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Preview: Toronto FC looks to build on positives against New York City FC

The Reds welcome their Eastern Conference rival on Saturday

Alejandro Pozuelo has scored seven goals against New York City FC in his MLS career. “(Sean Pollock/Waking The Red)”

TORONTO, Ont. - Bob Bradley and his Reds welcome last year’s MLS Champions, New York City FC, to BMO Field on Saturday afternoon following of a much needed win in their last outing against D.C. United.

Kick-off is scheduled for 4 PM EST and can be watched on TSN and CTV.

Their last time out, the Reds showed more progress in their new system and despite being a goal down, were able to claw back through a Jonathan Osorio winner.

After a week off during the international break, the Reds will look to continue their winning form against NYCFC, and hope to pick up three points against the Blues for the first time in three matches.

With the majority of the squad not called up to international duty, Bradley and his coaching staff will have a relatively healthy squad to pick from. Apart from Ayo Akinola, who is inching closer to a return, the Reds announced that 17-year old Jakele Marshall-Rutty will face an extended period of time on the sidelines when he undergoes surgery later this week.

Canadian international Jonathan Osorio and DR Congo international Chris Mavinga represented their countries during this international window, and between travel and heavy minutes, Bradley may not throw them into MLS action right away.

Mavinga, who hasn’t been favoured by Bradley in the opening weeks, may not play a part anyways, but Osorio has featured and played every single minute through four matches for the Reds this season.

New York City FC hasn’t had the title defence that they would have planned for, as they currently sit 10th in the Eastern Conference while sporting the same record as TFC. The Blues have failed to find the back of the net in three of their first four matches, having only scored against CF Montreal in a 4-1 win at Yankee Stadium. NYCFC are still searching for their first win on the road, having only been able to muster a point away from home so far this season.

New York will be without the services of two defenders for their trip north of the border, with both Anton Tinnerholm (Achilles) and Maxime Chanot (upper body) unavailable for Ronny Delia. While Tinnerholm has yet to feature for the Blues this season through injury, Chanot’s absence on Saturday will mark the third week in a row the French defender has been unavailable.

Toronto and New York have faced off in some classic matches since the Blues entered the league in 2015. While the Reds have had the upper hand in the postseason, NYCFC have been able to handle the Reds over their last three regular season meetings, with the Toronto failing to pick up all three points in their previous trio of games against NYCFC.

Heading into Saturday, all eyes will be on Alejandro Pozuelo, who scored his first goal of the season in the Reds’ win over D.C. United. Pozuelo, who introduced himself to the MLS in a matchup against NYCFC, has scored seven goals in seven games (regular season and playoffs) against the Blues.

Match Details

Opponent: New York City FC
Kick-off: 4 PM EST
Location: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Watch: TSN, CTV