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FT: Toronto FC 3-0 Vancouver Whitecaps–Match thread, starting lineups, & how to watch

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Follow along on the match live thread as TFC try to continue their dominance at home in the first match at BMO Field in 164 days.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC v Toronto FC Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

LIVE Match Thread

FT: Toronto FC 3 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps. That’s about as dominant as it gets.

84’—Vanney uses his final changes, and Piatti and Pozuelo come off (together, of course) for Liam Fraser(!!!) and Tsubasa Endoh.

83’—GOAL! Toronto FC 3-0 Vancouver: A back-heel from Pozuelo sets up DeLeon who bends one in far corner. Great goal to cap off a great night from the Reds.

82’—Tosaint Ricketts checks in for Vancouver trailing by two. He’s making his return to BMO Field.

73’—Morrow in for Laryea, DeLeon in for Delgado.

69’—Looks like Justin Morrow will be checking into the match for #TFCLive shortly.

65’—Thought Piatti would’ve got his hat-trick there, but a last-ditch block from the Vancouver defender deflects the ball away from danger. PP looks inspired.

62’—Chance for Oso after some nice build up play in the box but he rings it off the post.

57’—Jozy Altidore comes off for Patrick Mullins. With no Akinola, Mullins gets the nod as the team’s third striker. He put in a good shift at MLS is Back, can he do it again?

55’—GOAL! Toronto FC 2 - 0 Vancouver: Pablo Piatti again! A great finish at the far post puts the Reds up 2-0. There is a VAR check...but it’s being given. GetThatGarbageOuttaHere thinks the Reds may have gotten away with one there...

50’—Half a shout for a penalty for Richie Laryea. He travels most of the field after finding space down the left side, goes down under pressure, but the ref isn’t having it. Great bit of pace from the Canadian international.

48’—Chance! One ball over the top beats the TFC defence as Cavallini, under pressure from a chasing Mavinga, runs on to the end of it and strikes. Fortunately, Westberg makes himself big and comes up with the save. Simply too easy.

46’—We’re back! No changes for either side after halftime.

HT—Toronto FC 1 - 0 Vancouver: Only negative takeaway I have from this half so far is that Jozy Altidore hasn’t looked particularly great. Other than that, I’ve been extremely impressed by the Reds through 45.

40’—Michael Bradley is finding acres of space in the midfield and I love it. This has been such a dominant half so far from the Reds, MLS is Back Game 1 vibes. Let’s hope they finish this one a bit better than that day against D.C.

37’—Just coming back in here to say that Alejandro Pozuelo is a wizard. He’s created probably 4-5 legitimate goal-scoring opportunities so far for his teammates. The angles that he’s able to deploy a pass is just ridiculous.

27’—GOAL! Toronto FC 1 - 0 Vancouver Whitecaps: Pablo Piatti! What a strike! That’s why he was made a designated player earlier this offseason. Damn, how about that for your first goal in MLS?

18’—Yellow Card: For an accumulation of fouls, Lucas Cavallini finds himself in the book. I definitely agree with the booking, he’s been playing on the line.

17’—Another chance for TFC as this time it’s Jonathan Osorio testing Hasal from distance. The Reds continue to press...

14’—Toronto FC are still looking great. Piatti and Pozuelo continue to dictate pace up top, while MB4 looks great controlling the game from the middle of the park. They’re one final pass away from a breakthrough.

8’—Some more great link-up play at the top of the box by Pozuelo and Bradley leads to a shot from the TFC captain. The Reds are moving the ball extremely crisp and with a purpose. They definitely hear the drums from the faithful outside BMO Field.

6’—Chance! Great bit of build up play for TFC leads to a break down the left side for Richie Laryea who puts teasing low cross just out of the reach of a sliding Jozy Altidore. Good start for the Reds.

1’—We’re off, as all players and staff take a knee before kickoff. Here we go! Vancouver kicks off.

7:56 p.m. EST—The Real SK Fan pointing out that Vancouver Whitecaps rookie GK Thomas Hasal gets the start in net again for VWFC tonight after emerging at the MLS is Back Tournament. Let’s see if the Reds give him a warm welcome at BMO field.

7:47 p.m. EST—Greg Vanney shares his thoughts before the match. He told us earlier in the week to expect a better version of Toronto FC given the conditions, alluding to the ideal weather and how TFC like to press.

7:42 p.m. EST—Don’t forget to leave your shouts in our Prediction League. Don’t want to fall behind this early!

7:36 p.m. EST—Shoutout to the fans outside BMO who are singing their lungs out. The next closest thing.

7:31 p.m. EST—Both teams are getting their pregame fix on the field, with Toronto FC wearing Black Lives Matter warmup shirts. Love to see it.

