FT: Toronto FC 2-1 Inter Miami CF—Akinola and Pozuelo find the scoresheet as The Reds snap a two-game losing skid in their home finale at The Rent.
90+3—Quentin Westberg! The Toronto FC goalkeeper goes full stretch to stop a Miami cross that was destined for the head of Pizarro. Crucial touch from Q.
90+1—Five minutes of added time here. TFC are going to have to earn their three points tonight as Miami get desperate...
88’—Great solo effort by Nelson there almost leads to a great goal, but his shot goes wide. Omar Gonzalez coming into the game for DeLeon as The Reds shift into a back five. Time to park the bus.
85’—Jayden Nelson checking into the match now for Ayo Akinola as TFC try to see out this lead.
84’—GOAL! Toronto FC 2-1 Inter Miami CF—Pozuelo rolls the ball into the far corner and TFC have the lead! That’s massive for The Reds in their push for the Supporters’ Shield.
82’—PENALTY! The referee points to the spot! Richie Laryea gets behind his defender, protects the ball on the by line, gets stepped on, goes down really easily, but gets the call. Pozuel stepping up to take it...
80’—CHANCE! Wow! Running away from goal, Gonzalo Higuain smashes a curling effort off the bar from outside the box. The No. 9 still has it in him...that was almost the highlight of the night.
77’—We’re approximately 15 or so minutes away from final whistle, and 1-1 is probably a deserved result in terms of scoring chances. There’s still plenty of time to change that, however. Possession is now 61 per cent to 39 per cent in favour of the Reds.
72’—Liam Fraser also checking into the match for Priso. What a night for the kid!
69’—Richie Laryea getting set to check in for Auro Jr. Also, s/o again to Ralph Priso who’s had a fantastic night in his first career MLS start and has continued to grow into the game. I gotta say as well, Patrick Mullins has been involved since he’s come on. I like the energy he’s brought.
58’—18 year old Ralph Priso getting into physically a bit, love to see that. That Akinola goal was Toronto FC’s first goal in over 250 minutes of action.
55’—GOAL! Toronto FC 1-1 Inter Miami CF—AYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! ANOTHER CLIP FOR THE HIGHLIGHT REEL AS HE SHRUGS OFF THE INTER MIAMI DEFENDER, BRINGS A CROSS DOWN ON HIS CHEST, AND MAKES NO MISTAKE. WELCOME BACK KID! WHAT A DIFFERENCE MAKER. TIE GAME!
54’—Wait. How is Patrick Mullins the first name you call off the bench and not Richie Laryea? Prove me wrong.
47’—They reallllly need to wipe the camera lens. How’s this going to work?
46’—Big second half coming up for Toronto FC if they want to keep their Supporters’ Shield hopes alive. As such, Patrick Mullins coming in for Tsubasa Endoh—who had another quiet outing. Perhaps a relative note: this weather looks/sounds insane.
HT: Toronto FC 0-1 Inter Miami CF—The Reds are down by one heading into the half. They haven’t scored in their last five halves of football, but the chances are there... what are you changing if you’re Greg Vanney? Here’s mine (along with Richie Laryea):
I don't know if this is a hot take or not, but Jayden Nelson > Tsubasa Endoh right now and it's not even close.#TFCLive— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) November 2, 2020
42’—GOAL! Inter Miami CF 1-0 Toronto FC—Blaise Matuidi scores his first goal in MLS as the Frenchman smashes the ball first-time into an open goal after Quentin Westberg makes an initial save. Big opening goal for Miami who are desperately looking for a win to help their playoff chances.
32’—Fantastic play by Tony Gallacher to keep the ball in, and great little cut by Priso as well after to maintain possession for the Reds.
29’—Great defending by Eriq Zavaleta to block a Gonzalo Higuain effort at the top of the box. The former world-class striker had no space.
25’—Are the Danny Dichio chants real!?
19’—Great decision and great ball by Ralph Priso to spring DeLeon, who puts a ball across the six yard box, but a crashing Ayo Akinola can’t make contact. The Reds come close...
15’—Weak foul on Ayo. That should be TFC’s free kick.
9’—Way better start for Toronto FC than they’ve had over the past two games. Akinola makes a huge difference, but I also like the added bit of movement & energy that Priso has to offer.
1’—WE ARE LIVE! WITH FANS!
7:38 p.m. EST—Quentin Westberg & Michael Bradley giving props to Ralph Priso before the game. Love to see it.
7:32 p.m. EST—Brutal! It’s absolutely pouring in East Hartford. S/O to the loyal ones that are taking in tonight’s festivities in-person.
7:30 p.m. EST—Greg Vanney pregame on Ralph Priso first start, Ayo Akinola’s return, & the Supporters’ Shield race after Philadelphia’s loss this afternoon:
"The guys are ready to get after it."— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) November 2, 2020
Hear from head coach Greg Vanney ahead of tonight's kickoff. pic.twitter.com/PlOmeVI3Nq
7:21 p.m. EST—Friendly reminder to leave your guesses for tonight’s final scoreline in our prediction league before kickoff!
