Surprisingly, TFC (6-7-6) still sit fifth in the Eastern standings but are nine points adrift of high flying New York City FC. Saturday’s matchup is the first of a four-game home stretch for the Reds.
It would appear that, despite his three goals in five games, left-back Justin Morrow is not considered the solution to Sebastian Giovinco’s scoring drought. The Italian has now gone eight games without finding the net. Joining the ranks of would-be saviours is Tosaint Ricketts.
The much rumoured transfer of the Canadian International from Boluspor Kulübü of Turkey’s TFF First League was finally confirmed Wednesday and the 28-year-old will go straight into the squad this weekend. Ricketts, who was born in Edmonton, spent time playing in Finland, Romania, Norway and Israel before landing in Turkey. He has 50 caps for the Canadian national team, scoring 12 goals.
Despite the new signing, Vanney gave the strongest indication yet this week that, barring any hicuups, Jozy Altidore will finally make his long awaited return from injury. The American striker hasn’t played since May 14 but if training goes as planned this week he could be considered for Saturday after making the bench in San Jose.
Tied for seventh place, D.C. (5-7-7) have just one win in their last six. They matched TFC’s recent result (1-1) in Columbus last weekend but have struggled for goals (18). Only the Chicago Fire (17) have scored less in MLS.
In an attempt to address their offensive woes, United signed forward Patrick Mullins from NYCFC on Wednesday. 24-year-old Mullins made his full debut on May 3, 2014, scoring his first MLS goal against, you guessed it, Toronto FC. Heading out the D.C. door this week is Fabian Espindola, the veteran striker was traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
This fixture ended in a 0-0 draw at BMO last season. Earlier this year, Sebastian Giovinco notched the only goal to give Toronto victory on the road in D.C. It was a record breaking moment, the goal coming after just 58 seconds, the fastest in TFC history.
Toronto: A.Bono, E.Zavaleta, J.Williams, D.Moor, J.Morrow, B.Cheyrou, M.Delgado, T.Ricketts, M.Babouli, S.Giovinco, J.Altidore
D.C. United: B.Hamid, S.Franklin, S.Birnbaum, B. Boswell, T.Kemp, L.Sam, M.Sarvas, N. DeLeon, J.Jeffrey, L.Acosta, A.Saborio
Referee: Armando Villarreal