NE Three Keys

3 Keys to Toronto vs. New York Red Bulls

Back to BMO Field as the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs continue. Here are the Benjamin Moore three keys to the match as the Reds look to finish off the New York Red Bulls.

Solid Start

In the knockout round, it was the Red Bulls who got things off to a fast start, scoring two quick goals in what turned out to be a 4-0 demolition of the Chicago Fire. But on Monday night at Red Bull Arena, the tables were turned.

Victor Vazquez staked the Reds to a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute of the match, putting the Red Bulls back on their heels in what was a dominant opening 45 from TFC. They’ll be looking to replicate that start on Sunday afternoon with a desperate Red Bulls side in town.

Needing to score two goals to have any chance of advancing, you can be sure head coach Jesse Marsch will have his side pressing from the opening whistle. It will be important for TFC to not only weather that early storm, but impose their will on the game to truly finish off this tie.

Positive Possession

The Reds are used to having more of the ball than their opposition, but that alone isn’t always enough.

Toronto will need to be more decisive on the ball than they were in the first leg in order to punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference Championship. Both sides were guilty of giving up possession cheaply at times, something the Reds will be looking to correct as they return home. Look for Michael Bradley to set the tempo from his deep-lying position in the midfield with the Red Bulls chasing a goal or two.

Free Kick Threat

Simply put, the Reds have been near unstoppable from free kicks in 2017.

Thanks in large part to set-piece specialist Sebastian Giovinco, TFC have been far and away the most prolific team in the league from dead ball situations. The Atomic Ant was at it again in the first leg, scoring the game-winning goal on a curling free kick that eluded goalkeeper Luis Robles and defender Michael Amir Murillo.

In fine form, Giovinco's presence alone should leave the Red Bulls wary of fouling anywhere near the box, which in turn can open up space for the rest of Toronto's attacking unit.