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[monks data]
Jul 24, 2022 at 12.30am UK at BMO Field
Toronto
4 - 0
Charlotte FC
Osorio (4'), Bradley (10', 45+2'), Bernardeschi (31')
Kaye (67')
FT(HT: 4-0)

Fuchs (65')

Preview: Toronto vs. Charlotte FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Toronto and Charlotte FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Charlotte FC will pay a visit to BMO Field in Toronto for the first time, currently sitting a point back of a playoff spot in their inaugural Major League Soccer campaign.

With 13 games remaining in the regular season, the Reds are eight points behind FC Cincinnati for that final postseason position in the Eastern Conference, while the Crown blew a 2-0 lead last Sunday, losing 3-2 away to Inter Miami.


Match preview

Toronto FC forward Jesus Jimenez (9) celebrates with midfielders Luca Petrasso (38, left) and Jacob Shaffelburg (22) after scoring against New York City FC in the first half at BMO Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Help is on the way for Bob Bradley and his Toronto side, but with six teams to catch and little time left, it could be too little too late.

Aside from a challenging 2-0 defeat to open July against the Seattle Sounders, this team have competed hard but lacked quality in the attacking third, without a goal in back-to-back games.

It must sound like a broken record at this point, but Toronto still allow their share of clear-cut opportunities, conceding a goal in 50 of their last 51 MLS affairs, including at least one in each of their previous 29 fixtures.

If they want to take a positive from what has been a dismal defensive display this year, it could be the fact that they did not allow an opposing player to score against them last week, dropping a 1-0 decision to CF Montreal, because of an own goal from Lukas MacNaughton.

Following a narrow 2-1 victory over Atlanta United near the end of June, TFC have conceded the opening goal in five straight matches, failing to tally in the first-half over that span.

There have usually been some entertaining periods of play from them this season, but Bradley believes they have been defending a little too deep lately, forcing them to withstand a fair bit of opposition pressure.

Charlotte FC forward Karol ?widerski (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal is in the background in the first half at Bank of America Stadium on March 19, 2022© Reuters

An enterprising display of quality in the opening half proved to be all for naught last Sunday as the Crown could not put the Herons away and, as a result, are now chasing the final playoff spot in the East.

Their 3-2 defeat in South Beach was only the second time in this campaign that Charlotte had blown a second-half advantage as they had usually done a good job at defending when in front before that game.

That was the third consecutive MLS affair in which Christian Lattanzio's team had notched multiple goals in a match after scoring once or fewer in their previous four MLS fixtures.

Even though it was only a friendly, you have to think that defeating a side like Chelsea on penalties in front of their home fans earlier this week should give them a big morale boost heading into this encounter.

It will only be the second time they come to Canada for an MLS outing, and when they went up to Montreal near the end of June, this team were slow coming out of the gate, conceding a Romell Quioto strike after six minutes, eventually losing 2-1.

They have managed to find the back of the net in five straight league games, though they have only collected one victory away from home in 2022.

Toronto Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Charlotte FC Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Charlotte FC form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W


Team News

Toronto FC head coach Bob Bradley calls out to his team during the second half against New York City FC at BMO Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Lorenzo Insigne could be ready to make his debut for Toronto FC this weekend, as the significant signing has not featured since officially arriving this summer from Serie A, Federico Bernardeschi was recently introduced to the fans and media, while Mark-Anthony Kaye has started every game since being traded from the Colorado Rapids to his home province in exchange for General Allocation Money (GAM).

Although it has not been a great campaign for TFC keepers this year, Alex Bono earned himself a spot on the MLS Team of the Week thanks to a five-save performance in a narrow defeat to Montreal, while Deandre Kerr and Jonathan Osorio each tallied in their previous home fixture.

Noble Okello and Chris Mavinga could still be out with lower-body injuries, the goalless streak for Jesus Jimenez has now reached four games in MLS play, while Domenico Criscito has featured in three straight games at the back.

Yordy Reyna put together a masterclass display in the first half for Charlotte away to Miami last weekend before the backline anchored by Christian Fuchs, Anton Walkes, Guzman Corujo and Harrison Afful allowed their share of chances with Kristijan Kahlina conceding three times in the final half-hour.

Daniel Rios scored two minutes into stoppage time in midweek to force penalties in their exhibition match with the Blues of Chelsea.

Kahlina was not fooled by the run-up from Conor Gallagher, saving his penalty which was fired straight at him, setting the stage for Kamil Jozwiak, who beat Edouard Mendy from 12 yards away, helping Charlotte pull off the upset.

Vinicius Mello has not recovered from his left foot surgery, and Adam Armour will likely be gone for a while after undergoing left knee surgery.

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Bono; Criscito, O'Neill, MacNaughton, Marshall-Rutty; Osorio, Bradley; Kaye; Jimenez, Insigne, Akinola

Charlotte FC possible starting lineup:
Kahlina; Fuchs, Walkes, Corujo; Lindsey; Bronico, Reyna, Ruiz, Bender, Swiderski, Shinyashiki


SM words green background

We say: Toronto 2-0 Charlotte FC

TFC should get a considerable boost if Insigne finally hits the field, while we expect them to be able to contain a Charlotte attack, who are in good form but can be streaky at times, and in general still struggle on the road.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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How you voted: Toronto vs Charlotte FC

Toronto
72.7%
Draw
13.6%
Charlotte FC
13.6%
22
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

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