Toronto, ONT. - Toronto FC are back at home as they welcome FC Cincinnati to BMO Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 PM and can be watched on TSN.
Toronto are coming into this game on a positive run of form having won their last three matches across MLS League and the Canadian Championship, and keeping a clean sheet in their last two matches in all competitions, most recently a 0-0 draw against Colorado on Saturday night.
The Reds are looking at two matches this week both at BMO Field. While the lack of travel will help keep the squad fresh, Javier Perez will have to think about rotating his squad having already played on Saturday night and with injuries to a number of first-team players.
For Wednesday night’s matchup, the Reds will have eight first-team players unavailable. While Alejandro Pozuelo is questionable and Michael Bradley will once again be available after serving his suspension, the Reds added striker Dom Dwyer and defenders Chris Mavinga and Eriq Zavaleta to the injury list.
Mavinga and Zavaleta’s injury of course means there will be big headache for Perez as he looks to fill the gap in the middle of his defence. Perez has predominantly opted for a back four since taking over, and while Luke Singh can fill one of those spots, how Perez manages the absences of Mavinga and Zavaleta will be something to watch for as the lineups are announced ahead of kick-off.
Toronto FC’s opponent on Wednesday, FC Cincinnati have had a busy week on and off the field. On the field Cincinnati is coming off of a 4-2 loss against D.C. United currently find themselves in a three match losing streak and have picked up points in just one match over their last seven - their 2-0 win over Toronto.
Off the field however, Cincinnati decided to make a change in the coaching ranks on Monday. Cincinnati announced the departure of Head Coach Jaap Stam and assistant coaches Said Bakkati and Yoann Damet. Former Red Tyronne Marshall was named interim head coach and will make his return to BMO Field on Wednesday night.
With limited time to prepare for this matchup, Marshall and his new coaching staff will not be able to make wholesale changes in terms of tactics to the squad, so the Reds can anticipate a similar FCC team to the one that walked away with a 2-0 victory.
While FCC may be in a three game losing slump, as Toronto FC also discovered earlier this season, a change at the head coaching spot can help, at least temporarily change the mood around the club and lead to positive results.
There are a lot of similarities between the Reds and FC Cincinnati. The Reds occupy the last spot in the league, while Cincinnati sit just one point above the Reds and both sport similar defensive records. The Reds have conceded 51 times this season - most in the MLS - and have a -23 goal differential, while FCC have conceded 48 times and have a -22 goal differential.
Toronto FC and Cincinnati have faced off on five occasions since FCC entered the league. While TFC dominated the early matches winning the first three matches, Cincinnati has won the last two matches, both in 2021.
In Wednesday night’s matchup, Toronto FC will attempt to do something they haven’t been able to do so against FC Cincinnati. Score a goal. In two matches this season, Cincinnati have walked away with all six points winning with identical 2-0 scorelines.
While this season has undoubtedly been a disaster for the Reds, heading into the last eight matches of the MLS regular season, all that’s left to play for, in the MLS, is pride. While the Canadian Championship still provides a viable option to win silverware this season, sitting in the basement of the league is not a familiar spot for TFC at least over the last few years. A strong run to finish the season can help build some optimism as the Club heads into a crucial off-season.
Opponent: FC Cincinnati
Stadium: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Kick-off: 7 PM EST