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Toronto FC
Major League Soccer
May 18, 2023 at 12.30am UK
BMO Field
New York Red Bulls

Toronto
0 - 0
NY Red Bulls

FT

Manoel (45'), Stroud (75'), Barlow (89')

Preview: Toronto vs. New York Red Bulls - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Major League Soccer clash between Toronto and New York Red Bulls, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

The bottom two teams in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer, Toronto and the New York Red Bulls, will clash on Wednesday in a battle of two teams going in opposite directions at the moment.

It has been a difficult month for the Reds, who are now bottom of their conference, losing 2-0 at CF Montreal on Saturday, while a new manager in New Jersey has changed the Red Bulls' fortunes, with the club winning back-to-back fixtures in all competitions, blanking New York City FC 1-0 last weekend.


Match preview

Toronto FC head coach Bob Bradley on May 9, 2023© Reuters

When the 2023 campaign began, many pundits around the league said this was an MLS Cup or bust season for TFC, and at the moment, it has been the latter, with this team coming off a third successive defeat in all competitions, losing twice to their biggest rivals last week.

After failing to score for a second successive domestic encounter last Saturday, their experienced manager Bob Bradley said there can be positive light if there is belief, but based on their body language and results of late, there does not appear to be much of that in Toronto at the moment.

Over their recent slump, the Reds have often been their own worst enemy with needles giveaways and silly challenges, including being reduced to 10 men in Montreal due to time wasting of all things, three minutes after conceding the opening goal.

Several vital pieces to the squad have been sidelined throughout this slump with injuries, and their reinforcements have not been able to make an impact, with the Reds winning just two of their 12 MLS fixtures, the fewest for this franchise at this stage of a regular season since 2021, and just one more than their previous low from 2013.

Toronto have put together a team that are great at wide attacking play, but when those channels are cut off they struggle to adjust and find other ways to be successful, which is part of why they have dropped from a playoff position to the Eastern Conference basement in the span of just a couple of weeks.

Three of their next four matches will take place at BMO Field, where the Reds have won their only two domestic contests this year, though the last time they played there in this competition, TFC were beaten 2-0 by the New England Revolution, the first MLS defeat for them at home in 2023.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Omir Fernandez (21) celebrates his goal with teammates on May 9, 2023© Reuters

Only a week into the Troy Lesesne era with the Red Bulls, we are already seeing a lot of more encouraging signs from a team that looked out of sorts in the first 11 matches of the campaign under Gerhard Struber.

It is not as if New York are doing anything drastically different than the traditional Red Bull brand of high-pressing and counter-attacking football we are accustomed to seeing, but they have just executed those tactics better over the past week.

On Saturday, they were able to frustrate their state rivals, particularly in the second half, getting the Pigeons off their game and out of sync thanks to some solid midfield pressing and they were eventually rewarded when a long-range effort which took a deflection, sailed over the head of Luis Barraza in the NYCFC goal.

While they had only accumulated nine points from their opening 11 encounters, their underlying numbers defensively suggested their struggles may not last forever as the Red Bulls have conceded a goal or fewer in all but one regular season encounter this year.

They have only given up one effort on target over their previous two matches combined in all competitions, but New York are struggling to find much quality in the attacking third, often looking indecisive, while overthinking things when they enter that area of the pitch, tied with Sporting Kansas City for the fewest goals scored in the league (eight).

The fortress of BMO Field does not appear to intimidate this squad, who have only dropped one of their last six visits there in the regular season and playoffs, including an impressive 4-1 triumph the last time out in 2022.

Toronto Major League Soccer form:

Toronto form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L


New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer form:


New York Red Bulls form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

Toronto FC forward Federico Bernardeschi (10) and forward Ayo Akinola (20) congratulate midfielder Michael Bradley (4) on his goal on April 2, 2023© Reuters

Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty will have to sit out for Toronto this Wednesday after receiving two cautions at Montreal last Saturday, while eight TFC players missed that match with lower body injuries, including Victor Vazquez, Sigurd Rosted, Jordan Perruzza, Jonathan Osorio, Shane O'Neill, Matt Hedges, Alonso Coello Camarero and Michael Bradley.

After shutting out his former team New York City FC, at the end of April, Sean Johnson has given up multiple goals in three straight matches in all competitions, Mark-Anthony Kaye still leads the league in tackles won (33) and he is tied with Richie Laryea for second on the team in goals this season (two), netting one fewer than their top scorer Federico Bernardeschi, who has not found the back of the net since their 2-2 draw at home to Charlotte FC on April 1st.

Lorenzo Insigne had the only goal in their home defeat versus Montreal at the Canadian Championship (2-1) last Tuesday, while Ayo Akinola is still seeking his first of the MLS campaign after scoring twice in 2022.

Kyle Duncan and Steven Sserwadda missed the last Red Bulls encounter with knee issues, Matt Nocita and Serge Ngoma were sidelined due to hamstring strains, Frankie Amaya sat out because of a sprained ankle, Lewis Morgan continues to be plagued by a hip flexor, while Luquinhas has an adductor injury.

On Wednesday, Dante Vanzeir will serve the last match of his suspension following his racial slur against the San Jose Earthquakes, while Sean Nealis, Cristian Casseres and Andres Reyes will each be unavailable due to yellow card accumulation.

Omir Fernandez has scored in back-to-back contests for the Red Bulls, notching the only goal in their US Open Cup victory and league fixture last week, while Carlos Coronel collected the 23rd clean sheet of his career with this team on Saturday, picking up his 30th win in the process.

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Johnson; Laryea, Mabika, Curic, Gutierrez; Kaye, Servania, Franklin; Insigne, Sapong, Bernardeschi

New York Red Bulls possible starting lineup:
Coronel; D. Nealis, Reid, Harper, Tolkin; Edelman, Stroud; Manoel, Yearwood, Fernandez; Barlow


SM words green background

We say: Toronto 0-0 New York Red Bulls

Both teams could be missing some significant pieces to their squad this weekend, and although the Red Bulls have momentum on their side, they have not shown much quality in the attacking third, though they have done well to limit their opponents' opportunities.

How to watch

You can watch Toronto vs. New York Red Bulls and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

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

How you voted: Toronto vs NY Red Bulls

Toronto
55.6%
Draw
33.3%
New York Red Bulls
11.1%
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New York Red Bulls forward Dante Vanzeir (13) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their second goal on March 19, 2023
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Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter MiamiInter Miami16104238211734
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1510322314933
3New York City FCNY City158251916326
4Columbus Crew146622113824
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC156451413122
7Toronto157172424022
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia144642521418
9DC United154652125-418
10Nashville SCNashville143741720-316
11Orlando City144461522-716
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta143471717013
13CF MontrealMontreal143471731-1413
14Chicago Fire152581427-1311
15New England RevolutionNew England132110926-177

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1585230171329
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd137422417725
3Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy156722722525
4Los Angeles FCLos Angeles147342519624
5Austin FCAustin156542018223
6Colorado RapidsColorado156452726122
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver145452017319
8Houston DynamoHouston145361315-218
9Seattle SoundersSeattle154561818017
10Portland TimbersPortland154472830-216
11St Louis City143742022-216
12Dallas133461620-413
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas142572226-411
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1532102334-1111


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