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Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup against LAFC

The newest MLS side make their first trip to BMO Field

MLS: Toronto FC at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, Toronto FC will open up the final month of the regular season at home to the newest team in MLS, Los Angeles FC. The expansion side employ former TFC player Steven Beitashour, and academy products Mark-Anthony Kaye and Quillan Roberts (neither of whom made a first team appearance). They’re coached by Toronto captain Michael Bradley’s father, Bob Bradley.

On Wednesday, Greg Vanney picked an interesting lineup, to say at the least. Vanney only selected one centre-back, as well as Justin Morrow, leaving fans wondering if he was playing a 2-6-2 formation, but it turned out to be some form of a 5-3-2, with Jay Chapman playing at right-back and Michael Bradley at centre-back. It was an odd lineup, and one that suffered defensively. He left most of his key players back in Toronto, presumably to keep them ready for this game against LAFC, so I don't think a similar lineup will be used in this match. Instead, I think he'll opt for a 4-4-2, bringing Michael Bradley back into his natural position.


Alex Bono

Bono was on the bench midweek, presumably to keep him rested for this match. He's been shaky lately, giving away a few too many rebounds and letting in shots that he would've saved last year, but as I've said many times in the predictions, he remains the number one goalkeeper for TFC and will start key matches like this one.


Gregory van der Wiel, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta, Justin Morrow

Van der Wiel and Moor were both left in Toronto on Wednesday, and should hopefully start this one.

I used an online generator to pick between Nick Hagglund and Eriq Zavaleta this time, and it came up with Zavaleta after pressing "random" 50 times. Leave ways for me to decide between them in the future in the comments below and I may use them as I'm running out of ideas. Zavaleta came off the bench in Portland, which is a less fun but more logical reason why he might get the start in this one.


Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Marky Delgado, Lucas Janson

Bradley Jr. will have to block out emotions in this one as he comes up against his father for the first time in their careers. He'll surely be at the base of the midfield, behind Jonathan Osorio, who was rested midweek. The Canadian signed a new contract after that match, proving his loyalty to the club he has spent his entire career with (I'm sure the fact that he'll be one of the highest paid Canadian soccer players didn't hurt either, but let's go with the first one). Lucas Janson has looked great in his first 3 appearances for the club and, assuming Vazquez isn't 100% healthy (needed to pass a fitness test as of Friday), will likely be starting at the top of the diamond, behind the 2 strikers.


Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore

Sebastian Giovinco didn't even make the trip to Portland, partly because of a light injury, but I think more so to keep him rested for Saturday. He complained about the turf at BMO Field after exiting the match with said injury against Montreal, but will be hoping to forget it and score another 2 goals this weekend.