The Challengers: Toronto FC (14-13-4) vs. New York Red Bulls (16-9-6)
When: October 14, 7:00 PM ET TV: TSN
Weather: 11 degrees and partly cloudy
TFC is expecting to see the same high press employed by the Red Bulls in August on Wednesday night. New York is consistent in their approach, meaning Greg Vanney and his coaching staff will have to adapt. The midfield diamond was exploited last time around by Dax McCarty and Felipe throughout the match. So how do you beat the press? “You have to show great patience,” said forward Herculez Gomez following training on Tuesday. “With a team like New York, they’re betting that their frantic pace will out do your frantic pace. You have to not play into that. You’ve got to show patience, keep the ball moving and literally kill the rhythm of their game.” With that in mind a flat 4-4-2 could be on the docket for the Reds. Getting the ball wide will be important.
Other players released to their clubs by USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann include Nick Rimando, DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi, Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski. Bradley and TFC forward Jozy Altidore took part in Saturday’s CONCACAF Cup final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Mexico defeated the U.S. 3-2 in extra time to secure a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup that will take place in Russia.
- Sebastian Giovinco scored a goal for a third consecutive game – with four goals in that time – as Toronto FC won their third game in a row last time out in a 3-1 victory against Philadelphia Union at BMO Field on Oct. 3. Giovinco has 21 goals this season, sitting in second place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, one goal behind Columbus Crew SC’s Kei Kamara.
- Lloyd Sam netted a goal for a third consecutive game and Sacha Kljestan converted a penalty as the Red Bulls won a second consecutive match in a 2-1 win against the Montréal Impact on Oct. 7 at Red Bull Arena. Kljestan has a goal and/or an assist in three consecutive games.
- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Bradley Wright-Phillips, Rodney Wallace and Gonzalo Veron all scored as the Red Bulls eased to a 3-0 victory Aug. 15 at Red Bull Arena.
- The Red Bulls have a two-game winning streak alive in the series and are undefeated in the last three meetings with Toronto FC. When TFC defeated the Red Bulls 2-0 last May 17 in the only meeting at BMO Field, it snapped a 10-game winless streak in the series, their first victory since 2009.