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Match Preview: Toronto FC travel to New York with the Supporters’ Shield on the line

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The Reds will need to better Philadelphia’s result to lift the Shield for the second time in franchise history

MLS: Toronto FC at D.C. United
Toronto FC midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo (10) celebrates after scoring a goal.
(Burke/USA TODAY)

TORONTO, Canada—It all comes down to this. The race for the Supporters’ Shield will come down to the final day of the regular season as Toronto FC will take on the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Sunday hoping that luck will be on their side. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 pm.

The Reds bounced back against Inter Miami and erased a first-half deficit to pick up all three points. That win ensured that the Reds would at least have a shot at the Supporters’ Shield on Decision Day. The two losses prior to their win against Miami, which included a humbling 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union, means that the Reds don’t control their path to the Supporters’ Shield.

In order to claim the 2020 Supporters’ Shield, TFC is going to have to better Philadelphia’s result on Sunday afternoon. Greg Vanney’s side will need to collect all three points against the Red Bulls and hope that the Philadelphia Union falter at home against the New England Revolution—a place where the Union have been undefeated this year.

Although the odds may be heavily against the Reds, don’t expect Greg Vanney’s squad to go down without a fight.

Greg Vanney was able to call upon some of his usual starters for their match against Miami. Ayo Akinola, who scored on his return, along with Chris Mavinga both drew back in the lineup after missing out against New York and Philadelphia. As they’ve done, both Akinola and Mavinga looked impressive and showed just how they’ve become crucial parts of this TFC team.

Vanney has hinted he may have the services of Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio available for Sunday afternoon. Given their lengthy layoffs, and with the playoffs upcoming, it would be a surprise to see both potential returnees start and play the full 90 minutes, but Waking the Red does understand that both players will indeed make their returns to the squad on Sunday.

Pablo Piatti, Justin Morrow, and Marky Delgado continue to be sidelined, which means we won’t see either of those players until at least TFC’s first playoff game.

Toronto and New York have faced off against each other on one other occasion this season. The Red Bulls were the team to put an end to the Reds’ five-game winning streak earlier this season. It was 17-year old Caden Clark who equalized in the 77th minute on that occasion and spurred the Red Bulls to be the more dominant side in the last 10 minutes of that match.

With a playoff spot already locked up, the Red Bulls will be looking to end their regular season on a positive note. Last time out, the Red Bulls saw their five-game unbeaten streak come to an end at the hands of their New York rivals, New York City FC. While their playoff spot won’t be in jeopardy, the Red Bulls will need a result to ensure they control their own seeding heading into the first round of the MLS playoffs.

While it may take something of a miracle to be this year’s Supporters’ Shield champions, TFC have always taken care of business when their backs are to the wall. Sunday should be no different. As long as the Reds collect all three points against the Red Bulls, they’ll have given themselves every chance possible.

So...do you believe in miracles?


Additional Notes

  • Ayo Akinola and Alejandro Pozuelo both netted their team high ninth goals against Inter Miami.
  • Richie Laryea continued his strong showing this season and received another Team of the Week nomination.
  • Michael Bradley tallied his first assist on the 2020 season. His last assist came against Montreal in August 2019.

How to Watch:

Who: New York Red Bulls
When: Sunday, November 8, 3:30 PM ET
Where: Red Bull Arena
TV: TSN 4
Radio: TSN 1050