Toronto FC has not had much success recently as a result, some TFC drama is happening. As the games become more important the later the season continues, it is vital for TFC to ignore the drama and get ready for an important road game against D.C. United.
Both teams being eliminated from the Canadian Championship and the U.S. Open Cup had a full week to rest up and prepare for this game.
TFC Drama: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United Predictions on Saturday
Toronto FC (0-1-4)
Of the last five games in all competitions, Toronto FC has only earned one point.
Federico Bernardeschi’s final answer from last night’s post-game scrum was pretty telling.
“For me, we need maybe something different.” pic.twitter.com/nqgDSDvA9p
— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) May 21, 2023
Federico Bernardeschi publicly criticizes the tactics of the game. This did not sit well with TFC head coach, Bob Bradley, who said this in Neil Davidson’s The Canadian Press article:
“Fede was wrong for speaking that way after the game,” Bradley told The Canadian Press. “It was a tough loss, a late goal after we had defended in a really good way. So he was wrong to speak that way after the game, 100 per cent. And we’ve now discussed it with the team. So (I) made it clear that that was out of line.”
It is somewhat true. Even with TFC not getting a shot on goal, they defended one of the best teams in MLS very well until Gyasi Zardes scored the game-winning goal in the 90+1-minute. However, that is also part of the problem as TFC, especially to start the season, has generally not found ways to close games like the Charlotte FC game for example. Laryea will be a player for Washington D.C. to watch for. He has two goals and two assists, but has impacted the game in other ways and might be considered TFC’s best player this year.
D.C. United (1-2-2)
Klich’s just having a good time ⚽️🥊 pic.twitter.com/jQtYTAqril
— D.C. United (@dcunited) May 21, 2023
D.C. United has struggled a bit since winning 3-0 over Charlotte FC. However, after experiencing a four-game winless run, they finally got a big win at home against the LA Galaxy. Yes, the Galaxy can be considered one of the weaker opponents in MLS. However, United did win that game in convincing fashion in the 3-0 win. They will look to continue that momentum as they travel to BMO Field to face TFC. This is what the Washington D.C. head coach, Wayne Rooney, said about their last game (source: Steven Goff of the Washington Post):
“That’s a huge difference from last season. We know we can win games toward the end. And the important thing, which I stressed to the players, is if you’re not winning the game, stay in the game. And you’re always going to get a chance to go on and try to win the game.”
They had three different goal scorers against the Galaxy with Christian Benteke, Cristian Dájome, and Mateusz Klich all scoring goals. They might have also started playing well at a perfect time as TFC has lost their last two home games in all competitions. Klich is also a player to watch out for from a TFC perspective as he has two goals and five assists for United.
The last time each team met was in D.C. United’s home opener at Audi Field. TFC had a 2-1 lead late, but Washington D.C. scored two goals late to win a wild home opener in U.S.’s capital city.
The overall record between the two teams is nine wins, 11 losses, and 11 draws between the two clubs. Both teams only met each other once in the MLS Cup Playoffs. This was in 2019 when TFC won big in extra time at home against United at BMO Field en route to their third MLS Cup Finals appearance in four years.
TFC has many injuries, still, it was less than the last game when TFC was missing 10 players to their squad. As reported by Staff of the Canadian Press, defenders were Sigurd Rosted and Shane O’Neill, midfielders Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Alonso Coello, Victor Vazquez, and forwards Adama Diomande. Additionally, forward, Deandre Kerr was listed as questionable for the Saturday game against D.C. United. It was also confirmed because of Bernardeschi speaking against the head coach, he will miss Saturday night’s game against D.C. United (source: Michael Singh of Toronto FC & Canada Soccer Beat Reporter & Host The Room 4-4-2).
This is now official:
"MLS has lifted the suspension for D.C. United defender Mohanad Jeahze and he is cleared to return to team activities. MLS reserves the right to revisit the player’s status should new information pertinent to the investigation become available." #dcu
— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) May 24, 2023
As for D.C. United, left-back Mohanad Jeahze has been cleared to return from his suspension. However, he is still recovering from a quadriceps injury and is not set to return against TFC as noted by Steven Goff of the Washington Post.
Other injuries as noted by the transfermarkt includes right-back Ruan, centre-forward, Nigel Robertha, and left winger, Martin Rodriquez. They are all expected to miss Saturday’s game against TFC.
TFC Drama: Toronto FC vs D.C. United Predictions
Toronto FC 1 – D.C. United 1
TFC will get some revenge after losing that last game in a heartbreaking fashion. They know they need a response in this game as winning is the only way tensions will ease.
United will probably look at the games TFC had against CF Montreal and the New England Revolution and see what both teams did against TFC. TFC does have the advantage at home but has trouble getting results. They are not a complete team as of right now and that is why a draw is likely for this game.
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports, of a Christian Benteke Headshot and a Raoul Petratta Headshot, on February 25, 2023.