Saturday’s matchup with the Revs at BMO Field (Kick-off 7:30 p.m. ET) is the last of the four-game home stand that has uncovered a new and pulsing confidence on the pitch and in the stands.
Rookie goalkeeper Alex Bono has settled any debate about whether he deserves to wear the gloves in Clint Irwin’s absence. Marky Delgado has rendered the absence of Benoit Cheyrou and Michael Bradley in the midfield a non-issue and TFC’s offensive future looks bright with youngsters Tsubasa Endoh and Jay Chapman.
On Wednesday night against Real Salt Lake, Canadian Tosaint Ricketts got off the mark for his new club, while Jozy Altidore bagged the first of his season last weekend as TFC regained the Trillium Cup versus the Columbus Crew.
Toronto (9-7-6) will look to solidify their claim to the best defense in the East (23 goals conceded) against Kei Kamara, who matched Giovinco’s 22-goal haul last season. Only David Villa has more than the Italian this year. Kamara has nine in total, but only four in 11 since transferring from Columbus Crew in May. In shutting out RSL, the Reds secured a club record breaking ninth clean sheet of the season.
New England (6-8-6) have steadied the ship after three consecutive defeats at the start of July, claiming seven points from their last four games. But they’ll seek to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat in Orlando last weekend with the services of striker and fan favourite Charlie Davies, who was traded to the Philadelphia Union before the MLS transfer deadline on Wednesday.
Jay Heaps’s side struggled against the Orlando press, something that TFC have done with much success in recent games. In the 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake, the Reds alternated between periods of sustained possession and others of compact defence. With an average age of 22, the midfield seems equipped for such physically taxing responsibility.
The last time these sides met at BMO Field, the Revs came out 3-1 winners in September last year, as TFC were stumbling into the playoffs. Sebastian Giovinco secured a 1-1 draw in New England back in April.
Toronto: A.Bono, S.Beitashour, E.Zavaleta, D.Moor, J.Morrow, M.Delgado, J.Chapman, J.Osorio, T.Endoh, J.Altidore, S.Giovinco
New England Revolution: B.Shuttleworth, C.Tierney, J.Goncalves, A.Farrell, L.Woodberry, S.Caldwell, J.Watson, K.Rowe, L.Nguyen, T.Bunbury, K.Kamara
Referee: Ted Unkel