Preview: Old foes meet once again in Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC clash

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Seattle Sounders FC
PHOTO: Nicolas Lodeiro celebrates his goal against Real Salt Lake last weekend. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Wasson/Seattle Sounders FC.

Seattle, Washington (April 13, 2019) — There’s a lot of history between certain teams in MLS. There are certain rivalries that make the league so exciting. One rivalry that wasn’t expected was that of the Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC.

These two teams have a ton of playoff history. In 2016, the Sounders won their first-ever MLS Cup title against Toronto FC at BMO Field. Toronto players and fans had a sour taste in their mouths, watching the Sounders hoist the trophy on their home pitch.

Preview: Old foes meet once again in Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC clash

One year later, the Reds got revenge. The two sides met again in the MLS Cup Championship, again at BMO Field. This time, Toronto FC captured the league title, giving their home fans a better sight to see. Last year was different, as both teams started slow, but Toronto kept losing and Seattle made improvements to get better.

In another rivalry clash, who will come out on top today?

Seattle Sounders FC vs. Toronto FC
2019 MLS Regular Season
CenturyLink Field
April 13, 2019 — 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET
Stream: ESPN+

What to Watch For

Ruidíaz returns for the Sounders

Raúl Ruidíaz was ready to roll Wednesday night.

After suffering a right heel contusion against the Vancouver Whitecaps. That same match, Ruidíaz saw his consecutive goal-scoring streak end. After missing out of the match against Real Salt Lake, Ruidíaz made the trip with the Sounders to Denver, Colorado.

However, Seattle’s match against the Rapids was postponed, due to a “bomb cyclone” and other inclement weather patterns. The match has been rescheduled for Sept. 7. That break gave Ruidíaz more time to rest.

Now, the rest is over. Ruidíaz will want to start another goal-scoring streak. Missing out on a goal against Vancouver was sour for the striker. He was taken down inside the box, but the officiating crew elected to continue play of the game, instead of calling a penalty. Ruidíaz had opportunities, but couldn’t find the back of the net.

This Toronto side is a strong team and they’re not going to let Ruidíaz just slide by them. It’ll take a lot of work for him to get a goal.

Also, it should be mentioned that Will Bruin did a fine job in Ruidíaz’ place last weekend. While he didn’t find a goal, Bruin had different looks of being wide open and had some good strikes.

The Injury Report

Seattle Sounders FC

Ruidíaz is the only player listed on the Sounders injury report. He’s listed as questionable, but he’ll likely feature today.

Toronto FC

Toronto FC also has a small injury report. Defender Drew Moor is out with an adductor injury. Meanwhile, fellow defender Auro Jr. is currently questionable with a minor semitendinosus strain.

Last Meeting: May 9, 2018

This will be the first time Ruidíaz faces Toronto FC.

Last year, the two sides met before the FIFA World Cup break. Ruidíaz arrived to Seattle in July, after competing in the World Cup with Peru. Doing the goal-scoring in his place were Bruin and Handwalla Bwana.

Bwana and Bruin have been getting quality minutes with the Tacoma Defiance, under their MLS-USL agreements. Bruin showed off his skills from those minutes last weekend and Bwana can do the same this week. Ruidíaz will likely not feature for a full 90 minutes, just coming off injury. Bruin will likely be his replacement during the match.

In last year’s meeting, Jonathan Osorio scored for Toronto.

Prediction: Seattle 2, Toronto 1

Having Ruidíaz back is going to help tremendously. That’s no knock to Bruin. He had a good standing in the Peruvian’s place. However, the two are extremely different — not just in height, but in their skill set. Ruidíaz likes scoring with his feet and Bruin, with his tall stature, can get balls in the back of the net with his head.

This isn’t going to be a walk in the park. Both teams are currently unbeaten and the defensive unit of Kelvin Leerdam, Brad Smith, Kim Kee-hee and Chad Marshall are going up against a new superstar: Alejandro Pozuelo.

In his first appearance for the Reds, Pozuelo scored twice and assisted Jozy Altidore. Also, for the Reds, having Altidore back at full fitness is a big-time boost.

This will be a great match.

PHOTO: Nicolas Lodeiro celebrates his goal against Real Salt Lake last weekend. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Wasson/Seattle Sounders FC.

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