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FT: D.C. United 3-2 Toronto FC - Game thread, preview, how to watch

The 2023 MLS season is here! The Reds kick off their campaign in the American capital against Wayne Rooney’s D.C. United.

Deandre Kerr evading Sofiane Djeffal during last year’s match at Audi Field.
(Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Live Game Thread

FT. - D.C. United 3-2 Toronto FC.

90’ +8 - GOAL D.C. UNITED. The hosts add a third and take the lead.

90’ - GOAL D.C. UNITED. Christian Benteke makes it 2-2 with a header.

83’ - GOAL TORONTO FC. A superb Bernardeschi free kick was partially saved by Miller and also went off the post. Mark-Anthony Kaye was in the right spot at the right time to put away the rebound.

77’ - Brandon Servania comes on for his TFC debut, he replaces Diomande.

76’ - Toronto comes close to conceding a second, very frantic defending luckily did not result in a goal.

66’ - GOAL TORONTO FC. Bernardeschi makes it 1-1 from the penalty spot! Game on.


55’ - Bernardeschi was recklessly tackled by Klich, only a yellow card surprisingly.

52’ - Adama Diomande thought he tied things up after some effort to round ‘keeper Tyler Miller, but he was ruled as offside.

46’ - The second half begins.

HT - D.C. United 1-0 Toronto FC.

45’ +2 - Akinola has another shot, this time it clips the top of the crossbar and goes over.

45’ - Great chance for TFC to equalise. Impressive through ball from Raoul Petretta to Akinola but the Brampton native wasn’t able to get much power into his shot.

41’ - Alarm bells continue to ring for the Reds, a shot from Santos was deflected by Michael Bradley and hit the outside of the post.

40’ - A big opportunity for D.C. to double their lead. A cross from Chris Durkin was met by Pedro Santos, his header goes wide of the target.

34’ - Insigne cannot continue and is substituted off for Ayo Akinola.

31’ - Cause for concern for Toronto fans as Insigne went down without any contact. He seems okay to continue.

17’ - Almost an instant response by TFC. A cross from Federico Bernardeschi found Insigne at the back post, his attempt went high over the net.

13’ - GOAL D.C. UNITED. Klich unleashes a strike from distance which beats Johnson.

10’ - United win a corner as Raoul Petretta clears the ball.

7’ - Goalkeeper Sean Johnson steps up to claim a low cross from D.C.

4’ - A little bit of individual skill from Lorenzo Insigne earns a foul for the away side.

1’ - And we are underway in Washington!

6:50 pm EST - Our prediction league is back! Don’t forget to put in your final scoreline guesses.

6:35 pm EST - The Reds’ all-time season opener record is 4-3-8 (W-D-L).

6:30 pm EST - Toronto FC begins their 2023 MLS season in Washington, D.C. to play against D.C. United. These teams played to a 2-2 draw last season at Audi Field - Toronto goals were scored by Jonathan Osorio and Ayo Akinola.

Starting XIs

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: the first starting XI of the season for TFC. No surprises for the starters, but Victor Vázquez and Deandre Kerr are not included in the matchday squad.

This is how the hosts line up. Former Toronto ‘keeper Alex Bono is on the bench, while new signing Mateusz Klich mans the midfield.

Match Preview via Adam Palermo

The wait is finally over!

Toronto FC returns to Major League Soccer action on Saturday, paying a visit to Wayne Rooney’s DC United. The Reds will hope to put a disappointing 2022 season in the rearview in their first competitive match of the calendar year.

There will be plenty of new names on display at Audi Field as a refreshed TFC squad hopes to make some noise in the Eastern Conference and return to the playoffs. There is plenty of soccer to play before then though, with Toronto FC set to compete on several fronts in 2023. Bob Bradley will aim to guide his team to the MLS Cup Playoffs, whilst also navigating through the Canadian Championship, and the new-look Leagues Cup.

It all begins though, with an away day in the American capital against the only club which finished below Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings last year. Both sides will look to rebound from poor campaigns and get off on the right foot this time around, though the two clubs may have differing expectations heading into opening weekend.

Though TFC was one of the worst teams in MLS in 2022, it seems like the start of something new. After a slow-ish start to the offseason, Bradley and Club President Bill Manning needed up giving TFC a major facelift, signing nine new first-team players. The front office has addressed the team from back to front, and Toronto now possesses what might be one of the strongest starting lineups in the league.

Free agent acquisition and former Supporter’s Shield winner Matt Hedges echoed that sentiment in his introductory press conference.

With Designated Players Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi now fully in the mix and with a full pre-season under their belt, the club seems to have quickly entered win-now mode. That may be strange to say after back-to-back 13th place finishes in the Eastern Conference, but things can change quickly. For Bradley, Manning, and Toronto’s faithful, they will expect nothing less.

Adding the likes of Hedges, Sean Johnson, Victor Vazquez, Adama Diomande and Sigurd Rosted is a statement of intent from Toronto. But big name signings and feelings of renewed optimism are all for naught if the team doesn’t connect on the field, where it all matters.

On opening day, expect to see close to a full-strength lineup for the Reds, with plenty of new faces on the pitch. Five new signings started Toronto’s preseason finale in Carson, California a week ago and we should see a similar looking team sheet in Washington, D.C.

Though the starting XI feels set in stone, there are still some questions that can only be answered by looking at a competitive fixture. Who is the third centre-back? Will Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty see more minutes this season? What kind of role will Vazquez play? Is Diomande the starting striker?

Hoping to play the role of spoiler on Saturday will be D.C. United. Like Toronto, D.C. has had a rough go of it for two seasons in a row, finishing eighth in the East in 2021, and then bottom of the pile last year.

Rooney, who signed on as D.C. United gaffer midseason in 2022, will hope to showcase his coaching abilities and steer a turnaround in his first full season at the helm.

Like Toronto, D.C. has been wheeling and dealing during the MLS offseason, bringing in a crop of new players, and seeing a good chunk of last year’s roster head for pastures new.

After a good debut MLS season, Designated Player Taxiarchis Fountas will be joined by former Leeds United midfielder Mateusz Klich, United’s biggest offseason addition.

Christian Benteke is another former Premier League footballer who will hope to change the club’s fortunes in 2023. The Belgian has one D.C. United goal to his name after moving to MLS in August 2022, and he will look to get off to a positive start in 2023. No team scored fewer goals than D.C. last season. With the likes of Fountas, Klich, and Benteke, Rooney will have to see that change.

Match Details

Opponent: D.C. United

Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET

Watch: TSN, Apple TV (free this weekend)

Stadium: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.