7:24 p.m. EST—How about this Starting XI though? Is this not the best possible starting XI we could see from Vanney, save perhaps Justin Morrow?

7:17 p.m. EST—For the first time since March 7—164 days ago—we are LIVE from BMO Field! I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back and we couldn’t ask for better weather to play 90 minutes. How are we all feeling tonight?


Starting XI

Greg Vanney starts what could be his best XI. Here we go.

Our boy Tosaint Ricketts makes his return to BMO Field and is on the bench for Vancouver.


Match Preview (Courtesy Brady Reid)

ST.JOHN’S, Canada— After a disappointing finish in the MLS is Back tournament, Toronto FC is back home at BMO Field and ready to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in an all-Canadian regular season clash on Tuesday evening.

TFC was topped by familiar foes NYCFC 3-1 in the MLS is Back round of sixteen some three weeks ago. The early exit came much to the surprise of many of the Reds faithful, particularly with the success Alejandro Pozuelo and Co. have had against the Bronx Blues in recent memory.

For the Whitecaps, the surprise came in reaching the knockout stage at all, as several key players opted out of the tournament entirely before standout starting keeper Maxime Crepeau later went down injured in the group stage.

Riding the wave of replacement goalie Thomas Hasal, one of the feel-good stories of the tournament, Vancouver managed to claw their away into the round of sixteen, ultimately losing out on penalties to Sporting Kansas City.

While the reaction surrounding the two team’s early flights out of Orlando may have differed, the situation back in Canada is now the same for both sides.

Each of TFC, the Caps, and the Montreal Impact are set to face against one another three times apiece in the coming weeks with major implications for both the MLS regular season standings and the Canadian Championship at stake.

Labelled as ‘Canada’s Battle of the North’, the club with the most cumulative points from the upcoming all-Canadian MLS fixtures will face-off against the CPL Island Games winner in a one-off final for the Voyageurs Cup and a berth into the next Concacaf Champions League.

While the format is less than perfect, it is likely the only way the competition could be played in the current climate and should give Toronto some added incentive to pick up as many points as possible as they head into Phase One of the regular season.

The Reds squad may benefit in the long run from going out as early as they did in the MLS is Back tournament, as the chance to heal some lingering injuries during the past few weeks may prove helpful ahead of another congested upcoming run of fixtures.

All signs in training suggest Jonathan Osorio and Jozy Altidore should both be fit and available for selection… at least for the time being.

Breakout star Ayo Akinola is battling the hamstring tightness that kept him out of Toronto’s defeat against NYCFC. According to TFC head coach Greg Vanney, he has returned to training but is “very questionable” for Tuesday’s (re)opener. Fellow forward Ifunanyachi Achara remains sidelined for the season following ACL surgery last month.

According to Gareth Wheeler on the COYR podcast, Justin Morrow is “feeling better” as he continues to nurse the achilles tendonitis injury that kept him out of TFC’s final three games down in Florida, and we can expect the veteran full-back to return in the “not so distant future.”

On the Vancouver side of things, the Whitecaps should be supported with plenty more firepower upfront than the side that struggled to create scoring chances down in Orlando.

Back on Canadian soil, Marc Dos Santos can once again call on a trio of key attackers in Lucas Cavallini, Fredy Montero, and Tosaint Ricketts, who all opted out of the MLS is Back matches over COVID-19 concerns.

While the front three will be feeling fresh moving forward, concerns in between the sticks may be on Dos Santos’ mind as Crepeau remains on the sideline thanks to the thumb injury he suffered against the Seattle Sounders last month.

Crepeau’s pain appears to be Hasal’s gain as the 21-year-old Saskatchewan native gets his chance to prove his performance in MLS is Back was no fairytale.

These two Canadian clubs last faced off in the MLS back on May 31st, 2019 at BC Place where Nick DeLeon struck at the death to secure a single point on the road for TFC in a 1-1 draw.

Toronto fielded far from their strongest XI on the night with regulars including Bradley, Osorio, and Auro Jr. out of the squad on this occasion, and ultimately the match was far from the most exciting of last season.

With almost everyone available for selection and plenty of added incentive heading into Tuesday, expect Vanney to field as strong a side as possible to restart the 2020 regular season on a high note.

Additional Notes:

  • Former Reds striker Tosaint Ricketts will make his return to BMO Field, this time as an opposing player with the Whitecaps. The Canadian international made 66 appearances and scored 16 goals across all competitions in three seasons for TFC.
  • A point in this game would extend Toronto’s regular-season unbeaten run to 16 matches spanning across 381 days.

HOW TO WATCH

Today’s match will kickoff at 8 pm EST on TSN 4/5. Michael Singh will be live from BMO Field with your live match thread. Follow along, chime in, and share your thoughts. They may just get construed to the TFC head coach ;).