TORONTO, Canada—After picking up points in two consecutive matches, the Reds will look to continue their streak on Wednesday night and pick up points in three consecutive matches for the first time this season. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM EST and can be watched on TSN1 and TSN4.
On Saturday night Toronto relied on their fans to get a much needed boost. The Reds will once again have Reds faithful in the stands on Wednesday night as the club will increase attendance to 15,000 fans at BMO Field.
Under Head Coach Javier Perez, the Reds have a renewed confidence in their game and it showed as they controlled much of the match against Orlando City and created dangerous chances. With Alejeandro Pozuelo and Yeferson Soteldo running the show on offence, and Jozy Altidore scoring the opening goal, it certainly felt like the TFC of the last few years.
A packed schedule will mean that Perez may have to think about rotating his squad this week. Having played on Saturday—and the Reds will be back in action on the weekend, when they travel to Chicago—the interim head coach will have to find a way to balance the Reds urgent need for points, while ensuring his squad are able to get the rest that they need.
Canada, El Salvador, and Jamaica’s involvement in the knockout phase of the Concacaf Gold Cup means that the Reds will be without the services of several key players. TFC did not add new injuries to their list from their weekend match, and one has to wonder if Quentin Westberg, who is once again listed as questionable, will see some time in net in either of the next two matches.
While Ayo Akinola wouldn’t have been available through international duty anyways, the Reds did announce that the Canadian forward will likely be sidelined for the rest of the year following an ACL injury picked up in Sunday’s match against the USA.
Turning to TFC’s opponent’s for this week, the New York Red Bulls will be well rested heading into Wednesday night’s matchup. The Red Bulls last played on July 8 against the Philadelphia Union earning a point at Red Bull Arena. New York were slated to play Inter Miami this past weekend, however inclement weather forced that match to be postponed.
The Red Bulls currently sit in eighth in the Eastern Conference with 17 points, tied for the final playoff spot. While the Red Bulls have been good on their own turf (4-1-1), they have struggled mightily on the road (1-4-1). Their lone road win of the year came in a 2-1 win at Exploria Stadium. Of the 15 goals the Red Bulls have conceded this year, 11 of those have come on the road.
The Red Bulls hold the historical advantage in this matchup, having picked 10 wins and five draws in 21 matches against Toronto, including wins in their last matcheup against the Reds. In their matchup earlier this season, the Red Bulls cruised to a 2-0 victory, with goals from Frankie Amaya and Caden Clark. The 18-year old Clark, who is the joint top-scorer in New York (along with Cristian Casseres Jr.) has had success against the Reds in his short time as a professional, completed his transfer to RB Leipzig earlier this summer, but will continue to be part of the Red Bulls squad for the remainder of the year.
The Red Bulls will have a healthy and rested squad coming into this matchup. New York will be without Aaron Long and Youba Diarra, but will have many of their key players available in Toronto so Javier Perez and his coaching staff should see no surprises.
The Reds have begun to look more comfortable under Perez as they’ve started playing a style more suited to this squad. A matchup against the New York Red Bulls gives this Reds team another opportunity to build back their confidence and continue to build upon their recent positive results.
- Perez and the Reds defence will have to be wary of Red Bulls forward Patryck Kilmala who has been heavily involved in the Red Bulls offence recently, scoring twice and adding three helpers in the last seven games.
- One more yellow for Michael Bradley and Omar Gonazalez means they will be suspended. Given their importance to this squad right now, it’s not a headache the Reds will want to deal with.
- Defender Justin Morrow was named to the team of the week for his outing against Orlando City on Saturday night.
Opponent: New York Red Bulls
Kick-off: Wednesday, July 21st at 7:30 PM EST
Watch: TSN 1, TSN 4
Location: BMO Field, Toronto, ON