FT - Vanney looks pissed. I will take the win. Ayo Akinola.
95’ - Annnnnnd Laurent Ciman gives away a PK. Taider converts. 4-3. Squeaky Bum Time.
83’ - GOAL! AYO GETS HIS HAT TRICK!!!
79’ - Henry is bringing on many fresh attackers. No like.
75’ - Westy makes a save on a big chance.
73’ - SUBSTITUTION - MONTREAL Anthony Jackson Hammel in
68’ - SUBSTITUTION - MONTREAL - Bojan on for Urutti
67’ - DOUBLE SUB - TFC
66’ - OMG. LIAM FRASER KLAXON!
60’ - TOR SUBSTITUTION: We going to a 3-5-2.
56’ - Pablo cuts in and takes a shot. Big save by Diop.
51’ - WTR’s own Martyn Bailey brings out the spreadsheet for a victory lap:
In case you're wondering where Akinola's 12 minute brace ranks in @TorontoFC history, here are their quickest 6 braces (under 3.5 minutes) #TFCLive @WakingtheRed @vocalminorityCA @24thminute @joshuakloke pic.twitter.com/lHBZ9Ssqtp— Martyn Bailey (@martyn_bailey) July 17, 2020
48’ - WTR’s own Matthew Wilson was singing Ayo’s praises before you were:
46’ - Greg Vanney has given us many gifts on this night:
46’ - We are back for the 2nd half:
HT: Sebastian Giovinco appreciation tweet:
HT: TOR 3 - 2 MTL. 5 goal thriller and there’s still 45’ to go!
45’ - TFC giving up multi-corners. Binks comes soooo close.
41’ - Martyn Bailey, Oracle.
37’ - GOAL! TOR 3-2 MTL Ayo’s on fire!!!! your defence is terrified
37’ - GOAL! who cares 2-2
36’ - Annnnnnd TFC concede a Penalty. #teamchaos
25’ - GOAL! AKINOLA! TOR 2 - 1 MTL What a beautifully worked goal.
Piatti and Pozuelo pulling strings. Beautifully worked goal. Ayo's got 3 in Orlando! #TFCLive— Gareth Wheeler (@GarethWheeler) July 17, 2020
19’ - Can really hear the Gaffer yelling.
“Now we’ve got nothing here. If we turn over the ball we’re fucked.”— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) July 17, 2020
— Prof. Greg Vanney, PhD in Soccer
Thurs., July 16, 2020#TFCLive
14’ - GOAL! TOR 1 - 1 MTL. Derrp.
8’ - GOAL!!!! TOR 1 - 0 MTL RICHIE LARYEA ON THE LEFT!
7’ - Good chances for TFC. eating my pie. yum yum yum.
1’ - We’re off!
8:06PM - So close.
7:58PM - The Gunners fan part of me is in hell rn:
7:55PM - Beer Cracked, Steak and Ale Pie in the oven. Bradders on the telly, and the twitter, it is on le fire.
When you look at pro sports in Canada, I don’t know that there’s a better rivalry right now than #IMFC v #TFCLive. I’ve never experienced anything quite like 16 ECF and 17 Cdn Champ Final. There’s a heat you don’t find elsewhere. #MTLvTOR at #MLSisBack tonight will be interesting— Michael Leach (@MLeach680News) July 16, 2020
7:51PM - Stats! Stats! Stats! MB1’s got stats!
The @TorontoFC record for quickest multi-goal games is @TosaintRicketts who bagged braces 4 days apart in 2017 (Galaxy, Impact)— Martyn Bailey (@martyn_bailey) July 16, 2020
Ayo Akinola has the chance to do it in just THREE days. #TFCLive @WakingtheRed @24thminute @vocalminorityCA @joshuakloke @LukeWileman @KristianJack pic.twitter.com/2OoPCpbCoZ
7:48PM - Who wants to be on TeeVee?
7:45PM - Buzzziiiiiinnnnnnggggg
7:40PM - No Josmer in the lineup. I will be using the timestamp of the lineup tweet to weed out any Prediction League Bonus Cheaters.
Pregame Match Thread
6:54PM - Watching the news and I hate it. Why can’t it be 8PM?
6:03PM - Oh the weather outside is frightful. But my couch? So delightful!
5:06PM - Got myself a haircut today. This will be important on the quiz later.
Key Match Notes & Predicted Starting XI
- Greg Vanney was pleasantly surprised with how his team looked on Tuesday after Monday’s match, making note that most of his players will be available for selection.
