Proving that nothing lasts forever, Toronto FC couldn’t keep the leadership or XI together after their three MLS Cup meetings with the Seattle Sounders. Where Seattle continues the Hanauer-Lagerwey-Schmetzer chase for more trophies, TFC is stuck rebuilding.
Currently six points out of the playoffs, the Reds (18 points, 17 played, -8 goal differential) need to take home points from teams like the Sounders (23 points, 16 played, +5 goal differential). With Seattle’s injuries, short rest and travel, Toronto is favored, barely.
Lorenzo Insigne is going to have to watch this one from the suite. The latest in TFC’s history of Big Frickin’ Deal signings has huge expectations and without a result Saturday (4:38 PM PT, FOX 13+/Prime Video/ESPN+) those expectations will be more difficult.
From Waking the Red, Adam answers Three Questions.
SaH: The new signings can’t play quite yet. When they do play, what are the expectations?
WtR: Insigne and Criscito will likely make their debuts at home against the San Jose Earthquakes on July 9th once the MLS secondary transfer window opens. There are some question marks surrounding Criscito due to his age, but he should add experience to the backline. For Insigne, the hype train has left the station with fans expecting him to be the best player in MLS.
SaH: A strong argument could be made that TFC is the second-best team over the past several years. Why have they faltered recently?
WtR: Last season was a write-off after the flop that was the Ali Curtis/Chris Armas era. The squad was in desperate need of retooling and making the playoffs in 2020 probably covered up some issues. The Reds have not looked comfortable defensively since Greg Vanney’s departure.
SaH: Are the defensive issues more about the center or wide spaces?
WtR: I would say the centre (Canadian spelling, eh). Finding a suitable partner for Chris Mavinga has taken longer than it should. Salcedo was supposed to be the solution but he too has been inconsistent. There are just too many errors and miscommunications back there.
There’s no Reverse for this match, but they’ll have a preview up shortly.