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Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against the Philadelphia Union

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The Reds are back at BMO Field in MLS action.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night the Philadelphia Union come to Toronto for a game at BMO Field. Following a disappointing draw against the Chicago Fire thank to a stoppage-time equalizer by former Toronto FC player Alan Gordon, TFC need to bounce back quickly and start picking up some points, as fans are beginning to panic a little bit at the few points accumulated so far.

Philadelphia are a solid team, deploying a decent attack that includes the likes of CJ Sapong, Jay Simpson and David Accam, and have who I believe to be the best goalkeeper in the league, Andre Blake. They haven’t performed well so far this season, but are still capable of upsetting Toronto.

Because of his lack of healthy centre backs and the absence of Jozy Altidore for this match, I think Greg Vanney will opt to use the 4-1-4-1 formation that he used against Chicago.

Goalkeeper

Alex Bono

Alex Bono was the best player on the pitch against Chicago in my opinion, making some huge stops, including denying a penalty from Bastian Schweinsteiger. TFC need some points so their number one keeper will need to be the man who leads them to success.

Defence

Auro, Gregory van der Wiel, Michael Bradley, Ashtone Morgan

When he was signed, nobody expected Gregory van der Wiel to be a regular starter in the middle of the defence, but that’s where the Dutchman finds himself thanks to a combination of his great form and a slew of injuries. Michael Bradley has also played in defence for the last two games, but Greg Vanney will surely want that to end soon so the skipper can go back to his natural midfield role.

During van der Wiel’s spell at centre back, Auro has been relishing the oppurtunity to start on a regular basis on the right side of defence. He has earned a lot of praise from the TFC faithful, and has many fans calling for his loan move to be made into a permanent transfer.

Midfield

Liam Fraser, Nicolas Hasler, Victor Vazquez, Ager Aketxe, Jonathan Osorio

Last time out, Marky Delgado played in the base of midfield, and wasn’t too successful. With Michael Bradley having to move back into the defence (which I suspect he’ll be doing again due to a lack of defenders), a hole opened up in the midfield, which Delgado wasn’t capable filling, as he is more suited to a two-way game, as opposed to the defensive role he tried to adapt to on Saturday. Liam Fraser is also a natural CDM, which means he may be better suited to the position than Delgado.

Victor Vazquez and Jonathan Osorio both scored in the Chicago game, but it was Vazquez who stood out in particular. the Spaniard scored a cheeky goal to double Toronto’s lead, and was a creative outlet between Delgado and the defence and Sebastian Giovinco up top.

For more on the importance of Victor Vazquez to Toronto FC, read this article by Waking the Red’s Mitchell Tierney.

Forward

Sebastian Giovinco

The only thing Giovinco didn’t do against Chicago was score. Actually, he did score but his goal was disallowed by the VAR. He has looked dangerous of late and could be on the verge of a hot streak at the top of the formation.

Bench

Clint Irwin, Jason Hernandez, Marky Delgado, Jay Chapman, Ryan Telfer, Jordan Hamilton, Tosaint Ricketts