FT – Toronto FC 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
80′ – For Dunfield’s fifth and final substitution of the night, Victor Vázquez takes Alonso Coello’s spot.
79′ – Kerr is replaced by C.J. Sapong. Shane O’Neill enters for Jonathan Osorio.
67′ – Interim TFC head coach Terry Dunfield makes a double substitution: Kobe Franklin and Franco Ibarra make way for Jahkeele Marshall-rutty and Latif Blessing.
66′ – GOAL VANCOUVER WHITECAPS. Ryan Gauld’s cross from open play finds the head of Brian White, his attempt gets past Romero.
56′ – GOAL VANCOUVER WHITECAPS. Tristan Blackmon’s header off a corner levels the contest at one goal apiece.
50′ – GOAL TORONTO FC! Deandre Kerr’s impressive run into the opponent’s half ends up with a left-footed strike from the Canadian attacker hitting the back of the net.
HT – Toronto FC 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
40′ – Richie Laryea comes close to scoring against his hometown club. Romero stretches to retain the ball.
33′ – On the ensuing free kick Federico Bernardeschi tests Takaoka from distance, but the Japanese keeper parries the ball away from danger.
32′ – Whitecaps midfielder Sebastian Berhalter is shown the first yellow card of the night.
32′ – Romero is called into action yet again! He saves Ryan Raposo’s effort.
30′ – Tomás Romero gets down low to save a shot from Brian White.
25′ – Lorenzo Insigne’s shot is tipped over the bar by ‘Caps goalkeeper Yohei Takaoka.
11′ – A crucial block from captain Michael Bradley thwarts a goal-bound shot from Vancouver.
9′ – A bit of shaky play from Toronto FC’s defense results in another corner for the visitors.
7′ – Vancouver earns the first corner kick of the match.
2′ – Kobe Franklin wins a free kick for TFC in a good spot.
1′ – And we are underway!
7:05 pm ET – Don’t forget to put your scoreline guesses in our prediction league!
6:35 pm ET – For the first time in about five years, Toronto FC play host to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field with fans in the stands – that contest ended in a 1-0 win for Vancouver in October 6, 2018. The last time the ‘Caps played the Reds on the shores Lake Ontario, Toronto came away with a 1-0 victory on August 21, 2020.
Raoul Petretta comes back into the starting lineup after serving a one-match suspension against Philadelphia Union. No Cassius Mailula or Prince Owusu for this match, they are both sidelined with lower body injuries.
Former Toronto FC defender Richie Laryea starts at right wingback for the Whitecaps. Canadians Ryan Raposo and Ali Ahmed also start for Vanni Sartini’s squad. The attacking duo of Ryan Gauld and Brian White will always be a goalscoring threat up top.
Match Preview, by Aasim Hashim
For a brief moment two weeks ago, the troubles at Toronto FC seemed to disappear as the club finally ended an ugly losing streak. After another lengthy break, the Reds will be back in action on Saturday night, hoping to pick up a second win in as many matches, something the club has not done all season long.
Including this weekend’s matchup, the Reds have seven matches left this season. For a club that is sure to undergo major changes this winter, the home stretch will serve as something of a tryout for many of the players vying for a spot on next year’s squad.
Terry Dunfield, who will still take charge of the Reds until the end of this month, will continue to have many of his weapons available for Saturday night’s matchup. Leading scorer Federico Bernardeschi will look to add to his tally while Deandre Kerr and Kobe Franklin will be hoping to keep their places after stellar outings in the Reds’ last matchup against the Philadelphia Union. With Sean Johnson continuing to heal after surgery, Tomás Romero should continue to keep his place in the TFC net.
While the Reds faithful’s hopes of seeing a familiar face on their own team in the form of Sebastian Giovinco appear to have been dashed, they will have to settle for a familiar face on the opposition this weekend when they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. Canadian international Richie Laryea, who started the MLS season with the Reds on loan, joined the Whitecaps during the July transfer window.
TFC will be very familiar with the danger that Laryea provides. During his time with Toronto, Laryea was one of the few bright spots in every match. On a low-scoring TFC squad, Laryea tallied two goals and three assists in 18 matches with the Reds. His two goals still rank third highest on the Reds (tied with Jonathan Osorio and Mark-Anthony Kaye) and still only sit behind three Reds: Bernardeschi (five goals) and Lorenzo Insigne and Kerr (four goals each).
The ‘Caps currently sit in sixth in the Western Conference, four points ahead of FC Dallas who occupy the ninth and final playoff spot. In anticipation of a playoff run, the ‘Caps have loaded up ahead of the MLS roster freeze that goes into effect tonight at 8 pm ET.
In addition to Laryea, Vancouver acquired Canadian defender Sam Adekugbe on a transfer from Turkish club Hatayspor and most recently announced the signing of Canadian forward Junior Hoilett, as a free agent, until the end of the season. Hoilett will not play in this weekend’s matchup, but Adekugbe is listed as questionable for the Caps’ visit to BMO Field.
Vancouver has found themselves in good form over the last two months. The Western Conference squad has out-and-out lost just two of their previous 10 matches in all competitions. In MLS play, the club is unbeaten in their last three matches with two wins against the Portland Timbers and the Chicago Fire and a 1-1 draw last week against New York City FC.
In Leagues Cup action, the Whitecaps ended group stage play with a shootout loss and a win, before ultimately falling in the Round of 32 through a shootout loss as well.
Head coach Vanni Sartini has not had a problem getting his offence going in the MLS this season. Through 26 regular season matches this season, the ‘Caps have scored 43 goals, second most amongst Western Conference teams, and have failed to score a goal in just three matches. The Whitecaps’ attack is led in tandem by Brian White and Ryan Gauld, each of whom have scored 10 goals a piece.
Gauld, in particular, will be the biggest threat to the Reds’ defence. The Scotland native has scored three goals and contributed two assists over his last three MLS games, including scoring the Whitecaps lone goal in last week’s matchup, and has now extended his run of goals to 11 goals over his last 15 appearances.
Saturday’s match against the Whitecaps will be the beginning of a busy period for the Reds. Following Saturday’s matchup, the Reds will travel to Miami to face Lionel Messi and Inter Miami, followed by a trip to New York to face off against NYCFC next weekend.
Opponent: Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Kick-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
Stadium: BMO Field, Toronto, ON
Watch: MLS Season Pass