PREVIEW – Toronto FC vs CF Montreal will be the first match this year between these two Canadian Classique rivals. CF Montreal had a memorable MLS season last year but would want to take revenge for last year’s Canadian Championship loss against Toronto FC.
Toronto FC vs CF Montreal Predictions in the Canadian Championship
Toronto FC (1-2-2)
TFC enters this game after a disheartening 2-0 loss to the now MLS league leaders, the New England Revolution. They have also lost two of their last three games and are not in great form now. This is what TFC head coach Bob Bradley said about the loss to the New England Revolution (source: Toronto FC page).
“Look we did not give ourselves a chance tonight, because we, as I said, we did not start well. Then again game starts in different ways. It was not like they were creating great chances either. But then we make a mistake and went behind. I mentioned that we had some advantages that we just did not do well enough with and when it is all said and done as we tried to push the game, we went down two.”
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) May 7, 2023
The Bobby Wood goal was a very preventable goal as Brandon Servania made a bad mistake, which led to the goal. In that particular game, the Revolution did not have a particularly good game, but they were more ruthless in front of goal than Toronto FC.
There are a few players to watch out for with TFC. One is Richie Laryea, who was involved in TFC’s last three goals. Also, his speed can cause problems for the opposition, like in the Revolution game, where he earned fouls for his team just outside the box. Federico Bernardeschi is another player to watch out for as he has the ability to get out of difficult situations and create scoring chances for other players and also for himself. Most notably, Ayo Akinola seems to have his best games for some reason whenever he faces CF Montreal. An example would be his hat trick in the MLS is Back Tournament.
CF Montreal (4-0-1)
Le but gagnant ⬇️
— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) May 7, 2023
After losing 4-0 against the New England Revolution and 1-0 at home against D.C. United, Montreal has been a different team this year. They have now won four games in a row, including one in the Canadian Championship, and look like a very dangerous team that can score goals. What is most notable though is that in their last four games, they have not conceded one goal. This is what Rudy Camacho said about Montreal and how the season is going so far (source: Major League Soccer):
“We had a collective problem at the beginning of the season, but we had to give ourselves time. We’ve worked a lot defensively since then. It starts with our forwards. They’re doing a good job up front and taking some of the work off us. It’s also good to preserve the shutout. This year I’m focusing more on the defensive side, but tonight I made a couple of runs in the second half.”
Jonathan Sirois, the CF Montreal starting goalkeeper got three straight clean sheets and is expected to play against TFC. Romell Quioto is also another player to watch as he scored the game-winning goal in the 2020 Canadian Championship Final and is Montreal’s most well-known player right now.
There are too many significant games between these two clubs over the years in the Canadian Championship. These two have won most of the Voyageurs Cup trophies and are the two most decorated teams in Canada.
When looking specifically at the Canadian Championship from 2019 onwards, CF Montreal (then the Montreal Impact) shocked TFC and won the 2019 Voyageurs Cup via penalties. They would meet again in the 2021 Canadian Championship, where Montreal dominated most of the game and won 1-0 at Saputo Stadium over Toronto. Finally, in the 2022 Canadian Championship, TFC won with a dominant 4-0 victory over Montreal in what was one of their few low points last year for a team that resides in the province of Quebec.
CF Montreal eliminated Toronto FC from the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs. TFC would return the favour in the 2016 MLS Eastern Conference Finals and made their first-ever MLS Cup appearance that year.
Montreal had the better record over Toronto last year, despite losing that game in the Canadian Championship. Both teams faced each other twice more, where Montreal won both games, including a game at BMO Field in MLS play over Toronto.
The biggest question is Matt Hedges, who was a late scratch for Saturday’s game against the Revolution and was replaced by Shane O’Neill in the Staring 11 (source: Toronto FC). With a team that already is dealing with or dealt with injuries earlier in the year, losing him against CF Montreal could be a big loss for Toronto’s backline. Also, according to transfermarkt, Cristián Gutiérrez also remains injured for the team with the flu.
As for CF Montreal, they have several injuries to pay attention to. Samuel Piette, their well-known defensive midfielder has been out since April 3, 2023. Mason Toye is also injured with a torn meniscus since April 3, 2023. The other two injuries include Canadian goalkeeper, James Pantemis, with a shoulder injury since February 27, 2023. Lastly, Matko Miljevic is injured with a torn meniscus on February 12, 2023 (source: transfermarkt).
Toronto FC vs. CF Montreal Predictions at BMO Field
“We started slow… picked up the intensity after, but this is a tough league. When you're playing at home, you have to dictate the tempo from the first minute and we struggled to do that.”#TORvNE | #TFCLive
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) May 7, 2023
Toronto FC wins in a penalty shootout, the score is 2-2 in regulation.
TFC has a notorious reputation for losing important games in the penalty shootout. This includes the 2018 Canadian Championship loss to Canadian Classique rivals, CF Montreal and last year’s Canadian Championship loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. However, TFC did play well in the home game before the New England Revolution against New York City FC and did not lose at home until last Saturday.
This game should be a very tight and exciting game between both teams. The winner of this game will face either Forge FC (based in Hamilton) or York United FC in the Canadian Championship semi-finals stage. Fans of both teams can watch this game live on OneSoccer and Telus at 7:00 p.m. ET at BMO Field.
Photo Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports on July 16, 2022, with a Joel Waterman and Ayo Akinola Headshot.