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FT: Toronto FC 1-0 FC Cincinnati—Match thread, preview & how to watch

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TFC are in Cincinnati looking to extend their lead atop the Supporters Shield race. Questions? Comments? Follow along and chime in with Michael Singh tonight on our live match thread.

Toronto FC v Montreal Impact
Toronto FC celebrate their victory
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Live Match Thread

FT: Toronto FC 1-0 FC Cincinnati—The Reds become the first team to clinch a playoff spot.

90+6—OVERTURNED! VAR rules that it’s not a penalty. Happy birthday Omar Gonzalez! That wasn’t a penalty, though. Gonzalez barely touched the FC Cincinnati attacker and he flopped.

90+4—PENALTY! Cincinnati... Yup. Could see that coming a mile away. Penalty for FC Cincinnati after an Omar Gonzalez foul in the box. He pushes the Cincinnati attacker that’s going for a header and he just falls to the ground. VAR checking the call...it may be a ‘clear and obvious’ error here...IMO that’s nothing but a dive.

90+1—Five minutes of added time here. This is the most nervous I’ve been with TFC closing out a match since DC....what is it with this team against lower opposition?

85’—Richie Laryea injury update via KJ: apparently it was just cramping. Hopefully that’s the case, but we’ll see...

81’—Deadly touch to bring a ball just beyond his reach down by Alejandro Pozuelo. Also, that vision wasn’t too shabby, Ayo. We see you. A little less power and that’s a dime.

77’—CHANCE! Omar Gonzalez gets up in a crowd off a corner and connects well on a header from about six yards out! Too bad it’s right at the Cincy keeper, who holds on.

74’—LOL. Laurent Ciman finding a way to pick up a yellow card as an unused substitute from behind the goal...I wonder what he was saying...

69’—CHANCE! Pablo Piatti sprints to end line to keep the ball in, sends a low cross along the goal line, and it nearly catches the FC Cincy GK napping. I think it may have even hit the post.

68’—Richie Laryea feeling his hamstring... cool. cool. coool. cool....Gallacher comes into the match for Laryea. Hopefully it’s nothing serious with New York Red Bulls on Wednesday.

67’—Nick, we love you. But you can’t touch Pablo like that. Yellow card to the former TFC defender.

58’—Akinola in for Mullins. DeLeon in for Nelson.

56’—Ayo Akinola and Nick DeLeon getting ready to check into the match for TFC. As Steven Caldwell pointing out on the broadcast, great proactive move here by Greg Vanney as Cincinnati starting to show a little sign of life here.

52’—As TimmyMax points out in our comments... LAFC are up 2-1* on Seattle in the 80th minute there...

50’—Would you all be comfortable with Vanney bringing Marshall-Rutty into this match only up by one?

46’—We’re back. Pablo Piatti comes into the match for Marky Delgado. Hopefully that’s a tactical decision and not something to do with Delgado’s fitness/health. Will make a note to ask Vanney after the match.

HT: Toronto FC 1-0 FC Cincinnati. We’ll take the lead, but not the most convincing 45 from The Reds. How are we feeling?

40’—Posted this after watching Auro and Pozuelo exchange multiple passes from about a yard away..

28’—GOAL! Toronto FC 1-0 FC Cincinnati: Patrick Mullins with a great first-time finish after some fantastic work from Richie Laryea down the right-hand side to cut it back to his striker. That’s another assist for the Canadian international & Pozuelo also gets an assist on the play for springing Richie. That’s the Spaniard’s league-leading 10th of the season.

24’—CHANCE! Pozuelo almost bends one into the far post after some great build-up play by The Reds, but his shot from just outside the box goes wide. The Spaniard is kicking himself after missing that one...

20’—That was definitely a foul on Liam Fraser in a 1v1 tracking back, but we’ll take the non-call. Fraser’s done well in the 20 minutes so far. He’s had a real impact on the game on both sides of the ball. Yellow card now to Jonathan Osorio for a pretty dumb foul. Unnecessary extra curricular stuff after an initial foul by the Canadian midfielder.

15’—The longer Cincinnati can hang around in this game, the more their confidence will grow. He’s rusty for sure, but early on Patrick Mullins needs to be better. He’s not giving Pozuelo much to work with centrally and there have been some real opportunities to create a high-danger scoring chance or two that have come to nothing. Like Akinola, this is an audition for Mullins for more playing time even when/if Altidore returns.

8’—As expected, all TFC early on. I’d like to see The Reds get one here early to open the game up. Cincinnati dropping essentially everybody behind the ball (to no one’s surprise). As I’m typing this, Cincy catches TFC sleeping on the counter and Omar Gonzalez gets called for the foul on the edge of his own box. Early yellow card to Gonzalez here. No trouble from the FK, however, as the wall does its job. Must’ve been Vanney shouting at them profusely.

4’—Again. I’m super excited to see what Jayden Nelson has up his sleeve tonight. Good little taste of that early on getting involved down the left-hand side.

