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Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against the San Jose Earthquakes

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No Pozuelo this week...

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC are back in action on Sunday night, as they welcome the San Jose Earthquakes to BMO Field.

Without Alejandro Pozuelo, who picked up a red card last time out, there will have to be some changes made to Greg Vanney’s side. I think Vanney will switch formations, using something like a 4-4-2 with a diamond in midfield instead of the 4-4-1-1 he’s been using with Pozuelo in a free role between the midfielders and attackers.


Goalkeeper

Quentin Westberg

After playing 4/5 games during TFC’s busy 5 game/ 15 day stretch, it would appear that the starting job in goal belongs to Quentin Westberg.

Good at distributing the ball, especially with his feet, Westberg must now try to hang onto his job, as Bono is surely eager to get into some games.

Defenders

Auro, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow

After dealing with some injuries at the back recently, Toronto FC are expected to have everyone available on Sunday.

Chris Mavinga’s athleticism and speed, combined with Drew Moor’s leadership and defensive solidity balance each other out nicely. Justin Morrow and Auro are always threats on the wings as well, so on paper, this is probably Toronto FC’s best back four. If everyone is good to go, this could very well be how Greg Vanney lines up his defenders.

Midfielders

Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, Nick DeLeon, Jonathan Osorio

As mentioned above, Alejandro Pozuelo will miss this game after being sent off during Toronto FC’s 3-0 defeat against Real Salt Lake.

TFC don’t have anyone else with the ability to play that free role that he’s been playing, so the likely scenario sees Jonathan Osorio control the attack from the top of the diamond.

Michael Bradley was dealing with a hamstring issue this week, but rarely fails to play 90 minutes. He isn’t a robot, so he can’t, and shouldn’t be expected to, play every minute, but if he is healthy enough to play, I think he will.

Forwards

Jozy Altidore, Jordan Hamilton

With Alejandro Pozuelo out of the lineup, I think Toronto FC play more of a conventional formation, where everyone has set roles instead of a free role like Pozuelo is given. I think Greg Vanney will go with two strikers to try and make up for the lost offence, as opposed to adding another midfielder.


My full starting XI: