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Preview: Toronto FC looks to bounce back against MLS Cup rivals

Saturday’s match will be the first encounter between Toronto and Seattle since MLS Cup 2019.

SOCCER: NOV 10 MLS Cup Final - Toronto FC at Seattle Sounders FC
Chris Mavinga in second half action at CenturyLink Field in MLS Cup 2019.
Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Call it rivalry week at BMO Field!

Coming off of a tough 2-1 loss at home to the Columbus Crew, the Reds welcome another familiar foe to the lakeshore on Saturday night.

Toronto FC will play host to the Seattle Sounders in their first match against the side since their loss in MLS Cup 2019.

MLS: MLS Cup-Toronto FC vs Seattle FC
Victor Rodriguez celebrates with teammates after scoring against Quentin Westberg in MLS Cup 2019.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It seems odd that Toronto has gone two seasons without playing their Pacific Northwest rivals.

A fixture with Seattle isn’t just any other game against non-conference opposition. This one means more to the likes of Alex Bono, Jonathan Osorio, and club captain Michael Bradley. These guys have duked it out with the Sounders in three championship matches, losing two of them. They will be eager to get some sort of revenge when the Sounders come to town for the first time in four years.

Officially in the second half of the regular season, TFC fans will have to wait just a bit longer to see Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Criscito on the field rather than in the stands at BMO Field. Reinforcements are on the way though. The pair have begun training with the team, but are ineligible to play just yet with the MLS secondary transfer window opening up on July 7th.

Saturday’s meeting with Seattle will be the Reds’ fifth match in fifteen days. Jonathan Osorio was given a bit of rest in midweek, coming off the bench versus the Crew. He should be back in the starting eleven come Saturday. Quentin Westberg might be able to return between the sticks after suffering a knock against Atlanta United.

Meanwhile, Carlos Salcedo has been away from the team and seems unlikely to be part of the match day squad.

The Seattle Sounders lost 2-1 last time out against CF Montréal at home. A brace from Mason Troye rendered Jordan Morris’ early opener irrelevant.

The Sounders were picking up steam prior to losing Montreal, going undefeated in their previous four outings. The 2022 CONCACAF Champions League winners have climbed up the standings after a slow start in the league. Seattle currently occupies the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Raul Ruidiaz, who is tied as the team’s leading scorer, has missed the last three matches with a hamstring injury and will likely sit out against TFC.

TFC will still have to watch out for Seattle’s other attacking threats. The experienced trio of Morris, Nicolas Lodeiro, and Cristian Roldan has featured in three finals against the Reds and will likely see the pitch at BMO Field.

Game Notes

  • Toronto FC has lost three in a row to Seattle
  • Toronto FC are 2-5-1 following a loss in the league this season

Predicted Lineups

Toronto FC: Westberg; Marshall-Rutty, Mavinga, O’Neill, Thompson; Nelson, Bradley, Osorio, Pozuelo; Jimenez, Akinola

Seattle Sounders: Frei; Medranda, Gomez Andrade, Ragen, A. Roldan; Rusnak, Rowe; Morris, Lodeiro, C. Roldan; Montero

Match Details

Opponent: Seattle Sounders

Kickoff time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Watch: TSN

Stadium: BMO Field, Toronto, Ont.