7:08 p.m. EST—ICYMI: For The Reds’ ‘home finale’ tonight, there will be 5,000 fans permitted within The Rent this evening, meaning Toronto FC will play in front of a home crowd for the first time since their home opener back on March 7, 2020. Here’s Nick DeLeon and Greg Vanney on the difference they believe the fans will make this evening:
"Sports in general I would say is not the same without fans... the game is so much slower. The fans bring—that energy is real. It’s a real thing that all sports need & are missing...” – @NickDeLeon7#TFCLive | :@MichaelSingh94https://t.co/NRaOzcyuxP— x-Waking the Red (@WakingtheRed) October 31, 2020
6:48 p.m. EST—The starting lineups have dropped and it’s an exciting day for the Priso family, as 18-year-old midfielder Ralph Priso makes his first career MLS start after signing a Homegrown contract two weeks ago. Ayo Akinola and Chris Mavinga also return to the Toronto FC starting XI after missing the past three games. How do we feel about these lineups?
5:42 p.m. EST—As some of you are already discussing in our comment thread:
3:15 p.m. EST—Throwing this up early today, perhaps a spot to share some pregame thoughts. Let me know what you all think! This would’ve been a fun one to have at BMO Field in front of fans, but there will be some in attendance at The Rent this evening. Who else is excited to see Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi (even if it’s on TV)?
Here’s how Greg Vanney will deploy his troops tonight...
And for the visiting Inter Miami FC—G. Higuain and Matuidi both start while former Red Jay Chapman makes the bench in his first game against his hometown club.
PREVIEW via Aasim Hashim
TORONTO, Canada—As the Reds prepare for Inter Miami FC, the task at hand is simple: get all three points.
Of course, even just winning won’t be enough for TFC as the Reds will need some luck on their side and hope the Philadelphia Union falter in the last week of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m EST.
A week ago, Toronto FC were preparing to extend their lead atop the Supporters’ Shield standings. A week later, the Reds now face a daunting challenge sitting three points behind league leaders, Philadelphia, with just two matches left.
The last two games have been far from typical from Greg Vanney’s squad. TFC fans are not used to seeing the Reds play behind the ball as much as they have in the last two games. If the Reds want any chance at collecting all six points over the next two games, they will need to play the brand of soccer that has been synonymous with Toronto FC over the last few years.
Injuries have played a major factor over the last two games leading to the Reds’ rare two-game losing streak. Already with Jozy Altidore, Ayo Akinola, Jonathan Osorio, going into Wednesday night’s match-up, Greg Vanney broke news to media that Pablo Piatti would be unavailable for ‘a couple weeks’ with a calf strain. What that means for the start of the playoffs remains to be seen, but in the interim, it puts even more responsibility on the shoulders of Alejandro Pozuelo to carry the Reds’ offence.
And while Pozuelo is one of the best offensive talents in the league, he still needs help. Nick DeLeon was a bright spot for TFC against New York City on the offensive end and may well have to own that responsibility once again as the Reds prepare for Miami on Sunday night.
#TFCLive Vanney postgame: "Nick (DeLeon), I thought he was fantastic on the night."— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) October 29, 2020
Toronto will also have added incentive as they prepare for David Beckham’s Miami. For the first time since the pandemic, TFC will be opening doors to supporters—up to 5,000 supporters will be allowed into TFC’s adopted home for Sunday’s matchup. After playing for the last few months behind closed doors at BMO Field and ‘The Rent’, it’s sure to get every player in a red shirt amped up to put on a show for some of their faithful.
On the other side of the field, it’s Inter Miami who are in a fight of their own. The first-year MLS club have had an inconsistent showing this season but are still very much in a playoff race. Miami is currently tied for the final playoff spot alongside D.C. United and the Chicago Fire. A win and some luck on their side could also see Miami leapfrog Montreal and set themselves firmly in a playoff spot before ‘Decision Day.’
While Miami might be a new team in the league, the Reds won’t be caught off-guard with some of Miami’s players. Along with former Red Jay Chapman, Blaise Matuidi, Gonzalo Higuain and Rodolfo Pizarro could all feature for Miami. The Reds will be well aware of the attacking threat that Miami poses and know that they’ll need to be defensive secure for 90 minutes to snap their losing streak.
Greg Vanney defended his team for their results and performances in their last two games. As the Reds prepare for Sunday night, it’s time for his players to respond.
- This was the first time this season that Alejandro Pozuelo went back-to-back matches without registering a shot on target.
- This was just the second time this season the Reds have lost back-to-back games (1-0 loss vs MTL, 3-2 loss vs VAN). TFC snapped that streak with a 2-1 win in Montreal behind a Jozy Altidore game winner.
- A number of Reds have been nominated for the MLS end-of-season awards, including Pozuelo and Chris Mavinga for MVP. You can find all the TFC nominees here.
Nov. 1 Injury Report—Toronto FC vs. Inter Miami
#TFCLive injury report for tonight's match vs. #InterMiamiCF:— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) November 1, 2020
OUT: M - Achara
OUT: F - Jozy Altidore
OUT: GK - Alex Bono
OUT: M - Pablo Piatti
OUT: M - Marky Delgado
OUT: D - Justin Morrow
QUESTIONABLE: M - Jonathan Osorio
It looks like Ayo Akinola will make his return.
The good news? The visitors are as banged up, if not more so.
Inter Miami CF
George Acosta (Injury)
David Norman Jr. (Injury)
Nicolás Figal (Injury)
Leandro González Pires (Yellow Card Accumulation)
Andrés Reyes (Yellow Card Accumulation)
Luis Robles (Injury)
Denso Ulysse (Injury)
WTR Predicted Starting XI
Graphic via Jeffrey P. Nesker
How to Watch
Who: Inter Miami CF
When: Sunday, November 1, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Rentschler Field, Connecticut
TV: TSN 4
Radio: TSN 1050