The last time these clubs met, TFC earned a dramatic Eastern Conference Semifinal victory at City’s temporary home: CitiField. For what it’s worth, after this match, City will head “home” to play CONCACAF Champions League action in their new temporary home: Red Bull Arena.
The actual comforts of home will fall to the Reds this week, who spent the better part of last month in California as training camp merged into last Saturday’s Season Opener.
But it’s time to look ahead. Here are this week’s numbers to watch vs. New York City FC.
Toronto has had mixed results in Home Openers over the years. On the previous 13 occasions (12 at BMO—and one at the Rogers Centre), the Reds have managed to put together a record slightly above .500.
Since they entered the league in 2015, coincidentally, NYCFC and Toronto FC have a relatively even head-to-head record, as well.
But if you’re looking for fun with numbers (why else would you be here?), it’s worth noting that Toronto has only lost twice in their last 11 head-to-head meetings.
It also wouldn’t be your worst idea to take the over on Saturday. Toronto has enjoyed great success against the Expansion Class of 2015. Orlando (+15) and NYCFC (+10) have manged to pad Toronto’s scoring stats in just a handful of seasons in the league.
Of those 30 goals, nearly 2/3 of them have come from the power trio of Sebastian Giovinco, Alejandro Pozuelo, and Jozy Altidore (19 of 30).
In fact Pozuelo—who hasn’t even had to change the batteries in his smoke detectors since he arrived in MLS—has already amassed FIVE of his 15 goals against this weekend’s opponent.
Have three of those come from the penalty spot? Sure.
In fact, TFC has scored more penalty kicks against NYCFC in five years than they have against any other club in their 13 seasons.
Of note, Toronto FC has taken two penalties in the same match only three times.
On two occasions, the same man took both kicks—both against NYCFC!
The nine attempts against the citizens in sky blue are more than any other opponent, including Eastern rivals that they’ve been playing since 2007.
And one last tidbit to keep you warm at night (and perhaps keep Sean Johnson up at night). No team in the past 13 seasons has allowed more PK goals v. Toronto FC than Sean Johnson has personally in the past THREE seasons.
Please come find me on twitter when he stops one at the death on Saturday.