Toronto FC’s home date against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday stands out as a key opportunity for the Canadian side to earn much-needed points before Toronto embarks on a tough stretch of its schedule.
After Sunday’s match at BMO Field, Toronto (4-8-3) embarks on a four-game road trip — a daunting task for a club that has just one win in seven away matches this season.
Toronto is still outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture as the team approaches the midway point of its season, and head coach Greg Vanney feels “an over-sense of urgency” could be a source of his team’s problems.
“There is a sense that we have to make up all six, or ten, or 20 points in one game, in one play,” Vanney said. “It doesn’t work like that. It’s a process. We don’t have to be in a playoff position tomorrow, when the season ends. ... The outcome will be the outcome when we take care of the details. We’re trying to force the outcome and that’s when you get into a difficult situations.”
New York (9-4-2) would like nothing more than to continue its rivals’ struggles, particularly in the wake of the loss to Toronto in last year’s hotly contested and very physical Eastern Conference semifinal.
The Red Bulls come into Sunday’s match with the momentum, sitting comfortably in a playoff position thanks to a 6-1-2 record over their last nine games. New York will be missing a major playmaker, however, as midfielder Daniel Royer will serve a one-game suspension after receiving a red card during last Saturday’s 3-0 win over FC Dallas.
“The main thing that really provides is the threat around the goal,” New York head coach Jesse Marsch said. “We’ll have to find other ways to be dangerous other than just Brad [forward Bradley Wright-Phillips]. We still have enough guys that I think can do that on the day.”
—Field Level Media