Playoffs - 2020 - Round One - TOR vs NSH

Toronto FC vs. Nashville SC | How to watch and stream

Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Round One
Toronto FC vs. Nashville SC
Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium – East Hartford
November 24 – 6:00 PM ET

TV: FS1, FOX Deportes, TSN 1/4/5, TVA Sports


Nashville SC opened eyes with a thorough Play-In victory over fellow expansion side Inter Miami CF, but now take a step up in class against perennial MLS Cup contender Toronto FC in a Round One matchup Tuesday at Rentschler Field.

Toronto were in contention for the Supporters' Shield right up to Decision Day presented by AT&T and are considered a strong contender to reach the final for the fourth time in the last five years. Led by Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio, among others, they have a veteran core with a bevy of big games under their belts. They have a forward in Ayo Akinola who can change games in a minute, and in Alejandro Pozuelo, they have a finalist for Landon Donovan MVP. But TFC stumbled down the stretch of the regular season, losing three of their last four games. 

Of course, Greg Vanney's side will also have pressure on them, which is something Gary Smith and Nashville won't have to worry about. And the expansion side will have momentum on their side, coming off that 3-0 victory over Inter Miami Friday night, an offensive explosion for a team known for its lockdown defense. In contrast, Nashville lost just once in their final seven regular season games to lock up seventh place in the East in their inaugural season. 

Toronto FC

Toronto FC have been there, they've done that and they've won playoff games — a lot of them in recent years. They've also have a little more than two weeks lead up, which has allowed some players to get healthier. And while experience is on TFC's side, Vanney knows his team has its hands full with an "organized team, very committed."

"Every single one of them that is on the field is committed to the defensive work, getting behind the ball, getting numbers between the ball and the goal," Vanney told reporters in a video conference call Saturday. "They obviously have a strong backline that is able to slow things up and keep the game in front of them. Their midfield works incredibly hard and their forwards work to get connected to their group. A lot of times if the game is relatively slow or if you play too many back passes, you have to break down all 11 of them to get something on goal."

Pozuelo was named to the MLS Best XI presented by Home Depot for a second consecutive season. He finished the regular season with 9 goals and 10 assists, leading the league in combined goals and assists. He also led MLS in chances created (70) and game winning goals (5) while becoming the first player in TFC history to start in every regular season match in a season.

As for that wealth of experience? Michael Bradley said that doesn't guarantee them the win on Tuesday. 

"The core of our team has big experience together in a lot of different situations, in a lot of different moments, so that part is important and that part will serve us well," Bradley told reporters on a Monday video call. "But we also would never want to think that just because we have experience together and we've had success in the past that guarantees us anything now. So we all understand that, we're excited about what is to come. Obviously there's new faces who will play a big part in and help our success over the next few weeks. No two teams are exactly the same, no two situations are exactly the same, but it would be dumb if you didn't find the right ways to draw on the collective experience of the group and I think we will do that, we've always done that."

Project Starting XI

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Achara (M) - ACL injury
    • OUT: Justin Morrow (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Marky Delgado (M) - undisclosed injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Nashville SC

So you thought you had Nashville SC figured out, huh? That commitment to defending was still there, but they played on the front foot and attacked Inter Miami relentlessly. For the first time this season, the attacking Designated Player trio of Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar and Jhonder Cadiz shared the field together for the first time. It was an injection of quality that also brought a surge of confidence through the entire squad.

“The really important part,” Smith said, “is having your DPs on the field. And with Jhonder, Hany and Randall all on the field at the same time, there's an air of expectation, there’s a different feel about the group. The guys, I think, look at what we're capable of and go into the game with far more vigor. And I think you saw that in the first 20, 25 minutes … looking back now, the game was won in 20 minutes, 20-25 minutes, and that's real credit to the way the guys went about their business.”

That was the good news. The bad news is a vital midfield cog — Anibal Godoy left with a hamstring injury, a potentially devastating blow to the team's spine. Tah Anunga will be his likely replacement on Tuesday. 

"He came off against Orlando with a tight hamstring. And over the last 12 days we've nursed him through that and got him to a point where, to be perfectly honest, morning, noon and night he’s been working hard to get himself fit, to be in the right place and he’s looked great," Smith said after the match. "The crazy thing is, he was about three minutes away from coming off." 

"I don't quite know the full extent of it. I'm disappointed, obviously, that’s he's been forced off. But I think we'll find out how bad it is in the next 24 hours or so. At this point, it's difficult to work out if he's got a muscle strain or it’s just severe tightness. If it's the latter there's a good chance he'll be available for Tuesday and if it's the first one, I guess there won't be much chance in the quick turnaround."

Project Starting XI

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Jack Maher (D) - undisclosed injury
    • OUT: Anibal Godoy (M) - hamstring injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: Alistair Johnston (D)
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup at Toronto FC

  • This is the first all-time meeting between Toronto FC and Nashville SC

MLS Cup Playoffs

  • This is the first all-time MLS Cup Playoffs meeting between Toronto FC and Nashville SC


  • Referee: Robert Sibiga
  • Assistant Referees: C.J. Morgante, Ian McKay
  • 4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
  • VAR: Alan Kelly