle kick off to start the half.

Lineups

Toronto FC: A TFC debut for Quentin Westberg, and Eriq Zavaleta gets into the lineup for the first time in 2019.

Bench: Bono, Morgan, Chapman, Akinola, Laryea, Fraser, Boyd

Seattle Sounders:

Preview

Back out on the road again.

Toronto FC head to CenturyLink Field this afternoon for a major yardstick match against the Seattle Sounders. With both sides undefeated in MLS, this new-age rivalry clash will hopefully be a good indicator of whether or not TFC have indeed got their mojo back this season.

Seattle, with one more game played than Toronto, are 4-1 on the year, with their only draw coming a fortnight ago in Vancouver, a 0-0 affair. They’ve got the second-best goal differential in the league (+8, compared to TFC’s +7), and their defending has been excellent, with just three goals allowed. The Sounders have been allowing a mediocre 14.4 shots per game, though, suggesting Stefan Frei has been on top form so far.

They’re also third in the league in possession, with about 55.4% of the ball per game. TFC ain’t far behind, with 54. These teams are extremely close in pretty much every statistical category.

Jordan Morris has been excellent to start the year, with three goals and an assist. Nicolas Lodeiro, lethal as always, has a pair of goals and two helpers as well. For a Western Conference team, it feels like Seattle is a team that TFC fans know up and down already. For good reason, too.

Last season, TFC dropped a 2-1 contest at home to Seattle, despite controlling play for most of the game (as was the trend in 2018). Will Bruin scored on the break in the 25th, and Handwalla Bwana netted the winner in the 54th, not long after Jonathan Osorio equalized before halftime.

This week will be a real test of TFC’s defence. Drew Moor is unlikely to take part, and it looks like Auro might be working through an injury as well. So, whether that means Laurent Ciman gets another look, or someone else comes into the lineup, the backline could make or break Toronto’s game.

Are you feeling confident about this one? Are TFC back to worldbeaters, and will the Alejandro Pozuelo show continue?

Team news: injuries & suspensions

Toronto FC: Drew Moor (adductor) is out for sure, and Auro (“minor semitendinosus strain,” apparently) is questionable.

Seattle Sounders: Raul Ruidiaz is listed as questionable with a heel contusion.

Pregame reading

Footy Talks: Facing Seattle without Drew Moor a huge test for Toronto FC

‘Always Special’: Former Sounders 2 player previews TFC vs. Seattle fixture

Toronto FC Prediction League 2019: Round 7 (@ Seattle)

TFC Reference Library: Back in the Lab

Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against Seattle

A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Coffee Snob

Clint Dempsey grabs referee’s notebook, rips it up, gets red card

How to watch

Match date/time: Saturday, April 13, 4 p.m. ET
TV channel: TSN 2
Live stream: TSN GO, ESPN+