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Preview: Toronto FC squares off against D.C. United hoping to end losing streak

The Reds will look to reverse their fortunes in the American capital.

Lukas MacNaughton (5) and Edison Flores (10) in action...
Lukas MacNaughton and Edison Flores in action during the last meeting between Toronto FC and DC United.
Photo by Angel Marchini/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Toronto FC supporters don’t have to look too far back to find their club’s recent losing skids.

2021, a year to forget for TFC fans, had two rather forgettable streaks. The first of which occurred under the watch of Chris Armas.

Armas’ sixth loss in a row early in the season would signal the end of his short-lived tenure in Toronto. A humiliating 7-1 loss on the road was to be the last straw for the current Manchester United assistant coach.

That humbling defeat was to none other than D.C. United at Audi Field ... Toronto FC’s task this Saturday. The Reds will look to avoid extending their slide to six and in doing so, steer clear of rewriting any history.

MLS: Toronto FC at D.C. United
Griffin Yow of D.C. United celebrates his stoppage time goal which made it 7-1 for his team in their win against Toronto FC at Audi Field.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s matchup with the Black-and-Red of D.C. will be TFC’s second and final meeting with their Eastern Conference foe. The last encounter finished 2-1 in favour of Toronto at BMO Field, with Jonathan Osorio scoring the winner.

This match offers Toronto FC a great chance of getting some points on the board as the Reds have steadily slipped down the Eastern Conference standings. Yet, only two points separate the Reds in 13th, and D.C. United in 8th.

Osorio will be a name to watch heading into this fixture, with the Canadian international likely to return from injury after missing the last two matches. His presence has undoubtedly been missed in the middle of the park.

Further on the injury front, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty is inching closer to a return to full participation in training. Meanwhile, Alejandro Pozuelo and Jacob Shaffelburg are both questionable for Saturday’s game.

Currently 8th in the Eastern Conference, D.C. United have made some major changes since their last match against TFC.

The loss at BMO Field would go on to be one of Hernan Losada’s final games in charge of the club. Current interim coach Chad Ashton will be at the helm until further notice.

Though results haven’t drastically improved under the guidance of Ashton, D.C. United has managed to move up in the table after sitting bottom of the Eastern Conference through their opening six matches.

The signing of Taxiarchis Fountas has given the D.C. side a breath of fresh air in attack. The Greek designated player has five goals and an assist in four starts. He will be the one to watch for the Toronto FC backline.

Game notes

  • Toronto FC hasn’t recorded two wins in a row against D.C. United since 2016
  • D.C. United striker Ola Kamara has four goals and one assist in his last four matches against Toronto FC.

Predicted lineups

D.C. United: Hamid; Hines-Ike, Birnbaum, Pines; Smith, Canouse, Djeffal, Gressel; Fountas, Flores; Kamara

Toronto FC: Bono; O’Neill, Salcedo, MacNaughton; Petrasso, Priso, Bradley, Thompson; Osorio; Jimenez, Akinola

Match details

Opponent: D.C. United

Kickoff time: 6:30 p.m. EST

Watch: TSN

Stadium: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.