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FT: Orlando City SC 4-0 Toronto FC - Game thread, preview and how to watch

Following two straight defeats, Toronto FC’s playoff fate could be officially sealed at Exploria Stadium if the Reds fail to beat the newly crowned US Open Cup champions. Moreover, Bob Bradley’s men will have their sights set on recording a morale-boosting victory ahead of the international break.

Sean Pollock/Waking The Red

Live Game Thread

FT - Orlando City SC 4-0 Toronto FC.

90’ - Insigne’s free kick from close range leaves Gallese untroubled.

84’ - GOAL ORLANDO CITY. Tesho Akindele makes it four. TFC has now conceded four in their last three MLS games. Dreadful.

83’ - Final change for the Reds as Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty comes in for Richie Laryea.

81’ - MacNaughton picks up a yellow, meaning he is now suspended for the Reds’ next MLS fixture due to yellow card accumulation.

71’ - Two more TFC changes with Jonathan Osorio and Luca Petrasso replacing Mark-Anthony Kaye and Criscito.

61’ - Another one shortly after as Insigne’s header falls right into Gallese’s gloves.

60’ - TFC with their first shot on target at last! Jiménez hits one with power, but it’s straight at Pedro Gallese.

52’ - First two changes for TFC as Deandre Kerr and Jesús Jiménez come in for Kosi Thompson and Ayo Akinola.

49’ - The Reds have now conceded 60 goals in MLS this season. In 2021, they conceded 66.

47’ - GOAL ORLANDO CITY. An unfortunate own goal for Lukas MacNaughton. That might just be the nail in the coffin.

46’ - Let’s hope for some fight during the second 45.

HT - Orlando City SC 2-0 Toronto FC. A woeful half from Bob Bradley’s men. Orlando deservedly two goals up.

41’ - Torres hits the post. Westberg spared once again.

35’ - Some neat link up play between Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi, but the No. 10’s curler drifts wide. Given the space he had, should’ve at least been a shot on target.

32’ - Domenico Criscito booked.

30’ - Yet again, TFC reaches the half hour mark with no shots on target...

22’ - GOAL ORLANDO CITY. An emphatic finish from Ercan Kara doubles the lead for the Lions. That ball from Mauricio Pereyra was delicious.

16’ - A lack of urgency once again proving costly for the Reds. Orlando hasn’t been stellar, but they look hungrier than the visitors.

9’ - GOAL ORLANDO CITY. The dominant side deservedly takes the lead. Facundo Torres beats a helpless Westberg from just outside the box. Good finish from the Uruguayan.

4’ - Several scrappy chances for the hosts. Westberg’s blushes are spaered after spilling a low cross.

1’ - Show time in Orlando.

7:00 pm EST - In terms of the recent history of this matchup, Toronto FC is winless in their last five meetings with Orlando dating back to August 2019. The Reds will surely be hungry for an overdue victory against their Eastern Conference rival following two draws and three defeats in those past five encounters.

6:55 pm EST - Great to see Lorenzo Insigne back in the XI, along with Jonathan Osorio on the bench. No Hugo Mbongue in the matchday though, likely due to the fact that tomorrow is MLS NEXT Pro Decision Day for Toronto FC II.

6:37 pm EST - Don’t forget to give us your score predictions before kickoff!

6:35 pm EST - Bob Bradley’s side has tallied just four points from their last five MLS games. In addition, the Reds have conceded 10 goals in their last three. Hardly the form of an MLS Cup Playoff team.

6:30 pm EST - Toronto FC’s playoff fate could be officially sealed at Exploria Stadium tonight should the Reds fail to beat the newly crowned US Open Cup champions, Orlando City SC. Moreover, Bob Bradley’s men will have their sights set on recording a morale-boosting victory ahead of the international break.

Starting XIs

Just two changes from the side that fell to a 4-2 defeat to Atlanta United last weekend, with Lorenzo Insigne and Kosi Thompson coming into the XI for Jayden Nelson and Noble Okello. Jonathan Osorio is available off the bench after missing the Reds’ last four matches due to a head injury, while Quentin Westberg keeps his place between the sticks.

Here’s how the hosts line up. Top scorer Ercan Kara leads the line for one of more goal-shy teams in the Eastern Conference this season.

Match Preview via Adam Palermo

Toronto FC battles Orlando City SC at Exploria Stadium on Saturday, knowing that a loss, and maybe even a draw, could eliminate the club from playoff contention.

A spot in the postseason has seemed distant for weeks now, but the hope still lingered. With two losses on the trot, Toronto FC has put themselves into dangerous territory and will have to win against Orlando to have any chance.

Recent results have helped Toronto make it this far without being ruled out of a playoff position. The Columbus Crew are winless in three and the New England Revolution have lost two in a row.

Though a TFC win is probably delaying the inevitable, it will be important to head coach Bob Bradley as well as supporters that the team give it their all in every match, especially when there is still a chance mathematically.

It was a low-scoring affair the last time Toronto FC met Orlando City back in May. The Reds were shutout in a 1-0 loss at home courtesy of a Kyle Smith header in stoppage time.

TFC travels to Orlando hoping to avoid a first-ever season sweep to the Lions.

Toronto will be without the services of defenders Chris Mavinga and Doneil Henry for the road game. Jonathan Osorio might return to the fold, with the midfielder recovering from his head injury.

A new player will also be joining the Reds ranks’ late in the season. Hugo Mbongue was signed to the senior side from Toronto FC II this past week and the forward has a chance to make his mark in Orlando.

The younger brother of former homegrown talent Ralph Priso inked his deal with Toronto FC on Tuesday and might be given a shot to impress right away. Mbongue has scored four goals to go with six assists in MLS NEXT Pro this season.

With Jesus Jimenez and Ayo Akinola only having scored twice in Toronto’s last 14 MLS matches, Bradley will want to introduce more competition to start matches. Toronto FC’s final three regular season matches can provide Mbongue with the chance to stake his claim for a regular role in the first team for next season.

Orlando City come into Saturday’s contest sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference, but with nothing guaranteed yet. The Lions are only three points above their Floridian rivals Inter Miami in eighth and will aim to bounce back after falling to Atlanta United at home last time out.

The 2022 US Open Cup champions have lost two in a row in the league after winning their previous four matches.

Manager Oscar Pareja will want to see his squad find their form once more as they head into their final four matches. His side has struggled to consistently find the back of the net, scoring the least amount of goals (36) out of the 14 teams currently in a playoff position.

Match Details

Opponent: Orlando City SC

Kickoff time: 7:30 pm EST

Watch: TSN

Stadium: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.