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Preview: Toronto FC returns to MLS action against the New York Red Bulls

The Reds travel to Red Bull Arena looking for a rare win.

Alejandro Pozuelo and Toronto FC travel to Red Bull Arena on Saturday evening. “(Sean Pollock/Waking The Red)”

TORONTO, Ont. - After a two-week hiatus, the Reds are back in action on Saturday night, in MLS play looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league to three. TFC will travel to New Jersey to take the New York Red Bulls.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7 PM and as always can be watched on TSN.

The international break was a productive one for the Reds, as they were able to get more of the squad healthy while also picking up a trophy after finally playing in the 2020 Canadian Championship Final and defeating Forge FC in a penalty shootout.

Having played 14 games up to this point means the Reds are almost at the halfway mark of the season. So far, the Reds have a 4-3-7 record to show for it, and while more reinforcements could be on the way as soon as next month, the Reds’ margin for error is slowly dwindling. Toronto currently sits 12th in the Eastern Conference, four points clear of last place Chicago Fire and four behind Charlotte FC who occupy the last playoff position.

Saturday will also mark the beginning of a busy two week period for the Reds and will see their squad depth be tested. The Reds will play five matches (four league matches and a Canadian Championship semi-final) over the next two weeks.

The good news, however, is that the Toronto is no longer facing the same level of injury crisis they were last month. Heading into Saturday’s matchup, only midfielder Noble Okello has been ruled out; Jonathan Osorio, Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, and Chris Mavinga (all lower body injuries) are questionable. Osorio is perhaps the most important name on that list as he has shown time and again how valuable he is to the Reds’ midfield as he has collected three goals and four assists in 11 matches this season.

Toronto’s opponent on Saturday, the New York Red Bulls, currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, sporting a 6-5-4 record so far this season. The Red Bulls will be looking to bounce back from their 2-0 loss last week against MLS newcomers Charlotte FC.

The Red Bulls have shown that they can score goals in bunches, having bagged 24 through 15 games this season. Leading the way for NYRB is midfielder Lewis Morgan, with six goals this season. TFC will be familiar with the Scottish import, who torched the Reds’ defence for a first half hat-trick (his first three goals for the club) during Toronto’s 2022 home opener.

While the Red Bulls will have most of their contingent available, the biggest headache for head coach Gerhard Struber will be the questionable status of midfielder Dru Yearwood. Yearwood has appeared in 15 games for the Red Bulls this season and has logged 924 minutes so far this season. Struber will also be without youngsters Daniel Edelman and Caden Clark, who are both away on international duty.

New York has struggled to put together a strong home performance this season. In seven games at home at Red Bull Arena, NYRB has managed to pick up just a single win - a 4-1 win against D.C. United on May 28th. Nonetheless, the hosts will still feel confident given their historical home record against TFC.

In the 18 regular season matches the Red Bulls have hosted Toronto, the Reds have had virtually no successes. NYRB owns a 14-2-2 record, including an 11-1-2 record at Red Bull arena and have scored 43 goals while conceding just 11 times against TFC.

Game Notes

  • TFC is winless in its last six outings against the Red Bulls and have not picked up a point at Red Bull Arena since May 2017 during a 1-1 draw.
  • Their last win during the regular season at Red Bull Arena came in March 2016, when the Reds won 2-0 (Toronto did manage to secure a 2-1 win at Red Bull Arena during their 2017 postseason run).
  • New York leads the overall matchup 20-9-10 (regular season and playoffs)

Match Details

Opponent: New York Red Bulls
Kick-off: 7 PM EST
Stadium: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Watch: TSN