- Justin Morrow is still a question mark after coming off at halftime due to Achilles tendinitis issues. Vanney noted he was still pretty sore after the match.
- Jonathan Osorio (quad) and Jozy Altidore (fitness/rest) are still doubtful for Thursday’s contest. If they are able to somehow get up to match fitness, they’ll likely come off the bench.
- Pablo Piatti played 73 minutes on Monday. Do the start him again on Thursday or do we see our first instance of load management, Pablo style?
Match Preview (Courtesy Aasim Hashim)
TORONTO, Canada—After four months and a couple false starts, Toronto FC took to the field against D.C. United and dominated...until the final 10 minutes. Thanks to the format of the MLS is Back tournament, though, TFC is already on to their next opponent: the Montreal Impact. Toronto will take on the Impact on Thursday at 8 p.m. EST (previously scheduled for Wednesday night) with both clubs looking for their first win of the tournament.
The first half against D.C. United saw the Reds play with some swagger and you would never have guessed it was their first match in four months. Bradley looked fresh as ever, and considering his extended layoff, didn’t seem to miss a beat. At the same time, TFC’s new Designated Player, Pablo Piatti, showed what he could do during his debut, Pozuelo was being Pozuelo, and youngster Ayo Akinola netted twice.
Vanney’s side will look to recreate that first half performance over the course of 90 minutes going forward. The schedule, however, will not make this easy. With their first game rescheduled twice, Toronto will now play Montreal on only three days’ rest — and for a club that has only played once since March, this might complicate things for Vanney and his staff.
Beyond managing minutes, what makes this even more complicated is that the latter half of the D.C. game showed Vanney that he might not be able to rely on his second choice centre-backs, Laurent Ciman and Eriq Zavaleta. Ciman was at fault for Frederico Higuain’s first goal, giving United a lifeline, but as a whole, the match turned when Vanney was forced to make a double change and replace both his starting centre backs due to cramping.
#TFCLive's Vanney says that Omar Gonzalez and Chris Mavinga were cramping up. Admits the team lost momentum and possession after making those subs.— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) July 13, 2020
The Orlando weather plus a short turnaround may force Vanney to make some changes to the starting XI. Managing minutes, especially in a tournament like this, could prove to be the difference between a deep run and a quick exit.
The good news is that it does look like both Gonzalez and Mavinga will be available for Thursday evening’s game after Vanney told reporters on Tuesday that the two were doing fine.
Toronto will be without two of their regulars once again. Striker Jozy Altidore and Midfielder Jonathan Osorio both look set to miss the clash with Montreal. Altidore has been working to gain match fitness and Vanney is being cautious not to call upon his start striker too early and risk an injury. Osorio, on the other hand, has been rehabbing a quad injury and Thursday’s match will come too early for him, according to Vanney. Osorio will likely feature in the third match against New England.
On the other side of the pitch will be the Montreal Impact. Whenever TFC and the Impact face off, it makes for great viewing. Who can forget the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals? Thursday should be no different.
The Reds collected all six points against the Impact in the 2019 MLS regular season allowing the Impact just one goal over their two games. That said, the Impact did get the better of TFC in the Canadian Championship through a shootout.
After the first round of games in the MLS is Back Tournament, Montreal finds themselves at the bottom of Group C courtesy of a 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution. In that matchup, the Revs controlled the chances and the game. The Impact failed to create many clear cut opportunities, managing just two shots on target over the course of 90 minutes. The loss means the Impact will be in desperation mode on Thursday night as another poor performance could all but end their hopes of getting out of the group stage.
While Montreal started their season earlier than most teams through their participation in the Concacaf Champions League, new Impact Head Coach Theirry Henry is still trying to put his mark on the squad.
The addition of Victor Wanyama in Montreal’s midfield, along with a front three of Urutti, Bojan and Okonkwo, could keep the Toronto midfield and backline busy throughout the night. While the Impact offence faltered against New England last Thursday, you can bet that Henry has been working on tweaking the Montreal offence over the last week.
And while this match won’t decide the group by any means, a win for Toronto will go a long way in securing their spot in the knockout rounds.
- Great news as Toronto FC announced on Monday evening that the player who tested inconclusive for COVID-19 has since tested negative on two tests.
NEWS | Toronto FC Player Tests Negative for COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/2voNIdMxHZ— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) July 13, 2020
- Toronto has now dropped points in two of the three games they’ve played this year, both while leading 2-0 (season opener vs San Jose was the first).
How To Watch
Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, July 16, and those in Canada can watch on TSN.
Make sure to get your guesses in the prediction league before kickoff!