On Saturday night, Toronto FC will be at Orlando City Stadium to face off against Orlando City SC. Orlando currently sit in 9th position in the Eastern Conference, with 19 points through 18 games, one place above Toronto FC, but have been absolutely abysmal recently, losing nine consecutive matches, including a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Los Angeles FC last time out. Toronto, fresh off a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City, sit in 10th place with 16 points, and will hoping to pick up some road points as they try to climb out of the basement of the Eastern Conference.
Against Sporting Kansas City, Greg Vanney dropped the failing 3-5-2 formation and returned to the 4-4-2, which better suited the healthy players available to him, I think he will use again.
Bono let in another two goals against Sporting KC, but both were not his fault. The first, scored by Ilie Sanchez, was a perfectly placed penalty that Bono was unable to stop. The second goal was put home by Johnny Russell following a tantalizing run, nearly unstoppable for Bono.
Gregory van der Wiel, Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow
Injuries have been a huge issue for Toronto this season, as Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga, Jason Hernandez and Auro all remain out with various ailments. Greg Vanney still has a solid back line to work with but fatigue will be an issue going forward if the same 4 players are repeatedly used. Eriq Zavaleta has also put in a few poor performances in a row, and could perhaps do with a rest, but can’t until someone viable can step into his place.
Nicolas Hasler, Liam Fraser, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio
Three of these four players started against Sporting KC, with the exception of Nicolas Hasler. Marky Delgado was the player who started at Children’s Mercy Park instead of Hasler, and had another poor performance. He is quite obviously lacking in confidence at the moment as he is making silly mistakes on a regular basis, sometimes leading to goal scoring opportunities. Hasler has been one of the more consistent players for Toronto, and is also among the hardest working. Jay Chapman could also be given the spot if Vanney opts to leave out Delgado.
Sebastian Giovinco, Jordan Hamilton
Jordan Hamilton scored an beauty against SKC, using his weaker foot to curl a shot past Tim Melia, tying the game at 2-2. He appears to improving with each start, and should get the bulk of the playing time with Giovinco while Jozy Altidore remains out with a foot injury. Giovinco has looked visibly frustrated in recent matches, often throwing his hands up in the air at missed opportunities by both himself and his teammates. Hopefully he can shake this attitude soon and get back to the level we all know he can.