Toronto FC MLS is Back Preview

Toronto FC pregame
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 07: Toronto FC players huddle up before the MLS regular season match between Toronto FC and New York City FC on March 7, 2020, at BMO Field in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

PREVIEW – Toronto FC is one of the six seeded teams for the MLS is Back Tournament taking place in Orlando starting this week. They were drawn with their 401 Derby rivals the Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, and D.C. United.

The defending MLS Eastern Conference champions have been to MLS Cup three of the last four years. This included a historical season where they won the treble including the MLS Cup in 2017.

Group C – Toronto FC MLS is Back Preview

Ifunanyachi Achara is Injured

It looked like TFC would be the healthiest team from Group C of the MLS is Back Tournament. However, an unexpected setback took place as Achara got injured recently.

Achara looked impressive at the start of the season before it was suspended because of the COVID-19. On March 7, Achara was given the Player of the Match against NYCFC. This included scoring his first-ever MLS goal late in the second half.

While he has only played two MLS games, TFC is going to miss Achara for the rest of the MLS season and playoffs. However, looking at the future Toronto FC made a great draft pick with Achara. He will play a big role in TFC’s roster for future years to come. There was a worry that a TFC player could test positive for coronavirus. However, all players tested negative and have gone to Florida yesterday afternoon.

Two Keys to the MLS is Back Tournament

Pablo Piatti and Attacking Chemistry

The winger, who can also play forward, Pablo Piatti was the big designated player Toronto FC get in the offseason. Piatti is the type of player who plays best behind a center striker.

He’s known to create goals and assists. Yes, he is known as a winger, but with TFC, I think it suits him to be a secondary forward. Toronto FC already has some excellent midfielders in Michael Bradley and Alejandro Pozuelo. If Piatti plays at the forward position along with Altidore in a 4-4-2 formation, it will give Toronto FC more chances to score.

This would be similar to when Sebastian Giovinco was with TFC. Piatti has the ability to get past defenders and get to the penalty box while Altidore is a more physical guy who can get to his spots. However, the problem is Piatti had not played any regular-season games with Toronto FC. This could prove a problem when or if Toronto FC makes the MLS Cup playoffs.

Winning the First Game

There are only three group stage games in the MLS is Back Tournament, so the first game is critical. A win and the team are well on their way to make the MLS playoffs as a higher seed. If a team loses, it will become harder to claw one’s way back into the knockout stage.

While TFC has a historic rivalry with the Montreal Impact, they cannot look past D.C. United. Yes, they lost Wayne Rooney, but they still have some great players. This includes Bill Hamid, the goalkeeper of D.C. United. In 2014, he won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award. If he regains some of his former old form against TFC, it will be hard for Toronto FC to defeat D.C. United.

Overview of Toronto FC Season

Yes, Achara is injured. However, Bradley and Piatti coming back to Toronto FC more than makes up for it. According to sports betting dime, Toronto FC’s tied for the fifth-best odds of winning the MLS Cup. Furthermore, according to oddschecker.com, they have a 13/8 chance of winning Group C. TFC will be a team to be reckoned with for the other teams in MLS.

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