1’—Players take a knee before kickoff in protest against racial injustice. And we’re off. Come on you Reds.

7:38 p.m. EST—From c.beaulieu in the comments: “Let’s see what PM (Patrick Mullins) can do with most of the first team out there with him. Happy to see LF (Liam Fraser) get another start as well. Hopefully EZ (Eriq Zavaleta) can keep it together out there.”

7:36 p.m. EST—I don’t know if this is a hot take or not, but Pratt & Whitney Stadium & Rentschler Field looks nicer than FC Cincinnati’s stadium.

7:34 p.m. EST—Shoutout Nick Hagglund who’s making the start for FC Cincinnati tonight. He’s recovered from COVID and is healthy enough to slot back into the side at CB against his former team. Although, with the way that TFC is playing right now—winners of four straight—there probably won’t be much room for error...

7:24 p.m. EST—It’s quiet in here tonight. Everyone too busy stuffing their faces before game time or what? Hope TFC are still hungry...

7:17 p.m. EST—Friendly reminder to get those scoreline guesses in before kickoff in our Prediction League! While you’re there, check who’s near the top! Come on people, you can’t let me win. Don’t worry, for what it’s worth, if I do finish first, second place will still get a prize :)

7:12 p.m. EST—Thanks for the update, Chris.

7:08 p.m. EST—How are we feeling tonight? I’m excited to see how Jayden does tonight. He’s really in a position to succeed starting down the left-hand side vs. Cincinnati, as opposed to how we’ve seen him utilized in the past. I’m expecting something special.

6:50 p.m. EST—It’s not just any Sunday evening game against FC Cincinnati. A lot is on the line tonight as The Reds have an opportunity to become the first team in MLS to clinch a playoff spot. If that’s not enticing enough for you, how about a glimpse into the future as some of the young guns (Jayden Nelson, Liam Fraser, and maybe TFC’s youngest-ever signing Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty who’s on the bench) are involved tonight for Greg Vanney’s side. Thanks for joining me, Happy Thanksgiving everybody, and Come on you Reds.


STARTING XI

The young guns! Jayden Nelson gets the start, while Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty finds a spot on the Toronto FC bench.

And the starting XI for the bad guys tonight...Nick Hagglund gets the start at CB.


PREVIEW (Courtesy Brady Reid)

TORONTO, Canada— Toronto FC head into Ohio in fine form where they will take on FC Cincinnati for just the third time in MLS action.

The Reds land in Cinci looking to make it seven straight matches undefeated as their hot streak has them in the driver’s seat for the Supporters Shield and a win away from returning to the MLS Cup Playoffs.

TFC is coming off a tough 1-0 result away to the New England Revolution thanks to yet another Ayo Akinola bulldozing run and finish. The 20-year-old prospective Canadian international has been a revelation up top in place of the oft-injured Jozy Altidore this season.

Cincinnati has struggled in their sophomore season, particularly offensively, scoring just eight times in sixteen matches, an MLS low in that department. They come into this one on a four-game dry spell having been held off the score sheet since their 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls back on September 19th.

Greg Vanney will once again be without the services of a trio of key veterans in Altidore, Michael Bradley, and Justin Morrow. While Morrow and Bradley appear to be progressing toward match fitness in the near future, the news on Altidore is a lot less encouraging, albeit not shocking at this point in time.

For Cincinnati, the story is much the same as three squad members in Siem De Jong, Andrew Gutman, and Jimmy McLaughlin have been sidelined with injury. Former TFC defender Nick Hagglund has also been out of action for the past few weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. The 28-year-old Ohio native made 88 appearances for the Reds in a five year spell with the club.

After playing on the artificial surface at Gillette Stadium midweek, TFC are once again back on the turf at Nippert Stadium on Sunday. While squad rotation is very likely given the congested fixture list Toronto faces moving forward, the group is ensuring they don’t dismiss their opponent despite their place in the standings.

In their previous two MLS clashes, TFC is a perfect two for two against the Orange and Blue. A 2-1 win at BMO Field last July was followed up with a 5-1 road victory in the reverse fixture in September.

For the trilogy match, It’s a battle between two sides with very different motives. For Toronto, anything but three points would be a setback in their quest to snatch back the Supporters Shield they held in 2017. Conversely, Cinci will be content to just find the back of the net and make some progress in working their way out of the Eastern Conference cellar.

Additional Notes:

  • Ayo Akinola’s winner against the Revs was his eighth goal of the season, tying Alejandro Pozuelo for the team lead despite starting just eight matches to date.
  • FC Cincinnati forward Yuya Kobo is the only player on the squad with more than a single goal scored this season with two in sixteen appearances.

WTR PREDICTED STARTING XI

We’re predicting LOTS of changes tonight to Greg Vanney’s starting xi against a struggling FC Cincinnati squad.


HOW TO WATCH

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. EST tonight and those in Canada can watch on TSN 2 or stream it across all TSN digital platforms.

Who: FC Cincinnati
When: Sunday, October 11, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati
TV: TSN 2