New England Soccer Today

Five Things to Know: #TFC

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

With Saturday’s second meeting between the Revolution and Toronto FC on tap, let’s take a look at some of the storylines surrounding the guests going into it.

1. The Reds haven’t looked impressive as of late. A glimpse into their last five games tells you all you need to know about the current state of the Reds. With the absences of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore forcing coach Greg Vanney to use mix-and-match lineups in recent weeks, Toronto has gone 1-1-3 since late-June. Making matters worse: they’ve conceded three or more goals in each of their last three road games.

2. They’ll be missing at least one key piece. Speaking of Bradley, a calf stain will keep him out of Saturday’s match, thus delaying his return from Gold Cup action. But Bradley may not be the only impact player missing for the Reds. Sebastian Giovinco suffered a heel bruise in last weekend’s wild 3-3 draw to Columbus, forcing him to sit out Wednesday’s All-Star Game. Meanwhile, fullback Ashtone Morgan, who’s nursing a groin injury, may not be ready to go, either.

3. Jozy Altidore will be looking to do more than he did during the first meeting. In the first meeting between these teams back in May, Altidore was forced to exit prematurely after suffering a hamstring injury near the midway point of the first half. Now fully healthy, Altidore will bear the burden of getting the offense in gear, especially if Giovinco is unable to go.

4. Providence College grad Chris Konopka probably won’t be in goal this time around. It’s fair to say that Konopka enjoyed a pretty fruitful return to the area during the 1-1 draw between these sides back in May. But much has changed since that seven-save evening, which left the locals frustrated time after time. This time around, Joe Bendik will be between the sticks after reclaiming his job back from Konopka.

5. Recently-signed Moroccan international Ahmed Kantari could make his MLS debut. Defense hasn’t exactly been the Reds’ forte over the last few games, but help be arriving just in the nick of time. After signing with Toronto last week, Kantari appears to be on the verge of suiting up for Toronto for the first time on Saturday. With fellow French-speaking defender Damien Parquis also stationed in the rear, Vanney will hope that the communication issues that have dogged his side this year will started to improve post haste.

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