The first piece that left from Toronto’s title-winning puzzle was French veteran Benoit Cheyrou who called it quits on his career. Steven Beitashour’s option was declined at the end of last year and joined LAFC while Raheem Edwards was chosen by the MLS debutant club in the expansion draft and later traded to Montreal.
You would think Toronto couldn’t get any better on paper over the offseason but they went and acquired Ager Aketxe in the midfield who joined from Athletic Bilbao in Spain while Gregory van der Wiel boosted the defensive depth from Cagliari in Italy.
City is headed north at an opportune time because TFC aren’t at full strength of late. Defenders Nick Hagglund and Drew Moor are both listed as out with muscle strains in the legs. U.S. International, Jozy Altidore, is out 4-6 weeks due to foot surgery and Sebastian Giovinco will be missing on Friday courtesy of a red card he received in his last match against New England. Add Chris Mavinga, Justin Morrow, and Eriq Zavaleta to the list of questionables and Toronto is looking thin, especially in the back.
The only players to make significant impacts that aren’t injured at the moment are Jonathan Osorio and Victor Vazquez who both have two goals apiece in 2018. After that duo, the offensive stats are looking unimpressive.
In recent meetings with Toronto, City haven’t had the best run of form. The Lions are 1-3-1 over their last five matches with a -3 goal differential. City lost both matches with Toronto last season.