Toronto FC faces off against CF Montréal in the semi-finals of the 2022 Canadian Championship on Wednesday night.
Toronto, winners against Forge FC in the postponed 2020 final earlier this month, will hope to continue their success in the cup when they welcome their biggest rival to BMO Field.
Yet to play against Montreal this season, TFC’s last match against their Eastern Conference foe was in fact a Canadian Championship fixture. The Reds were beaten 1-0 at Stade Saputo in last year’s final to cap off their rough 2021 campaign.
Off the back of another loss in the league, Bob Bradley’s men should be hungry to earn a chance to play for a trophy in a cup final and dump their Québécois adversaries out of the competition.
With silverware in the league likely not a realistic goal this season, placing increased importance on Wednesday’s match should be a no-brainer.
Lifting the Voyageurs Cup in Hamilton, the first trophy of the Bob Bradley era, can act as a launch pad for this young group. Though it was against a Canadian Premier League side, stealing an important win on the road in a final can help TFC in a match like this one.
With only Noble Okello ruled out, Bradley has as close to a full strength side as he’s had during his tenure. Squad depth is still an issue, so expect to see his preferred starting XI on the pitch. Jonathan Osorio, who missed the last match against New York Red Bulls, is back in training and could start against Montreal.
CF Montréal travel to Ontario’s capital with championship aspirations on their mind too. Montreal sits fifth in the MLS Eastern Conference and have been the standout Canadian side in 2022. Only two MLS clubs have scored more goals than Montreal this season, so Toronto will need to be cautious at the back and will probably be defending more often than they would like.
A 3-0 win at home against Forge in the last round of the Canadian Championship speaks to the quality and well-roundedness of this Montreal side. TFC struggled against the same CPL outfit with a strong lineup, meanwhile Montreal handled the Hamiltonians with ease, courtesy of a Sunusi Ibrahim hat trick.
Toronto will have their work cut out for them on Wednesday evening in what should be another entertaining edition of the Canadian Classique.
- Toronto FC has faced Montreal more than any other side (25-18-10)
- Kei Kamara has the most goals against Toronto FC among active players
Toronto FC: Westberg; Petrasso, Salcedo, O’Neill, Marshall-Rutty; Shaffelburg, Bradley, Osorio, Pozuelo; Jimenez, Akinola
CF Montréal: Pantemis; Miller, Camacho, Waterman, Choinière; Piette, Koné, Johnston; Mihailovic, Torres; Quioto
Opponent: CF Montréal
Kickoff time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Watch: OneSoccer, fuboTV
Stadium: BMO Field, Toronto, Ont.