Assessing the scene, Matt Doyle identified the Canadian side as a contender to shake up the Eastern Conference picture. They've earned four of six points from their last two games, beating the New England Revolution and drawing Orlando City SC on either side of the Gold Cup break.
Back home in Toronto, the Reds are showing signs of upward mobility weeks removed from relieving Chris Armas of his duties as head coach. As of now, Toronto sit on nine points through 13 games and face a deep hole to emerge from.
"I thought they had a couple of chances to take the win in this one," Doyle said of the Orlando 1-1 draw. "But look at the amount of talent that they can throw into their attack. Now, I’m still worried about their defense. I’m still not necessarily expecting them to make the playoffs. But this is one of the five most talented teams in the league. It is totally plausible for them to go on an insane 20-game run. It doesn’t even have to be insane; a really high-level 20-game run that gets them into the postseason."
A key figure will be longtime US men's national team forward Jozy Altidore, who's back in the mix after a dispute with Armas resulted in him training alone. The 31-year-old scored a header against Orlando, triumphantly making his return after nearly two months out.
"I understand why everybody’s been writing Jozy off," Doyle said. "Jozy’s been really good any time he’s played this year. He was really good coming off the bench in this one as well. Jozy with plenty of rest and fitness and a chip on his shoulder and not missing games due to international call-ups, that’s pretty scary. That’s pretty scary if you’re another Eastern Conference team."
David Gass also pointed to winger Yeferson Soteldo as someone who complements Toronto's attack and can be a true difference-maker. The Venezuelan international is starting to show why he's so highly rated upon joining from Brazilian side Santos FC.
"He has every ability to be just a complete game-breaker on the wing when he’s isolated and then come infield and connect with a \[Alejandro\] Pozuelo and maybe a Jozy," Gass said. "From a physical point of view and style point of view, he’s as advertised right now. He’s just a menace down that left wing. Now you want to see a little bit more of the production."
For more on Toronto and other topics around the league, check out the latest episode of Extratime.