Thu, 29 Sep 2022

Explosive Toronto FC tackle stingy Revs' defense

Field Level Media
17 Aug 2022, 04:55 GMT+10

Two of the hottest teams in MLS meet Wednesday, when Toronto FC host the New England Revolution in a classic battle of offense vs. defense.

Both clubs are on two-game win streaks and four-game unbeaten streaks (New England 2-0-2, Toronto 3-0-1). This includes their previous meeting of the season, a scoreless draw on July 30 in Foxborough, Mass.

That result was one of four straight shutouts for the Revolution (8-7-9, 33 points), matching a team record for most consecutive games without a concession. The Revs are also approaching their franchise record for longest goalless streak of 420 minutes, set in the 2013 season. They sit at 371 minutes.

"The entire group is defending as a unit," New England coach Bruce Arena said. "Midfield players are getting in better positions defensively, the back line is more coordinated and doing a good job of coordinating with the players around them. It's been a total team effort with a goalkeeper (Djordje Petrovic) making some key saves in games."

The Revolution are one of four Eastern Conference teams with 33 points, sitting just below the playoff line in eighth place due to tiebreakers. Only five points separate the fifth-place Columbus Crew from 12th place Toronto (8-12-5, 29 points) in the congested East.

Since their roster overhaul during the summer transfer window, Toronto FC have exploded for 14 goals over their last three victories. Jonathan Osorio and newly acquired Federico Bernardeschi each have four.

Defender Chris Mavinga described Toronto's nine remaining regular-season games as "nine finals" due to the small margin for error in reaching the postseason.

But, Mavinga is "really confident because I know we have the team to make it (to the playoffs). ... It's not easy but we have to stay professional and confident for the next games."

New England's Henry Kessler (health and safety protocols) and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (leg injury) are unavailable for Wednesday's lineup. Gustavo Bou, Lucas Maciel, Dylan Borrero and Giacomo Vrioni are all questionable due to injuries.

Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg and midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye are questionable due to injury. Westberg has missed Toronto FC's last four games while Kaye hasn't played in the last three games.

--Field Level Media

More United Kingdom News

Access More

Sign up for Britain News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!