Things haven’t come easy for Toronto FC this season, and Saturday’s matchup won’t be any easier when Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy travel to BMO Field in a game where both teams are desperate for points.
It was just a few games ago that Toronto FC was in a must win situation against the Montreal Impact, a game they won by a landslide and put them six points back of a playoff spot. Now two games later and a tie against a team your should beat and a loss against a top team in the west, TFC finds themselves in a must win situation once again.
Toronto’s last loss came against LAFC, the third place team in the Western Conference, and it was a morale killer. Toronto was awful in that match, especially defensively, which in the end was the difference in the match.
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) September 2, 2018
But that was two weeks ago, in that time some players reported to their national teams while others stayed back and got some much-needed rest.
The two-week break gave TFC a chance to straighten out their defensive struggles and figure out who will stand in goal come Saturday night.
Alex Bono has been the starter all year long but he has struggled for the majority of the year but especially as of late. Clint Irwin who has only played in a handful of matches this season has been a good fall back option, but for the most part hasn’t been much better.
Irwin got the start in goal against LA in the 4-2 loss, with the last of the four being a howler. For the most part, Irwin played well enough to be given another shot but it will be interesting to see what head coach Greg Vanney does.
The hardest thing for TFC is staying motivated after an extremely poor performance. With six games remaining Toronto is nine points back of Montreal for the final playoff spot with one game in hand. The other issue is they have New England and D.C. United ahead of them, but they can control only one thing, their destiny.
Following their last loss, captain Michael Bradley called out everyone in the organization when it came to their preparation to the season and how they’ve performed. Now weeks after his strong words it will be interesting to see how his teammates react in what should be a hard fought 90-minute battle.
The reigning MLS Cup Champions have their work cut out for them, going up against the Galaxy who have none other than 6-foot-5 Zlatan Ibrahimovic anchoring their forward core.
— Toronto FC (@torontofc) September 11, 2018
Ibrahimovic – who signed for the Galaxy in March – has managed to score 16 goals in 21 games. The big forward will create havoc for TFC defenders whether it is on the ground or in the air, and if they aren’t careful he can make them pay.
A loss would all but end TFC’s hopes of the playoffs. They wouldn’t be completely eliminated from contention but with only a handful of games remaining, it would certainly make it almost impossible.