Toronto FC: Victor Vazquez looking good for Sunday

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 22: Carlos Carmona
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 22: Carlos Carmona /

Toronto FC will apparently make a final decision regarding Victor Vazquez sometime on Saturday, but the chances are good that he will play in the second leg against the New York Red Bulls.

It’s clear Victor Vazquez has been a revelation for Toronto FC this season, helping inspire them to set a new MLS single-season record for points. The creative midfielder led the Reds with 16 assists (one behind the MLS lead), while scoring the third-most goals for the team (eight, along with Justin Morrow).

Vazquez’s fine form continued into the playoffs, when he scored TFC’s first goal against the New York Red Bulls, during the first leg on Monday. However, then disaster struck.

The former Barcelona player suffered a hip injury and had to be replaced in the 65th minute. And even though Toronto FC went on to clinch a crucial 2-1 win, there were understandably concerns about how serious the injury was.

These concerns likely only increased, when Greg Vanney said Vazquez was questionable for the second leg. However, if the latest news is anything to go by, it’s likely the Reds’ head coach was just taking a cautious approach.

As per a report by Sportsnet‘s John Molinaro, Vanney confirmed the 30-year-old has improved since Monday. He took part in training on Saturday, but a final decision has not been made yet regarding his availability.

The major factor in any decision will come from speaking to the player himself, as well as defender Drew Moor, who suffered an ankle injury during the first leg. As reported by Molinaro, Vanney said:

"“A lot of it (has to do) with how they feel. Both of those guys know their bodies, they’ve been around for a long time and they know where they’re at, and what they’re capable of giving. If they feel like they can’t do something, they’re going to be honest about it.”More from Toronto FCFederico Bernardeschi ready for new challenge with Toronto FCToronto FC remodel continues with departure of Alejandro PozueloToronto FC looking to move on from Carlos SalcedoAs Lorenzo Insigne arrives, Toronto FC looks to get back on trackToronto FC: 3 takeaways from 2-1 loss to Columbus Crew"

In one respect, Vazquez and Moor’s injuries won’t get any worse if they play on Sunday. However, this won’t matter if either player is limited in any way.

If we were in Vanney’s position, even if both players are passed fit for Sunday, we would consider putting them on the bench, rather than in the starting lineup. Toronto FC is renowned for their roster strength and you would like to think they are capable of getting a result without Vazquez and Moor.

By the same token, we appreciate the temptation to throw them right back into the action. Even though Molinaro writes that a final decision is expected some time on Saturday, we wouldn’t be surprised if Vanney waits until Sunday, to see how both players feel after another night’s rest.

Next: What TFC need to do to finish off the Red Bulls

In your opinion, how much does Vazquez mean to Toronto FC? More to the point, would you still be confident in the Reds advancing, even if he isn’t available on Sunday? Share your thought in the comments section below.