The 2016 MLS Cup final rematch will be missing a bit of its star power. Toronto FC, in the middle of a three-games-in-eight-days schedule, arrived in Seattle without several of their key starters, including Sebastian Giovinco.
Will be a different looking #TFCLive starting XI tomorrow. Giovinco, Vazquez, Zavaleta and Beitashour didn't make the trip to Seattle.— Gareth Wheeler (@WheelerTSN) May 5, 2017
In Giovinco and Victor Vazquez, TFC will be missing two of the most dynamic offensive players in all of MLS. The two players have combined for six goals and seven assists so far this year. Both players have previously expressed concerns about playing on turf. Steven Beitahshour had started in eight of TFC’s previous nine games, while Zavaleta had started all nine.
There’s also reason to believe that Jozy Altidore will be limited to bench duty, as he’s been reluctant to play on turf in the past. Those concerns are likely heightened by TFC’s busy schedule. Altidore has five goals and three assists so far this year.
This is how Waking the Red sees TFC filling these holes:
Tsubasa Endoh and Marky Delgado will be candidates to take over from Beitashour, while Chris Mavinga would seem to be the likely beneficiary at centre-back. The new signing has not played since recovering from a quadriceps injury, though, and exactly how another left-back-turned-centre-back would fit into a back line already featuring Justin Morrow is questionable.
In midfield and attack expect Jonathan Osorio and Tosaint Ricketts to come in and Armando Cooper, too, if Delgado slides over to the right.
The Sounders, meanwhile, should have most of their players at least available for selection.