Toronto FC-FCC Preview
Toronto FC is barely above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, but can make things easier for itself by recording three points instead of one. Perhaps a visit to FC Cincinnati will help the cause.
Looking to extend its unbeaten run to a season-high five matches, TFC tries to keep Cincinnati winless in a ninth consecutive contest Saturday night.
Following last weekend's 1-1 draw at New England, Toronto (10-10-8) moved back into playoff position in the East. Though TFC is 1-0-3 since losing to the Red Bulls on Aug. 3, it was minutes away from a second straight victory before conceding the Revolution's equalizer in the 86th minute that canceled out Nicolas Benezet's first MLS score.
"That's a game we should get three points," coach Greg Vanney told Toronto's official website. "We've got to let the fact that a couple of points slipped away in the end not impact out mentality, and keep moving forward with what we have been really doing well the last couple of games. We are very much on the right track."
That positive attitude is what TFC hopes can continue to fuel them down the final stretch of the regular season.
"We feel good about what we've been able to do the last few weeks," veteran midfielder Michael Bradley said. "Games this time of year are scrappy, and they can hang in the balance for a long time. We're continuing to improve. We're more solid. Those are all important things as we head into the last part of the season."
Nick DeLeon scored in the 16th minute and assisted on Jozy Altidore's 50th-minute strike in Toronto's 2-1 home victory over Cincinnati (5-20-3) on July 27.
Sitting on a league-low 18 points and officially eliminated from postseason contention, expansion Cincinnati is looking for anything positive while playing out the string. It's also setting a foundation for the future despite going 0-7-1 since winning back-to-back games versus Houston and Chicago on July 6 and 13.
FCC was down 3-0 before Emmanuel Ledesma scored in the 64th minute of last weekend's 3-1 loss at FC Dallas. Cincinnati has been outscored 10-3 during a three-game losing streak.
"We stick together and we try again and again until the season is over," coach Ron Jans told Cincinnati's official website. "We know it's not about the table anymore. It's about ourselves. It's about showing ourselves, and (we'll) keep doing that."
Ledesma has recorded four of his five goals this season over his last seven contests, including one versus Toronto.
Updated September 5, 2019