Toronto FC vs. Ottawa Fury | 2017 Canadian Championship Match Preview

Justin Morrow - Toronto FC - Canadian Championship

Toronto FC vs. Ottawa Fury
2017 Canadian Championship semifinals - Leg 2
BMO Field - Toronto, Ontario
Wednesday, May 31 - 7 pm ET

As well as Toronto FC are playing in MLS right now, riding an eight-match unbeaten streak, they're in trouble in the Canadian Championship. 

The United Soccer League's Ottawa Fury hold a 2-1 advantage in the two-match Battle of Ontario semifinal series, heading into Wednesday night's second leg at BMO Field. It's not an insurmountable advantage, though. Even a 1-0 home victory would do the trick, thanks to the away-goals tiebreaker. Concede even once, though, and the Reds could be in for a rough night.

Toronto FC

One thing TFC can't afford is the sort of defensive sloppiness that helped Ottawa pull off last week's 2-1 victory in Canada's capital. Both of the Fury's goals were the result of miscues in Toronto's penalty area in the second half -- one leading to an equalizing spot kick and the other setting up Sito Seouane's match-winner in the 72nd minute.

The Reds also have to get by without young midfielder-winger Raheem Edwards, who was sent off in the opener and will be suspended for this match. 

Suspensions: M-F Raheem Edwards
Int’l Duty: F Jozy Altidore (United States), M Michael Bradley (United States)
Injury Report: OUT – F Sebastian Giovinco (quad strain), D Nick Hagglund (torn MCL)

Projected Starting XI (3-4-3): Clint Irwin – Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga – Steven Beitashour, Marky Delgado, Benoit Cheyrou, Victor Vazquez, Justin Morrow – Tosaint Ricketts, Jordan Hamilton

Notes: Because of the reorganization of the CONCACAF Champions League, a loss in this series would put TFC -- the 2016 tournament champion  -- into an Aug. 9 playoff at BMO Field against the 2017 winner.

Ottawa Fury

This much is clear: Ottawa aren't backing down from the challenge, and after last year's semifinal appearance, they want to be the first lower-division side to play for the Voyageurs Cup since the Canadian Championship was founded in 2008. Ottawa went hard after a big aggregate lead in their home leg, and only a few narrow misses prevented them from getting it.

The Fury organization is no stranger to big matches, either. Ottawa, a former member of the North American Soccer League, won that league's fall championship in 2015 before falling in the Soccer Bowl to the New York Cosmos. They made the move to USL this season after finishing 10th in the NASL last year.

  • Suspensions: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: N/A

Projected Starting XI (3-4-3): Callum Irving (GK) – Onua Obasi, Ramon Martin Del Campo, Shane McEleney – Andrae Campbell, Lance Rozeboom, Jamar Dixon, Eddie Edward – Sito Seoane, Tucker Hume, Ryan Williams 

Notes: Ottawa are going for their first series victory over an MLS side. They beat Vancouver 2-0 in the opening leg of last year's semis, also in Ottawa, but lost 3-0 in the second leg at BC Place.

All-time series

Last week's 2-1 victory for the Fury was the first meeting between the two clubs in Canadian Championship play.