What matches on Toronto FC’s upcoming 2020 slate will have the most say in if the Reds can return to MLS Cup? We break down five to keep an eye on.
After an extraordinary run to the MLS Cup Final last season, Toronto FC are back in action on Feb. 29, keen to avenge their second-place finish and add another star to their badge in 2020.
Gone are the likes of Drew Moor and Nicolas Benezet, but with the addition of Pablo Piatti (who might end up missing some time with a strained hamstring, but we don’t need to talk about that) and an improved comfort level between the big three of Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo, TFC could be primed to make another run at the cup. Here are five matches that will have some sway.
New York City FC at TFC
BMO Field – March 7
After their first game of the season on February 29 in San Jose, TFC will fly back to Toronto for their home opener with the 2019 Eastern Conference Champions.
The loss of Spanish legend David Villa didn’t seem to hurt NYC FC one bit in 2019, as they set a club record with 65 points en route to their first-ever conference championship last season. However, when Toronto FC entered into Citi Field (a scheduling conflict moved the match from the Bronx to Queens) for their conference semifinal tilt last season, the “Boys in Blue” could have used someone with the mercuriality of Villa.
An errant pass-back intended for goalkeeper Sean Johnson was intercepted by Alejandro Pozuelo and buried for the opening goal. Then, in the 87th minute with the score now level, Rónald Matarrita clumsily hauled down Richie Laryea in the box. Pozuelo converted from the spot, and just like that, NYC FC’s dream season was no more.
They’ll be out to set things straight, this time in Toronto.