PREVIEW – The Toronto FC rivalry with the Seattle Sounders FC will be renewed on Saturday at BMO Field. This is the first time TFC faced Seattle since losing the 2019 MLS Cup Final on the road at CenturyLink Field.
Toronto FC rivalry renewed with Seattle on Saturday
Seattle Sounders FC
The Seattle Sounders FC are the reigning Concacaf Champions League champions. However, it is also true that Seattle is barely hanging on an MLS playoff spot this year with 23 points. They also recently lost at home to the Canadian side, CF Montreal, at Lumen Field (used to be known as CenturyLink Field).
A big reason for that was Mason Toye, who scored two goals against Seattle on Wednesday. This is what Sounders FC head coach, Brian Schmetzer, on the game according to the Seattle Sounders FC:
“It’s not always the first pass or the first play or the first movement that you know get a chance to collect a ball, but you have to collectively start to go look over your shoulder cut the passing Lanes go a little bit more wait for this pass squeeze go and I don’t think we did a very good job of that.”
Players to watch out for
Jake Morris and Raúl Ruidíaz lead the team with five goals each. This is while Nicolás Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan have three goals. With assists, Roldan leads the team with five assists. Lodeiro and Roldan have four assists, while Morris has three assists.
It's a dream start at Lumen Field! pic.twitter.com/b3XmpRFgzq
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) June 30, 2022
Roldan is a player to watch out for, as he delivered a terrific cross to Morris to score the game-opening goal in Seattle, Washington.
Toronto FC was on a two-game winning streak, which included the Canadian Championship semi-finals win over CF Montreal. However, that streak was abruptly ended as they started the game badly against Trillium Cup rivals, Columbus Crew SC.
Toronto actually played pretty well against Columbus. Unfortunately, a few moments of lack of concentration allowed Columbus to get two goals with only three shots on target. TFC is now six points behind a playoff spot and third-last in the Eastern Conference. This is why the two upcoming home games against Seattle and the San Jose Earthquakes on July 9 are so crucial.
According to James Grossi of Toronto FC, this is what head coach Bob Bradley said about the game:
“There’s two parts that hurt us,” analyzed Bob Bradley post-match. “A couple careless moments that produced a transition, that’s the second goal. And then the other part is just when it came down to the final moments in and around the box.”
What Bradley said holds a lot of truth. In the 45+2-minute of play, Kosi Thompson found Jayden Nelson with a terrific pass inside Columbus’s box but was unable to do anything about it. Then one looks at the goal, where a turnover led to a goal by Darlington Nagbe.
Players to watch out for
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) June 30, 2022
Still, there were positives from the game that Seattle should be aware of. Most notably is Alejandro Pozuelo, his service in recent games has been spectacular. This was shown in their lone goal last Wednesday with Jesús Jiménez scoring thanks to a terrific cross from Pozuelo. He can also score goals like seen against Forge FC in the 2020 Canadian Championship.
Jiménez is another player to watch out for as he has led the team with eight MLS goals. He is followed by Jonathan Osorio and Pozuelo, who have four goals each. This is while Osorio and Pozuelo lead the team with five assists. Luca Petrasso is third with four assists and Jiménez is fourth with three assists.
Injuries for both teams
Bob Bradley confirmed that Carlos Salcedo is away from the team dealing with a family matter. Quentin Westberg was ruled out with a knock. #TFCLive
— Anthony Khoury (@AnthonyKhoury4) June 30, 2022
There are two injuries to watch out for. First is goalkeeper, Quentin Westberg. who did not play on Wednesday because of an injury. Additionally, the status of Jacob Shaffelburg is unknown as he had to be substituted late in the game because of an injury. According to Matthew Sciantitti of TSN, Shaffelburg’s right eye was open but was holding gauze to his right cheek. Also, new designated player signing, Lorenzo Insigne is ineligible to play until July 9, according to Charles Boehm of MLS Soccer
Seattle’s injury situation unfortunately is worse than Toronto’s as explained by transfermarkt. João Paulo suffered a cruciate ligament rupture and has been out since May 5, 2022. Ruidíaz, Xavier Arreaga, and Obed Vargas all got injured in June. A date for return to the team for all four players is unknown.
Toronto FC rivalry renewed at BMO Field
Squad coming through pic.twitter.com/JO6cZc8zLk
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) July 1, 2022
Prediction: Toronto FC 2, Seattle Sounders FC 1
The Toronto FC rivalry against the Seattle Sounders FC is well-known. They have faced each other three times in the MLS Cup Finals, with Seattle winning two of those finals. It will not be an easy game, but TFC has gotten better as of late. If they cut down on the unnecessary mistakes, there is a win to get against Seattle at BMO Field. The head-to-head has been favourable for “The Reds.” They have four wins, 11 losses, and two draws all-time against Seattle according to Fussball Wettpoint.
They are both also recovering from 2-1 losses at home, which makes this game more interesting. The game will be shown on Fox 13+ and be televised nationally in Canada on TSN.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC on July 1, 2022.