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Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against D.C. United

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Will Greg Vanney try to slow down D.C. or will he give minutes to some young talent?

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at Toronto FC Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday night Toronto FC will make their first visit to the new home of D.C. United, Audi Field. It will also be TFC’s first game against MLS’ newest superstar, Wayne Rooney. D.C. United currently occupy the 6th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, ahead of Montreal by a single point with a game in hand over the Impact. A win in this match would put them 4 points clear with just two games remaining, figures that would likely be enough to secure them a playoff spot. Toronto FC, officially eliminated after losing to Vancouver, are hoping to spoil the fun for some of the teams ahead of them, as they play against the two teams battling it out for the last playoff spot, DCU and Montreal, and they will also play Atlanta United on the final day of the season, who are close to beating the points record that TFC set just one year ago against that same Atlanta side.

It has already been confirmed that Victor Vazquez will be out for the rest of the season after getting surgery in his injured knee, allowing him to get a head-start on treatment and recovery. Toronto FC will be without a lot of starters on Wednesday as the 4 Canadians (Osorio, Chapman, Ricketts, Morgan) and 2 Americans (Bradley and Delgado) who were with their national teams on Tuesday night. Drew Moor is expected to return from his injury as he has trained and is healthy. According to John Molinaro (Sportsnet), Greg Vanney said that any players not involved in their international games on Tuesday could make the trip to D.C. and after being left out of both Italy games, Sebastian Giovinco will be making the trip, but it is unclear if he will play.

For this match I think Greg Vanney will go with the 4-4-2 formation he has used so often this year, with the midfield in the diamond shape.

Goalkeeper

Alex Bono

These last three games will serve as a chance for Bono to try and regain his confidence after a tough season. He has made some great starts for TFC this season but after some shaky games in 2018, lost his spot in the United States Men’s National Team and wasn’t even called up for their last camp.

Defence

Auro, Gregory van der Wiel, Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow

Although Drew Moor is available to start this one, I think that Greg Vanney might instead opt to use him off the bench, as he has missed a lot of time this season with injuries. Similar to what has happened with Victor Vazquez (although less extreme), I think the team will be cautious with Moor for the rest of 2018, assuming they plan on bringing him back in 2019.

Midfield

Liam Fraser, Marky Delgado, Jay Chapman, Lucas Janson

With Michael Bradley away with the USMNT, I think Liam Fraser will get the start in this one. Fraser hasn’t had as many chances to play this season as he (or some fans) would have liked, but in the games he has played, his vision and strength in midfield have shone.

Jay Chapman didn't feature for Canada against Dominica on Tuesday night so I think he will be in the lineup for this one. A lot of fans have been calling for Jay to get some more minutes in these final games of the season, as he has also looked good in the limited opportunities he has had, scoring 3 goals in his 19 MLS appearances.

Forward

Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore

In what COULD be his final weeks as a Toronto FC player (I’m not convinced it will be, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see), Jozy Altidore will likely get a few more starts to end off his injury-plagued season. Altidore has played just 13 times in MLS this season (less than Nicolas Hasler who was traded a few months ago), but has 7 goals, good for fourth on the team. Alongside him should be Sebastian Giovinco, who must be dissapointed after not featuring in either match in his first callup to the Italian national team since 2015. Undoubtedly TFC’s best strike pair, these two will try to outscore Wayne Rooney and Co. in an attempt to spoil their playoff aspirations.