Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. Toronto

Two sides in desperate need of points will come head-to-head on Saturday evening at Red Bull Arena. Three points is a must for New York Red Bulls in order to remain in contention for the Supporter’s Shield heading into an all-important clash against Atlanta United, who made use of their game in hand to extend their lead at the top, next weekend.

A once intimidating Red Bulls defense has lost its wings as they have conceded six in their last two matches. With the playoffs in eye’s sight, now is not the best of times for holes to be appearing in the armour. Chris Armas needs to rectify this issue promptly if the Red Bulls have true aspirations of getting their hands on a piece of silverware at the end of the season. If the defense can regain its form, Bradley Wright-Phillips seems determined to single-handedly do the rest, with him coming off a hat-trick against D.C. United last time out.

Hanging onto their playoff hopes for dear life, Toronto, similarly, have been unable to keep the ball out of their own net. After a record-setting campaign in 2017, they have struggled to maintain their dominance. Currently sitting nine points outside of the playoff positions with just six games remaining, they come into this game with a point to prove after losing to Tigres UANL 3-1 midweek in the first Campeones Cup – a third straight game in which three-plus goals were conceded. This desperate team will provide the home side with a stern test, preparing them for more meaningful fixtures on the horizon.

Last time these two teams met, Kemar Lawrence scored the game-winner early in a forgettable match at Toronto. Last season, the two teams played an intense playoff series that involved a locker room brawl and multiple red cards. Toronto ultimately prevailed on away goals, but both teams will surely remember the bad blood and could provide an entertaining affair on this occasion.

Match Information

Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018

Kick-off: 17:00 (ET) | 22:00 (BST)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Referee: Kevin Stott

Broadcasting: MSG (New York) | ESPN + (USA) | TSN 2 (Canada)

Previous Meetings

05.19.17: New York Red Bulls 1-1 Toronto

09.30.17: Toronto  4-2 New York Red Bulls

10.30.17: New York Red Bulls 1-2 Toronto 

11.05.17: Toronto 0-1 New York Red Bulls

07.01.18: Toronto  0-1 New York Red Bulls

Current Form

Toronto

Montreal Impact 3-1 (H) | Portland Timbers 2-0 (A) | Los Angeles 2-4 (H) | LA Galaxy 5-3 (H) | Tigres UANL 1-3 (H)

New York Red Bulls

New York City 1-1 (A) | D.C. United 1-0 (H) | Houston Dynamo 1-0 (H) | Montreal Impact 3-0 (A) | D.C. United 3-3 (A)

Team News

Toronto

Injured: Chris Mavinga (hamstring) | Drew Moor (calf)

New York Red Bulls

Injured: Kyle Duncan (anterior cruciate ligament) | Florian Valot (anterior cruciate ligament) | Vincent Bezecourt (medial collateral ligament)

Predicted Line-ups

Toronto

Bono

van der Wiel – Zavaleta – Bradley – Hagglund – Morrow

Delgado – Osorio – Chapman

Altidore – Giovinco

New York Red Bulls

Robles

Murillo – Long – Parker – Lawrence

Adams – Davis

Rzatkowski – Romero Gamarra – Royer

Wright-Phillips

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Toronto

[Photo: Noah K. Murray]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s