PREVIEW – Toronto FC will travel to New York City, New York to face their rivals New York City FC nicknamed The Pigeons. There is an interesting rivalry between these two teams.
They have faced each other twice in the MLS Cup Playoffs and once in the MLS is Back Tournament’s knockout stage. TFC look to win two-straight MLS Season Games against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium.
Toronto FC Will Play Against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium
New York City FC
New York City FC Gets Important Tie Against Expansion Cousins Orlando City SC
NYCFC are currently third in the Eastern Conference with seven points. However, they have played one less game than the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference, which are CF Montréal and the New England Revolution.
They are well-rested as they last played on May 8. This game ended with a 1-1 tie with Orlando City SC. NYCFC got a late goal in the 79-minute. This was thanks to the play of Ismael Tajouri-Shradi of NYCFC who created a penalty for his team.
— New York City Football Club (@NYCFC) May 8, 2021
Taty Castellanos scored the penalty, beating The Lions goalkeeper Pedro Gallese who dived the wrong way. The hesitation by Castellanos might have also put Gallese’s momentum off a bit. Castellanos leads NYCFC with four goals scored.
Jesús Medina is just behind with three goals scored this year. Anton Tinnerholm currently leads the team with two assists, including one game-winning assist.
NYCFC Head Coach Ronny Deila on the Performance
As a result, The Pigeons were able to get a tie against their MLS expansion cousins The Lions. Orlando is the same team that eliminated NYCFC from the MLS Cup Playoffs last year. New York City head coach Ronny Deila was pleased with the performance against Orlando.
“Everybody is performing, everybody is doing their job and they keep their discipline. There was leadership on the field today as well. We go 1-0 down after a fantastic finish from Nani, they didn’t have any chances before that.”
Deila also noted that there were missing some of their older players like Maximiliano Moralez and Alfredo Morales who could make a difference. He was overall very impressed with the team’s performance against Orlando.
Toronto FC Gets First 2021 MLS Win Against Trillium Cup Rivals
The Reds finally got into the win column against their Trillium Cup rivals and defending MLS Cup Champions Columbus SC. Toronto looked like the better team all night and they were also a lot of positive signs with the club.
This included Yeferson Soteldo making his first start for Toronto and Kemar Lawrence making his debut appearance with a TFC jersey. Furthermore, Marky Delgado and Omar Gonzalez played key roles in the two goals scored for Toronto.
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) May 12, 2021
The night, though, belonged to Michael Bradley, who was by far Toronto’s best player on the pitch, scoring the first goal and assisting in the second goal. He also should have had two assists against Columbus, but Altidore was unable to settle Bradley’s cross-pass in the second half. There was nothing the other team could do to stop Bradley.
Soteldo had a terrific first half for Toronto while second-half substitute Altidore made a difference, scoring his first goal of the 2021 MLS season. There is currently a five-way tie for goals scored for TFC. This includes players like Michael Bradley and Richie Laryea.
2021 MLS Stats Leaders for Toronto FC
The leader in the assists column for Toronto is Bradley with two assists. The stats do not look as impressive as NYCFC, but that is because of a lot of injured Toronto players so far this year. This included not having the 2020 MLS Most Valuable Player Alejandro Pozuelo play for the team. Chris Armas, who got his first MLS win as coach of TFC said this about the game on Wednesday:
TFC will look to continue this momentum as they head to Yankee Stadium. Toronto are currently ranked 12th in the Eastern Conference with four points.
TFC are undergoing lots of injuries with their team according to transfermarkt. First off, Ifunanyachi Achara has been injured since July 2, 2020. Yes, Achara does not have a big role with the team yet, but he played quite well before getting injured last year. It is concerning that he is still injured and should be wished a speedy recovery.
Other players injured includes Pozuelo, who has been out since March 15, 2021 with a thigh muscle strain injury. Julian Dunn was injured at the same day, currently injured with a hip surgery. Lastly, Erickson Gallardo had groin surgery and has been out since April 9. Gallardo was injured in leg two of the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 against Club León.
Toronto FC injury report vs. Columbus SC:
Ifunanyachi Achara – Left ACL surgery
Julian Dunn – Right Hip Osteochondral Injury
Erickson Gallardo – Right Groin surgery
Alejandro Pozuelo – Right Thigh
**Jonathan Osorio – Right Thigh (Questionable)
Jozy Altidore will return.
— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) May 11, 2021
Jonathan Osorio did not play in the last game against Columbus. Furthermore, Ralph Priso seemed to have gotten injured against Columbus. However, it seems he might be healthy enough to play against The Pigeons.
NYCFC right now has two players listed on the injury list. This is Gedion Zelalem, who has a knee injury since July 21, 2020. Also, Héber has been injured since September 25, 2020 with a cruciate ligament rupture. Lastly, Thiago Andrade currently has visa issues and has not played for NYCFC since April 10 of this year.
New York City FC v. Toronto FC MLS Game Overview
These two teams have a long history with each other. TFC eliminated NYCFC twice in the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2016 (at Yankee Stadium) and 2019. This is while New York City eliminated Toronto FC from the MLS is Back Tournament last year.
— Toronto Sun (@TheTorontoSun) July 27, 2020
Looking at last year, Toronto faced New York City four times, including three times in the MLS season last year. Toronto won the MLS season series against NYCFC with two wins and one loss. This does not count the MLS is Back Tournament last year, where New York City defeated Toronto 1-3.
The game between The Reds and The Pigeons will take place on May 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET at Yankees Stadium. The game can be watched nationally in Canada on CTV and TSN4. This is while New York City fans can watch the game on YES.
Prediction: There are going to be alot of goals scored, especially at Yankee Stadium. The game will be a 3-3 tie.