Toronto FC: Reds Travel to Orlando City SC


Toronto FC: Reds Travel to Orlando City SC

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Toronto FC looks to get back on track Sunday evening at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, as they take on the first year-club Orlando City SC. The game is set to start at 7:00 EST.

Both clubs are under immense pressure to find a win, but for different reasons.  Orlando City has yet to win a match at their home stadium in three tries, losing twice and drawing once. The Lions entered the season with high expectations, after adding notable players such as Brazilian superstar Kaka and United States National Team hero Brek Shea, but have struggled right out of the gate.

They do have two wins to their name, but they are entering Sunday’s contest coming off of a 3-0 loss to the Columbus Crew. Orlando City’s fans are anxious to witness a win for the first time at the Citrus Bowl, but TFC have other things in mind.

Toronto FC have lost four straight matches after opening the season with a 3-1 win over the now Western Conference leaders Vancouver. Having to play the first seven matches of the season away from BMO Field has definitely not been ideal for TFC, but there is too much talent on this roster to continue losing they way that they have been.

Sebastian Giovinco, the MLS rookie from Juventus, has been one of the lone bright spots for Toronto. He has scored the last three goals for the squad and has been involved in the club’s last four goals. If Toronto FC hope to win on Sunday, they must continue to get Giovinco the ball in open spaces.

Two of the biggest stars on the team, Americans Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, must become a more active part of the squad in order for TFC to start climbing back up the Eastern Conference table. Altidore, the 25-year-old forward, is second on the team behind Giovinco with two goals for the season.

He has struggled to remain consistent playing at the club level, since he left Dutch club AZ Alkmaar in 2013. During the 2012-2013 Dutch Eredivisie campaign, Altidore scored 23 goals to help AZ win the Dutch Cup for the first time in 31 years.

After he was purchased by Barclays Premier League club Sunderland, he went on to only score three goals in 29 appearances. So while his two goals in just four appearances for TFC look good compared to his stats at Sunderland, it is vital that he begins to create a bigger threat up front to take all of the attention away from Giovinco.

Mar 07, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley (4) and forward Jozy Altidore (17) and midfielder Benoit Cheyrou (8) celebrate Altidore

Michael Bradley, TFC’s current captain, has yet to record a goal or assist in four appearances this season. He has had his fair share of chances, though, shooting at goal seven times this season.

His problem has not been finding the chances, but finishing said chances. This has also been a problem plaguing him in his time with the United States National Team.

Keep in mind that Bradley has been playing more of a defensive midfielder role for the first four games, but we saw him in more of an attacking position during last Saturday night’s game against FC Dallas. I expect the captain to remain in that attacking midfielder position Sunday night against Orlando, in order to help out forwards Altidore and Giovinco.

Sunday’s contest will be aired nationally both in Canada and the United States. Fans in Canada can catch the match on TSN2, while those in the States can watch on Fox Sports 1.

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