Live Game Thread
FT: An important three points for Toronto FC as they defeat Charlotte FC 2-0. Second road victory of the season for the Reds!
90’ - Doneil Henry replaces Insigne.
90’ - Berna tried to hold up play for Jiménez so he could get onto the end of the pass and score his first goal in almost two months.
86’ - O’Neill’s foot deflects the ball towards Toronto’s net, Bono was forced to make the save for a corner.
78’ - What a character Berna is, he attempts yet another olimpico off a corner kick.
76’ - WHAT A CHANCE FOR THE REDS TO ADD A THIRD GOAL. Criscito dribbles through one defender and sticks with the play, he chipped in a cross to Bernardeschi and his header was cleared off the line by Fuchs.
71’ - Triple substitution for TFC: Lukas MacNaughton is replaced by Shane O’Neill, Achara comes on for Jayden Nelson and Jiménez comes on for Akinola.
66’ - GOAL TORONTO FC. CHE GOL DI FEDERICO BERNARDESCHI. THE TRADEMARK LEFT FOOT OF BERNA CURLS THE BALL INTO THE BACK OF THE NET.
64’ - Andre Shinyashiki’s shot was saved by Bono, the ball fell to Bender - Bernardeschi tracked back from midfield to stop the attack.
61’ - Nice through ball from Bernardeschi to Akinola, his low shot was saved by Kahlina. Akinola was offside anyway.
58’ - Great tackle by Mimmo, he has not put a foot wrong since joining the club.
The Italian connection continues pic.twitter.com/VLrAOObdrA— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) August 28, 2022
49’ - GOAL TORONTO FC. LORENZO INSIGNE WITH AN ACROBATIC FINISH AT THE FAR POST AFTER A CORNER WAS DELIVERED BY FEDERICO BERNARDESCHI.
HT - Charlote FC 0-0 Toronto FC.
45’ - An ambitious Criscito takes a shot from well outside the box, it was travelling but went wide of the post.
37’ - Kerr comes off with an injury and is replaced by Kosi Thompson.
36’ - Criscito blocks a Charlotte shot, goes behind for a corner.
33’ - Good pressure by Chris Mavinga puts a halt to any potential opportunity that Brandt Bronico was going to create.
30’ - A shot from defender Jaylin Lindsey is caught by Bono.
26’ - A header from Vargas is caught by Bono.
17’ - Ben Bender’s cross finds Kerwin Vargas, his attempt is parried over the bar by Alex Bono.
12’ - A shot from the top of the 18-yard box by Lorenzo Insigne goes over the crossbar.
10’ - Federico Bernardeschi sent the cross from the free kick to Domenico Criscito, he attempted yet another volley which we all know he is very capable of scoring.
9’ - RICHIE LARYEA IS QUALITY. He draws yet another foul. Christian Fuchs is shown a yellow card.
8’ - Shaky defensive play from TFC, allowing Charlotte time and space to make the passes they want.
3’ - Good hustle from Deandre Kerr on the right flank wins a free kick for TFC.
1’ - Early corner for the hosts as they put on lots of pressure.
1’ - And we are finally underway!
7:55 pm EST - Kick-off has been scheduled for 8:10 p.m.!
7:20 pm EST - Still in a lightning delay in North Carolina...
7:00 pm EST - Kickoff delayed due to lightning in the area.
6:25 pm EST - Don’t forget to put your final scoreline guesses in our prediction league!
6:20 pm EST - Ayo Akinola gets a third consecutive start as he leads the line for Toronto.
6:05 pm EST - Tonight marks a second consecutive away match for the Reds, it will undoubtedly be a difficult atmosphere in Charlotte they are ranked third in MLS for average attendances this season.
6:00 pm EST - Toronto FC travels to Charlotte, North Carolina for the first time to play Charlotte FC. The first meeting between these clubs was on July 23rd at BMO Field - a dominant 4-0 victory by Toronto FC. Goal-scorers that day were Jonathan Osorio, Federico Bernardeschi and a brace from Michael Bradley.
Update on Osorio missing out from tonight’s match:
Head Coach Bob Bradley makes one change to Toronto’s starting XI after their defeat to Inter Miami last Saturday. Jonathan Osorio is not included in the matchday squad, Deandre Kerr comes in to replace him. Jesús Jiménez is back on the bench, along with Noble Okello who was out for a number of months with a lower body injury.
Former Premier League winner Christian Fuchs headlines the Charlotte XI as captain, it’s worth noting that he was sent off during Charlotte’s first encounter with TFC.
Match Preview via Aasim Hashim
Speaking after last week’s loss, defender Lukas McNaughton described the Reds’ mentality heading into the final stretch of the season.
“Game-by-game,” said MacNaughton. “Every game is big to get into the playoffs. Every game matters, every point matters.”
The Reds will have their next opportunity on Saturday night as they head to the Bank of America stadium for a matchup against Charlotte FC. Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm EST and can be watched on TSN.
Last week’s loss will have been a tough one for these Reds to swallow. For large parts of the night, Toronto controlled the match, but individual mistakes cost them dearly. It also continued their appalling road record - where they have picked up just seven points in 13 matches.
Including Saturday night, the Reds have four matches left on the road, so if TFC wants to make a push for a spot in the playoffs, their road record will need to improve drastically.
From last weekend, the Reds have not added any new injuries to the list. Heading into Saturday night’s matchup, Quentin Westberg, Mark-Anthony Kaye, and Noble Okello are questionable to play. While Westberg and Okello would likely not have featured Saturday night in any case, the continued absence of Kaye is troubling news.
Jesus Jimenez, who was not selected for last weekend’s trip to Miami, looks to be available after supposedly being rested by Bob Bradley. The Spaniard has struggled to provide an offensive spark for the Reds recently. A week off might do the striker some good, however, what role Jimenez will play this weekend, remains to be seen.
Expansion side Charlotte FC has had a respectable start in their MLS tenure. Charlotte currently sits two points ahead of Toronto in the Easter Conference. While CLT FC has also struggled on the road this season, picking up just two wins, they have been considerably stronger on their own turf securing eight of their 10 wins on the season at the Bank of America Stadium.
The Crown come into this matchup hoping to bounce back from their own 2-1 loss against another Florida based team, Orlando City SC. The loss was Charlotte’s third in their last four matches.
While Charlotte don’t boast the same level of attacking talent that the Reds do, TFC will still have to be aware of Karol Swiderski. If Charlotte are to be successful in this match, they will have to be reliant on Swiderski who leads the team with eight goals and four assists so far this season, including scoring three goals in CLT FC’s last five matches.
Heading into this matchup, Charlotte will be without McKenzie Gaines through a leg injury. Gaines has featured in 20 matches for the Crown and had the lone goal for Charlotte in last weekend’s loss.
Toronto and Charlotte have matched up just once in their history, when the Reds cruised to a 4-0 victory. Toronto will be hoping for a similar result as their last time out against CLT FC.
While this match won’t have nearly the same level of anticipation as the reverse fixture did - with the introduction of Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi - its importance still remains the same.
It was a victory in this fixture at BMO Field that started a five game unbeaten run for the Reds just a few weeks ago, and with seven matches left this season, the Reds will need a win on Saturday night to try as they try and force their way into this year’s MLS Cup Playoffs.
Opponent: Charlotte FC
Time: 7 p.m. EST
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.