Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (6-1-0, 18 points) and Toronto FC (3-1-4, 13 points) at BMO Field. It’s the first of two scheduled meetings between the two Eastern Conference teams this season, with the return leg coming at Orlando City Stadium on Wednesday, July 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Orlando City is just 1-4-1 in the all-time series (0-2-1 on the road, while being outscored by a 9-1 margin). The Lions got their first ever point at BMO Field in the last meeting, a 0-0 draw on Sept. 28, 2016. That draw was less than satisfying when you consider Sebastian Giovinco didn’t play and the Reds played the final 20 minutes a man down.
The Lions got their only win in the series last year on June 25, winning 3-2 at Camping World Stadium. Kaká scored from the spot in the 10th minute of stoppage to win it. Toronto fought back twice from deficits, with Cyle Larin and Adrian Winter staking OCSC to leads, only to see Jordan Hamilton and Justin Morrow equalize, until the captain’s late winner.
The Reds took the second 2016 match-up in Orlando with a 2-1 victory, scoring in the 86th minute on a Jozy Altidore goal. Tosaint Ricketts gave Toronto an early lead but the Lions fought back on a Cyle Larin goal. Just as things looked set for a draw, Altidore ruined everything.
Toronto won all three meetings of 2015. Altidore's brace was all of the scoring in the first match-up, a 2-0 Toronto win on April 26. Giovinco's hat trick led the way to a 4-1 drubbing of the Lions on Aug. 5 that year, with Luke Boden scoring Orlando's only goal. Collen Warner also scored for Toronto. In the third meeting of Orlando’s inaugural year, Toronto FC blasted Orlando, 5-0, on Aug. 22. Rafael Ramos and Winter were both sent off that day. Marky Delgado, Giovinco, Morrow, and Altidore (twice) provided the goals.
The Lions are mostly healthy for the first time all year, with Ramos still nursing his lingering hamstring issue. Kaká (hamstring) and Jose Aja (hamstring) returned to the lineup Saturday and Seb Hines (knee) played half a game last week for OCB. Toronto lists injuries to Drew Moor (cardiac arrhythmia), Clint Irwin (hamstring), Chris Mavinga (quadricep), Jason Hernandez (calf), and Ashtone Morgan (foot).
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Gavin Ewbank has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about the Reds with the help from Mitchell Tierney of SB Nation’s Toronto FC blog, Waking the Red.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus an exclusive interview with Orlando City B Head Coach Anthony Pulis
Well, this isn’t optimal.
I'm told Will Johnson not in 18 due to illness and Nocerino coach's decision. #TORvORL— Alicia Rose DelGallo (@OSAliciaD) May 3, 2017
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Tommy Redding, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Servando Carrasco, Luis Gil, Kaká.
Forwards: Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Josh Saunders, PC, Leo Pereira, Tony Rocha, Jose Aja, Matias Perez Garcia, Giles Barnes.
Toronto FC (3-5-2)
Goalkeeper: Alex Bono.
Defenders: Justin Morrow, Nick Hagglund, Eriq Zavaleta.
Midfielders: Steven Beitashour, Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, Victor Vazquez, Raheem Edwards.
Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore.
Bench: Mark Pais, Benoit Cheyrou, Armando Cooper, Chris Mavinga, Jonathan Osorio, Tosaint Ricketts, Tsubasa Endoh.
Ref: Baldomero Toledo.
AR1: Gianni Facchini.
AR2: Peter Balciunas.
4th: Silviu Petrescu.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: BMO Field — Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
TV: TV 27 (local only), TSN (Canada only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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