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Toronto has a chance to do something they haven’t managed all year: win back-to-back league games. They’ll take on the Vancouver Whitecaps this Saturday at BMO Field in the last all-Canadian clash of the 2023 MLS regular season.
In their last game, the Reds finally put an end to a painful 10-match losing streak across all competitions by defeating the Philadelphia Union 3-1.
On the flip side, the Whitecaps have been on the road and have come away with points in three consecutive matches, including a 1-1 draw against New York City FC. It sets the stage for an intriguing showdown between the two Canadian sides.
Toronto vs Vancouver Predicted Lineups and Team News
Toronto finds renewed vigor as they anticipate John Herdman’s arrival, following an inspiring win under interim manager Terry Dunfield. Their recent victory equaled the number of goals scored (3) in their previous eight MLS matches combined.
Toronto aims to break their winless streak against Western Conference teams, with only one goal in five encounters. With slim playoff hopes, they languish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, 12 points from the playoff line, and only seven games left.
In contrast, Vancouver thrives on impressive away form, eyeing a postseason home fixture. They’re sixth in the West, just three points behind the Seattle Sounders. A win against Toronto could solidify their position, setting the stage for an enticing showdown at BMO Field.
Team News: Toronto
Toronto FC is facing a bit of a personnel puzzle ahead of their upcoming clash. Several key players are nursing lower body injuries, including CJ Sapong, Latif Blessing, Prince Owusu, Cassius Mailula, Cristian Gutierrez, and Adama Diomande. Shane O’Neill’s availability is in doubt due to concussion protocol, and Greg Ranjitsingh is still on the mend from knee surgery. Sean Johnson remains sidelined after hand surgery.
Despite these challenges, Toronto has some shining stars in their lineup. Lorenzo Insigne and Jonathan Osorio have been consistently contributing to their home fixtures, each with a goal involvement in consecutive MLS matches. In their recent victory against Philadelphia, Insigne, Osorio, and Deandre Kerr were the goal scorers, while Tomas Romero faced just two shots in that game.
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) September 15, 2023
Toronto Predicted Lineups
Romero; Franklin, Rosted, Mabika, Petretta; Bradley; Osorio, Ibarra, Coello; Bernardeschi, Insigne.
Team News: Vancouver
Vancouver FC is contending with a roster jigsaw as several players are unavailable. Thomas Hasal is still out due to patellar tendinopathy, while Luis Martins is nursing a left calf strain.
On the bright side, Junior Hoilett is set to join the squad after his contract with League One’s Reading expired. However, Sergio Cordova has made a move to Alanyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig and Javain Brown’s return might be delayed. Andres Cubas could also be sidelined after his international duty for Paraguay.
RUN IT BACK ⏮🍁
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) September 15, 2023
Vancouver Predicted Lineups
Takaoka; Blackmon, Veselinovic, Laborda; Laryea, Adekugbe, Berhalter, Ahmed; Vite; White, Gauld
Will Shane O’Neill Play Today?
It remains uncertain whether the defender will be available for the upcoming match, as he is currently undergoing the concussion protocol. His participation in the starting lineup against Vancouver hinges on whether he successfully clears the protocol; otherwise, he will not be taking the field.
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