ExLink - 09/15/18 - TORvLA

Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Toronto FC vs. LA Galaxy
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 29

BMO Field — Toronto
Sept. 15 — 7:30 pm ET


Will a late-season coaching change provide the necessary boost the LA Galaxy need to make a playoff push? That answer comes Saturday night when they head to BMO Field to take on an equally desperate Toronto FC.

The Reds are hoping to avoid back-to-back home defeats to Los Angeles foes after dropping a 4-2 decision to LAFC on Sept. 1, while the Galaxy are winless in their last six and hope to bounce back from a 6-2 loss to Real Salt Lake.

Three of the last four meetings have been decided by three or more goals with Toronto FC winning 4-0 at StubHub Center last September.

Toronto FC

Toronto (7-14-6) are nine points below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining after falling to LAFC, 4-2, at home on Sept. 1.

TFC fell in a three-goal hole four minutes into the second half on goals by Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi and Lee Nguyen before Jozy Altidore struck for a late brace. But any hopes of a draw was dashed by Vela’s second goal in stoppage time.

“If you give up four goals, you’re going to have a hard time winning games,” Greg Vanney said. “The first goal for me was a little unfortunate, until then I thought we had pretty good control of things: created chances and dictated a fair amount of the game.

“I don’t think that was their concern, having a ton of possession and controlling the game. As teams are playing us right now, they protect themselves by waiting us out; waiting for a mistake. The first goal was misfortune but the three after are plays we have to be able to deal with, there are no two ways about it.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Michael Bradley
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Auro (hamstring strain), D - Chris Mavinga (hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: M - Victor Vazquez (undisclosed injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Clint Irwin — Gregory van der Wiel, Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Justin Morrow — Marky Delgado, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio — Lucas Janson, Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco

LA Galaxy

A 6-2 loss at Real Salt Lake proved to be the final blow for the LA Galaxy (10-10-8) as Sigi Schmid stepped down as coach, replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Dom Kinnear.

It was a positive start for the visitors when Jonathan dos Santos scored inside the opening minute, but RSL responded with four consecutive goals before Romain Alessandrini’s response in the 63rd minute. But Damir Kreilach scored his third goal of the game three minutes after Albert Rusnak scored his second.

“I think everyone knows the urgency of the situation,” Kinnear said. “We don't have the coach from the start of the season with us. We have six games left and we still have a chance to make the playoffs. They have to be professional about it and put any emotions aside and just get back to working hard to hopefully prepare to win the game on Saturday [at Toronto FC].”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Michael Ciani
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
(3-4-1-2, right to left)
GK: David Bingham — Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik — Rolf Feltscher, Jonathan dos Santos, Perry Kitchen, Ashley Cole — Giovani dos Santos — Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Toronto FC 4 wins, 18 goals … LA Galaxy 6 wins, 23 goals … 6 draws
  • At Toronto: Toronto FC 2 wins, 6 goals … Galaxy 1 win, 4 goals … 4 draws
  • Last meeting at Toronto: Toronto FC 1, LA Galaxy 0 (June 18, 2016)


Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistant Referees: Jason White, Andrew Bigelow
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Guido Gonzales