PREVIEW – Toronto FC needs to bounce back after going winless in their last four games. The last win they had in all competitions was against Canadian Classique rivals, CF Montreal, in the Canadian Championship semi-finals round.
Toronto FC needs to bounce back in the game at Saputo Stadium
CF Montreal currently sits fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference. They were higher in the Conference, but have lost two straight games, including a home loss last Saturday against Sporting Kansas City. Yet, it is the loss against TFC that CF Montreal players seem to remember. This is what defender, Joel Waterman, said about that loss at BMO Field according to the Canadian Press:
“It’s never a good feeling to get embarrassed by your arch-rivals so we want to do the same to them this time,” Montreal defender Joel Waterman said. “They’re coming to our home now so I can assure you it’s going to be a bit different than last time.”
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) July 10, 2022
CF Montreal will want their next game to be better than their last home game. A 2-1 loss against Sporting Kansas City despite being ahead 1-0 has cost Montreal three valuable points. The first Sporting KC goal might be one Montreal regrets the most according to Wilfried Nancy of The Canadian Press.
Nancy argued that both Breza and Quioto were at fault for the equalizer. “(Quioto) finds himself last, he tries to make a cross after that he concedes the control of the situation and Sebastian (is at fault) too on the goal,” Nancy said.
In that same article, Nancy was asked if goalkeeping is a weakness for CF Montreal, to which Nancy replied “Maybe.” This is something TFC should exploit and test Sebastian Breza early in the game on Saturday. Đorđe Mihailović and Romell Quioto are the joint goal-scorer leaders for Montreal. Mihailović is injured though, so the players tied for third are Kei Kamara and Joaquin Torres. In regard to assists, Kamara and Torres are tied for the assist lead with five each.
Yes, TFC may have defeated CF Montreal in the Canadian Championship semi-finals round. However, it has been downhill since then. They are winless in their last four games in MLS play, with three of those being losses, most recently losing 2-0 to the Chicago Fire FC. This is what TFC head coach, Bob Bradley said about the game:
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) July 14, 2022
Toronto currently sits second-last in the league in points. Furthermore, DC United, only one point behind TFC, has played two games less than Toronto. Toronto really needs to get some results on board fast, if not they could get the dubious Wooden Spoon honour.
This is what TFC goalkeeper Quentin Westberg said about the Canadian Championship win against Montreal according to Andi Petrillo of OneSoccer:
“Winning this way, completing a lot of passes, being overwhelming for them, and having control and pressing hard, it felt really good today. You know what it materializes in the clean sheet, so I think it was the quality of play that kept the zero tonight.”
Jesús Jiménez leads the team with eight goals while Jonathan Osorio is second with five goals. Osorio leads the team with six assists while Luca Petrasso is third with four assists (Alejandro Pozuelo is second, but has recently left to play with Inter Miami CF). Also, maybe their new acquisition, Mark-Anthony Kaye, will make a difference in his second game for TFC.
Injuries/Absences for both teams
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) July 15, 2022
In terms of injuries, CF Montreal will be missing Djordje Mihailovic from a leg injury since May 30, 2022, according to transfermarkt.com. This is a big loss for Montreal, especially when considering he co-leads the team in goals for Montreal. They will need to depend on other players like Quioto to get the job done.
This is while TFC patiently awaits the debut of Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi. Bernardeschi was just introduced as a Toronto FC player on Friday while Insigne is likely to debut for the team on May 23 because of a calf injury according to the Canadian Press of Sportsnet. It is also unlikely that Bernardeschi will play for the team so soon as he will be formally introduced to Toronto’s media on Monday.
Game Summary and Prediction: Toronto FC needs to bounce back
#TB La rivalité à travers le temps.
— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) July 15, 2022
Prediction: CF Montreal 2 Toronto FC 0
Yes, TFC won 4-0 against Montreal in the Canadian Championship semi-final round at BMO Field. This time though, Toronto will be the team travelling to Montreal. TFC has won one game in MLS play. Their only competitive win on the road this year was against the HFX Wanderers FC in the Canadian Championship. It is going to be a very difficult game for TFC.
Montreal will also look like they have something to prove. They lost a game that they were leading at home against SKC and the loss to TFC in the Canadian Championship must have hurt them more. The game starts tomorrow at 7:38 pm ET at Saputo Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on TSN, while the game will be televised in Quebec on TVA Sports.