On Friday night, Toronto FC host FC Dallas at BMO Field. Fresh off a victory against Orlando City last time out, Toronto will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Dallas come into this game in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 17 points from 10 matches while Toronto enter play with 10 points from 10 matches, placing them in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
This game at BMO Field is also Pride Night, where Toronto FC will support the You Can Play initiative, which promotes equality for all who participate in sport. The event will include rainbow corner flags and streamers among other things. Here’s a picture from last year’s event:
For this match I think Greg Vanney will go for a 4-4-2 diamond formation.
With Alex Bono away on international duty with the United States, Clint Irwin will get a chance to start. Irwin has been on the bench for most of the games this season and must be itching for playing time. This is a real chance for Irwin to remind Greg Vanney of his abilities and put in a solid performance.
Auro, Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga, Gregory van der Wiel
With injuries to Justin Morrow and Ashtone Morgan at left back, Greg Vanney turned to this exact back four against Orlando. Gregory van der Wiel continued to show his versatility, moving over to left back. He didn’t look out of place in the position and I would be comfortable playing him there again if I were Greg Vanney.
Chris Mavinga and Eriq Zavaleta both made their first starts since returning from injury and looked good. Waking the Red viewers agreed with that, as our Rate the Reds poll saw the duo earn scores of +199 and +108, respectively.
Auro played an important role in that game as well, setting up the beautiful Ryan Telfer goal that won TFC the match in the dying stages.
Michael Bradley, Ager Aketxe, Jonathan Osorio, Victor Vazquez
It was hard to leave out man-of-the-match winner Ryan Telfer and a surging Jay Chapman, but Toronto need to play their best players in this one, so I chose what I believe to be the best midfielders available to Greg Vanney.
Bradley is the defensive rock that holds everyone together, and Osorio, Aketxe and Vazquez are the three creative outlets that link the defence with the attackers, creating a nice balance in the middle of the park
Jordan Hamilton, Sebastian Giovinco
After missing the game against Orlando following a red card in the previous game, Sebastian Giovinco is back for this one. Seba will need to link up well with whoever Greg Vanney partners him with up top (Vanney seems to have a lot of faith in Jordan Hamilton) to break down a defence that has only allowed 11 goals this season.
Another option for Greg Vanney could be benching Hamilton, moving Vazquez up into an even more attacking role, moving Aketxe into Vazquez’s spot and bringing Marky Delgado off the bench and into the midfield just in front of Michael Bradley.