Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo - Toronto FC

The first time Darwin Quintero played Toronto FC, the Canadian side surely didn't take it lightly. They knew of his quality and prepared accordingly. 


It was all for naught, though, as Minnesota United's star man netted a hat trick last season against TFC in a wild 4-3 Minnesota victory, sparking a blistering run of form in which Quintero had seven goals and seven assists in eight matches. 


As Greg Vanney and TFC prepare to face Quintero a second time, they hope for a better outcome during MLS Friday Night on TSN as Quintero and Minnesota head to BMO Field (8 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US).


"Quintero is always a guy you've got to be aware of," Vanney said after training on Thursday. "He did a number on us last year. Just making sure he's a guy that doesn't have a lot of space. We talked about that last year and we saw the repercussions of giving him too much space." 


The Loons attack is far from a one-man show, though. Between Angelo Rodriguez, Miguel Ibarra, Romario Ibarra, Ethan Finlay and others, there are a ton of threats along a rejuvenated Minnesota side which has taken 10 points from their first six games in 2019, just one at home. 


Toronto have their own firepower in attack, of course. Early returns are high on the Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo partnership, which may only get better.


"It's a joy to watch, to be honest with you," goalkeeper Alex Bono said of the pair. "In training we see it. The scary thing is they're still learning each other's tendencies. Watching that develop is a real treat." 



Altidore has five goals and an assist in just four games this season, while Pozuelo has two goals and four assists, the latter of which were all scored by Altidore. 


"Pozuelo has come in and looks like an incredible signing, Jozy looks as though he's fit, healthy and firing on all cylinders," Loons head coach Adrian Heath said this week. "It's never easy to go to Toronto and we don't expect anything different." 


Meanwhile, Toronto have an ongoing goalkeeper battle. Incumbent starter Bono was dropped last weekend in favor of Quinten Westberg


"Having competition in that position is healthy, they're very different types of goalkeepers," Vanney said. "As we progress through this first series of games in May, it'll be good to give both of them opportunities. We've got a lot of games coming up. As we push forward, we'll see where we're at."


Who will get the start against Minnesota, then?


"You're asking such a direct question," Vanney told reporters with a chuckle. "We'll see." 

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