It’s safe to say that neither Toronto FC nor the Seattle Sounders figured to be in their current positions in May.
Especially considering these teams met for the MLS Cup each of the past two seasons, with Seattle taking the trophy in 2016 and Toronto in 2017.
Seattle travels to Toronto, the host site of those MLS Cups, on Wednesday night with both teams struggling to find their form.
Perhaps they’re not only suffering hangovers from the MLS Cup, but also from the CONCACAF Champions League. Toronto made it all the way to the final before losing to Chivas de Guadalajara two weeks ago, the same club that knocked the Sounders out in the quarterfinals. Forwards Jozy Altidore of Toronto and Jordan Morris of Seattle were injured in that competition and haven’t returned to MLS play.
Toronto announced Tuesday that Altidore is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery to remove bone fragments from his foot.
Toronto (2-4-1) is 10th in the 11-team Eastern Conference, only moving out of the cellar with a 3-0 home victory last Friday against Philadelphia that snapped a three-game losing streak. Forward Sebastian Giovinco scored his first goal of the season.
“I thought it was a pretty controlled game, I thought we tried to play regardless of the circumstances, which is good and that’s something I want our guys to keep doing,” Toronto coach Greg Vanney said after the match. “I thought it was a good disciplined, well organized, composed performance.”
Toronto has been hit hard with injuries, with Altidore and defenders Nick Hagglund (hamstring strain) and Drew Moor (quadriceps strain) all listed as out for Wednesday’s match.
Seattle (1-4-2) is tied for last in the 12-team Western Conference and has scored a league-low five goals. The Sounders are coming off a scoreless draw at home Saturday with Columbus in which they had an extra man for the final 75 minutes.
“We’re disappointed in the result, it’s not good enough,” Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said after that match. “I’ll make sure that we watch this tape and we work on attacking movements to try and break that final line and we get a little more creative.”
Playmaking midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro missed that match with a foot injury and is questionable Wednesday.
Seattle has been without Morris (torn anterior cruciate ligament) and midfielder Victor Rodriguez (knee sprain) since the MLS season began. Morris is expected to miss the entire campaign, while Rodriguez is listed as questionable for this match as is defender Roman Torres (hamstring strain), who scored the penalty-kick winner against Toronto in the 2016 final.
The Sounders lead the all-time series 7-3-2.
—Field Level Media