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Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against FC Cincinnati

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Who might start on Saturday night?

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Toronto FC Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC are back at home tonight to take on former TFC fan-favourite Nick Hagglund and FC Cincinnati.

The only TFC player listed on the MLS Injury Report is new recruit Erickson Gallardo, who is listed as “questionable” with a quad strain.

Alejandro Pozuelo wasn’t even in the 18 last week, but wasn’t listed on the injury report. I’m writing this under the assumption that no news is good news with him.


Goalkeeper

Quentin Westberg

Alex Bono will almost definitely start the Canadian Championship matches that are coming up for Toronto FC, so I think Quentin Westberg will continue to start until then. After this game tonight, there is just one more MLS game before TFC's quest to retain the Voyageurs Cup begins.

Defenders

Justin Morrow, Chris Mavinga, Omar Gonzalez, Richie Laryea

I think this is the best-possible backline for Toronto FC. This centre-back partnership is good because it combines the speed and athleticism of Chris Mavinga with the experience, leadership and defensive solidity of Omar Gonzalez.

Richie Laryea has been making the most of his minutes, and in my opinion, should be considered the starting right-back for Toronto FC. He's been good on both sides of the ball, and has been more consistent than Auro. I think he should be in contention for a spot on the Canadian national team, if he isn't already.

Midfielders

Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, Nick DeLeon, Jacob Shaffelburg, Alejandro Pozuelo

New TAM winner Erickson Gallardo is listed on the MLS Injury Report as "questionable" with a quad strain. I suppose it's possible that he makes his debut off the bench, but I think they'll probably rest him in this one.

Jacob Shaffelburg has been excellent since making the big jump from TFC II to the first team. I think him and Nick DeLeon will be responsible for creating chances on the wings, with Alejandro Pozuelo in the middle, if he's healthy and good to go in this one.

Michael Bradley made his first appearance off the bench for Toronto FC against Houston, a substitution that left many scratching their heads. When down by three goals, bringing on a defensive midfielder isn't the best way to get a result, although TFC looked better defensively after his introduction.

Forward

Jozy Altidore

With news emerging that Terrence Boyd is off to Germany, and Ayo Akinola playing yesterday for TFC II, the only real options up top are Jozy Altidore and Patrick Mullins.

Mullins played 45 minutes against Houston last week, but was replaced by Altidore at halftime as TFC looked for a second half resurgence, and Altidore found the back of the net in the 75th minute, his third goal in his last three games.


My full starting XI: