Toronto FC will play its first game at home since March 7, 2020, vs Orlando City. Due to travel restrictions with the United States and Canada, Toronto FC (2-8-2, 8 pts, 14th East) had been forced to set up shop in Florida earlier this MLS season and has had a rough start as a result.
TFC recently fired head coach Chris Armas after just six months on the job. Javier Perez has taken over in the interim and led Toronto to a 3-2 win over Eastern Conference leaders New England in his first match in charge.
Orlando (6-3-3, 21 pts, 2nd East) can go level on points with the first-place Revolution with a win and has +140 soccer betting odds to do so. However, the Lions have dropped their last two matches.
Game: Toronto vs Orlando City
Location: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Head to Head
Toronto has dominated the all-time series with eight wins to Orlando City’s four. However, Orlando is unbeaten in its last three matchups with Toronto and last lost in May 2019.
Orlando City has won both meetings this year and will be going for a season sweep. In June, Orlando forward Tesho Akindele scored a goal and provided an assist for Nani in a 3-2 win. Toronto was technically the home team in the match but it was played at Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium.
In May, Akindele scored the game’s only goal to propel Orlando City to its first win over TFC since 2018.
Toronto Eyes Second Win in Row
Toronto reached a franchise low by losing 7-1 to D.C. United on July 3. That was the worst loss in club history and Armas was promptly fired following the drubbing.
Longtime striker Jozy Altidore had a falling out with Armas following a dispute after being subbed out in the 70th minute vs Orlando in May. He was frozen out of training since the incident but has been re-introduced to the squad under Javier Perez.
There were some good signs for Toronto FC in Perez’s first game. TFC picked up just its second win of the season and scored three goals for the first time. TFC also ended New England’s five-game home winning streak to start the season.
However, Toronto allowed two goals and has conceded seven more goals than any other team in MLS. The defense will take a further hit with Kemar Lawrence and Eriq Zavaleta away at the Gold Cup with Jamaica and El Salvador, respectively.
Midfielder and leading scorer Jonathan Osorio is also at the Gold Cup with Canada, along with starting striker Ayo Akinola and Richie Laryea. It remains to be seen whether Altidore will be fit to play, as Toronto could certainly use him in this match.
Orlando Minus Striker
Orlando City only has one player on international duty but it’s a big one. Star striker Daryl Dike, who spent the early part of the MLS season on loan with English Championship club Barnsley, has two goals in three starts.
In his place we could see Akindele, who has been a thorn in Toronto’s side. Akindele has scored in both games vs TFC and provided an assist. Former Manchester United star Nani is also having an excellent season with six goals in 10 MLS appearances.
Starting Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese led Peru to the Copa America semifinals. He should be available for this matchup.
It is a little bit concerning that Orlando’s only three losses have come in the last six games. Orlando has lost two consecutive games for the first time this season but is certainly capable of bouncing back.
Orlando should get back on track after two consecutive losses. Losing Dike hurts, but he only rejoined the team a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Toronto has a handful of players at the Gold Cup and it could hurt the squad’s rotation in this match. Bet on Orlando City to make it three in three vs TFC this season, even with the match in Toronto.