Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids | CONCACAF Champions League Match Preview

TORvCOL - CCL - Overlay

Toronto FC vs. Colorado Rapids
2018 CONCACAF Champions League – Round of 16, Leg 2
BMO Field - Toronto
8 pm ET – Feb. 27, 2018

Toronto FC have one foot in the door of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The Colorado Rapids will look to avoid being a doormat for the other foot in the second leg of their Round of 16 series on Tuesday night.

Following an effective, if utilitarian, 2-0 away victory at Colorado in the first leg, the defending MLS Cup champions must merely avoid a two-goal home defeat against a Rapids side still coming together in the image of new coach Anthony Hudson. The Reds lost only once at BMO Field last season in 17 league games. However, they were defeated there by the New York Red Bulls in the second leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series last November, only to be rescued by the away goals rule.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Hudson will show more of his tactical cards than in the first leg, when he admitted to pushing his starters for 90 minutes in part as a fitness exercise for the upcoming MLS regular season.

Toronto FC

New signing Gregory van der Wiel was not in the 18-player gameday roster for the first leg and might not be in the second either, with his partner on the verge of giving birth to the couple's first child. However, fellow newcomer Auro played a strong 78 minutes in the first leg days after finalizing a loan deal from Brazilian giants Sao Paulo. Could Ager Aketxe be next?

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Michael Bradley
  • Injury Report: OUT: D Chris Mavinga (abdominal injury). QUESTIONABLE: Gregory van der Wiel (paternity leave)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2, right to left, diamond midfield)
GK: Alex Bono — Justin Morrow, Drew Moor, Nick Hagglund, Auro — Michael Bradley, Marco Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, Victor Vazquez — Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore

Colorado Rapids

What has been widely referred to as Hudson's 3-5-2 formation looked a bit more like a 5-3-2 in the first leg against one of the continent's most talented sides. The Rapids probably need to push more numbers forward if they're to score the minimum of two away goals to prolong their tournament hopes, a feat they accomplished just once in 17 away league matches last season.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Jack Price, Edgar Castillo
  • Injury Report: OUT: D Kip Colvey (quad), M/F Shkelzen Gashi (calf)

Projected Starting XI
(5-3-2, right to left)

GK: Tim Howard — Marlon Hairston, Kortne Ford, Tommy Smith, Deklan Wynne, Edgar Castillo — Bismark Adjel-Boateng, Jack Price, Enzo Martinez — Dominique Badji, Jack McBean

All-Time Series

  • Overall (MLS only): Toronto 8 wins, 19 goals …Colorado 6 wins, 16 goals … 2 Ties
  • At Toronto (MLS only): (7 meetings) Rapids 5 wins, 7 goals … Toronto 1 win, 2 goals … 1 Tie
  • Last meeting at Toronto: Toronto 1, Colorado 1 (July 22, 2017)
  • CONCACAF Champions League: Toronto - 5 appearances (2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2018) 12 wins, 8 losses, 7 ties (37 goals) ... Colorado - 2 appearances (2011/12, 2018) 2 wins, 4 losses, 1 tie (9 goals)


To be announced ...