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September could be a favourable month for Toronto FC

A visit to the Big Apple, a double-date with Montreal for the Canadian Championship, and five very winnable matches. Here’s what lies ahead for Toronto FC in a very busy September.

New York Red Bulls Vs Toronto FC
Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney talks to his player Jonathan Osorio (#21 ) during a break of play.
(Clayton & Corbis / Getty Images)

TORONTO, Ont. — Currently clinging onto the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC will play five of their final six regular-season matches in a congested September that also includes a home-and-home with 401-rivals Montreal Impact for Canada’s trophy.

The Reds will open September on the weekend when the team travels to FC Cincinnati to take on the Eastern Conference bottom feeders. The expansion-side has already been eliminated from playoff contention, and with healthy attacking options expected to be available for coach Greg Vanney, Saturday’s match becomes that much more important for the Reds to walk away with three points.

Toronto FC will then make a trip to the Big Apple a week from today to take on a red-hot New York City FC team who’ve won five of their last six matches. To add a little bit more colour to this tilt — as if it needed it — TFC and New York would matchup in the first round if the playoffs were to begin today.

And despite having already clinched a playoff spot, NYCFC coach Dome Torrent insists he will be playing his best 11 moving forward. With that said, Toronto FC did get the better of New York earlier this season in a 4-0 smacking thanks to some debut magic from Alejandro Pozuelo, so expect a good mid-week contest.

Toronto’s lone regular-season home fixture comes the following Sunday (Sept. 15) against the Western Conference’s 11th-place Colorado Rapids in their first-and-only meeting this season. Point blank, it’ll be disappointing if TFC doesn’t walk away with a pivotal three points in this one.

The Reds will then change pace slightly when they travel to Montreal for another mid-week matchup — this time for the opening leg of the Canadian Championship Finals on Sept. 18. The second leg concludes at BMO Field a week later on Sept. 25, but not before TFC makes their second visit to Los Angeles this year to take on a formidable LAFC side on Sept. 21.

Finally, Toronto will end their ever-busy September with a visit to the Windy City to face 35-year-old Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Chicago Fire in what could turn out to be a very decisive matchup, depending on how this pivotal month plays out. As it stands, Chicago sits four points back from Toronto FC in 10th place, however, the Reds do have two games in hand, so there’s still a lot of football left to be played.

As always, make sure you follow along with Waking the Red, as we’ll have all of your Toronto FC coverage down the home stretch.