Back towards the top of the Eastern Conference last year, Toronto finished just short of the Supporters’ Shield despite playing half of their “home” games in the United States.
It’s a new era in 2021, with Chris Armas taking over as head coach after club legend Greg Vanney departed. Most of the core is back, though stalwarts Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez and Jozy Altidore continue to move deeper into their 30s as well. How different will TFC be this year from last?
- MLS Reg. Season: 2nd in Eastern Conference (44 pts - 1.91 PPG - 13-5-5, +7 GD)
- Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: Eliminated in Round One by Nashville SC, 1-0
The reigning MLS MVP, Pozuelo has been a superstar in this league since his debut in 2019. He has 21 goals and 22 assists in 53 MLS matches thus far as well as being named to Best XI both seasons. One of the league’s very best talents.
This is a big year for Jozy Altidore, out to prove to folks he can stay fit and in form for Toronto and find a route back to being the national team's No. 9. He had only two goals in 13 appearances last year, another injury-hampered season.
Osorio enters his ninth season with Toronto after signing a homegrown contract back in 2013 and the 28-year-old will be an integral part of the team yet again. Able to play centrally or wide, Osorio gives Armas plenty of tactical flexibility.
Young Player to Watch
One of a handful of talented TFC homegrowns in the first team, how ready is Marshall-Rutty for minutes? The 16-year-old winger has already been linked with some of the world’s biggest clubs and could earn the chance to crack the rotation. Keep an eye on this youngster.
- N/A: Toronto have yet to make a single senior acquisition, with the squad’s lone addition coming via homegrown forward Jordan Perruzza. How many of the young players can step up?
- Pablo Piatti: While Toronto haven’t made many additions, they haven’t lost too many regulars, either. Piatti’s lone season in the 6ix ended with four goals and four assists over 16 appearances, opening a valuable DP spot that has yet to be filled. Stay tuned on that front.
Projected Starting XI
Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: The best player in the league last year was Alejandro Pozuelo, and he’s back. That’s a pretty damn good starting point, as is the depth and quality around the reigning MVP winner.
- Weakness: That depth and especially the top-end quality is on the older side, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise that Toronto struggled down the stretch last year. Meanwhile the central defense looked very, very vulnerable in big moments — never more so than in the playoff loss to Nashville.
- Charles Boehm: 4th in East
- Tom Bogert: 7th in East
- Susannah Collins: 9th in East
- Charlie Davies: 3rd
- Matthew Doyle: 5th in East
- Sam Jones: 7th in East
- Michael Lahoud: 5th in East
- Joe Lowery: 9th in East
- Jillian Sakovits: 8th East
- Greg Seltzer: 4th in East
- Steve Zakuani: 4th in East