Disney Soccer Classic: Toronto vs. Columbus Preview

We are going to Disney World!

Toronto FC takes another step closer to the opening day, as they have arrived for the 2014 Disney Soccer Classic in Orlando Florida. Toronto has been placed in a group with the hosts, Orlando City, as well as The Philadelphia Union & Columbus Crew. Their first opponent is an old foe, and another team dying to see postseason soccer; the Columbus Crew.

Watch Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew Wednesday February 19th on TorontoFC.ca

3 Players to Watch:

Michael Parkhurst: Parkhurst returned to Major League Soccer in hopes to feature regularly in matches, as well as win a spot in Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad for Brazil. With Columbus parting ways with defensive stalwart Chad Marshall, the Crew needed to bring in a leader for the backline and the former defender of the year was a perfect fit.

Federico Higuain: If there is one player who has Toronto FC’s number it is Federico Higuain. The attacking midfielder/striker has scored 5 goals against TFC in just over a year and a half of play in MLS. Expect manager Gregg Berhalter to use him as a #10 and run the entire offense through him.

Dominic Oduro: The ‘Birdman’ has found his scoring touch once again, and that is terrible news for defenders in the league. His size, speed, and range make him a tough man to defend. If he can continue to score, it will open up a lot of space for Higuain in the middle of the field.

2 Questions:

Who are Toronto FCs starting fullbacks?
Having too much depth is never a bad thing. The next few games will really give an opportunity for the fullbacks to show Ryan Nelsen why they deserve to start this season. On the right side, you have a compentition between Mark Bloom and Bradley Orr, and on the left side, Ashtone Morgan and Justin Morrow. While there are signs of early favourites, you never know who will start on opening day.

The Julio Cesar Effect?
Will Toronto play with more confidence in the back now that they have a former Champions League winner behind them?

1 Prediction:

Cards, Cards, Cards: Expect a handful of cards handed out on Wednesday afternoon. The heat in Orlando, matched with players trying to find their legs, will lead to a lot of bad decisions and late timed challenges. I wouldn’t be surprised if the game saw more than five cards.

Make sure to watch Toronto FC take on the Columbus Crew - Wednesday at 1pm - on TorontoFC.ca