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On The Road Again: Toronto FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps match preview

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It’s TFC and Van City Round III, with the trilogy match holding huge Voyaguers Cup implications

SOCCER: MAY 31 MLS - Toronto FC at Vancouver Whitecaps
Toronto FC teammates celebrate a tying goal in the last minutes of play during their match against the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place on May 31, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.
Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

ST.JOHN’S, Canada— With the Reds no longer streaking, Toronto FC head west to face the Vancouver Whitecaps, as they look to get back on track and put themselves in the driver’s seat for a Voyageurs Cup final berth.

It was TFC’s ‘401 Derby’ counterpart, the Montreal Impact, who brought their 18 match regular season unbeaten run to an end when they topped the Reds 1-0 at BMO this past Monday evening.

Some six days earlier it was the Whitecaps falling to Thierry Henry’s Impact side by a 2-0 scoreline at Stade Saputo. The result was Vancouver’s third straight loss and their third consecutive match without a goal.

Back home in beautiful British Columbia, the Caps might be adding some firepower to their front line that was missing dearly on their trek out East. Having not made the trip to Toronto on somewhat strange terms, Fredy Montero has trained with the team throughout the week and may be available for Vancouver this weekend and moving forward.

Vancouver could get more support at the other end of the pitch as well, as defender Erik Godoy and midfielder Janio Bikel are nearing match fitness and could be available against TFC, likely in a substitute role for now.

Fitness concerns start at the very top for the Reds as captain Michael Bradley suffered an MCL strain against Montreal and will miss at least a few weeks as a result.

MB4 joins Patrick Mullins and Ifunanyachi Achara on the sidelines with the former nursing a hamstring injury that has him listed as ‘week to week’, while the latter continues to rehab the significant knee injury that will hold him out of action for the remainder of the season.

Richie Laryea missed out against the Impact with an ankle injury but could potentially be available this weekend off the bench as the extent of the knock is not deemed to be serious.

Bradley’s pain could be the gain of one of TFC’s more intriguing young players as Canadian Liam Fraser could slot into the starting XI in place of the skipper according to Greg Vanney.

For Marc Dos Santos and Co., the chance to play at home for the first time since March 1st offers a glimmer of hope as they look to sort out the offensive struggles that saw them return to Van City a frustrated group.

After dropping a pivotal home clash with Montreal, there is no room for error on this West Coast road trip for TFC, particularly with the Impact having home-field advantage next week for what could be the decisive contest in the race for a place in the Canadian Championship final.

With both teams coming into this one needing a result for very different reasons, it should make for a hotly contested all-Canadian clash at BC Place.

Additional Notes:

  • TFC are 4-2-1 (W-D-L) in their last seven against the Whitecaps across all competitions, their only loss a 2-1 defeat at BMO Field back on October 6th, 2018.
  • Dating back to the MLS is Back tournament, the Whitecaps have failed to score in their last 379 minutes of action.