Orlando City vs. Toronto: Previews and Predictions

Wednesday night Orlando City plays its penultimate midweek match of the season as it hosts Toronto FC in the City Beautiful before the league's Gold Cup break. The game will mark the 20th of the season for Orlando City and the first home game for Cyle Larin after his DUI arrest last month. Orlando City will be at almost full strength, with only Carlos Rivas sidelined with a sprained ankle. I say "only" but Rivas is one of the best passers and the fastest striker on the team, and he is responsible for 3 of the team's 21 goals on the season, putting him in a tie for second on the squad with Kaka.

For a time it looked like Toronto was going to run away with the Supporters Shield and the Eastern Conference race until Chicago caught fire (no pun intended) to burn their way to the top of the table. Toronto has lost two of its last six matches, including its most recent outing, a 3 - 1 loss to Dallas. Toronto has five players named to Gold Cup rosters, but the MLS web site has a track record of being inaccurate about which players will actually be out of their club squad for International Competition, so it's unclear if these players will be available for selection on Wednesday night or not: (Armando Cooper, Raheem Edwards, Jonathan Osario, Tosaint Ricketts, and Justin Morrow). Orlando City fans can hope that's the case, but it would be foolish to count on that being the case. In any event, Toronto has had a very good run, showing their depth by getting results in nearly every match they have played over the last two months, including all the midweek matches that proved to be too much for Orlando City's lack of depth to hold together.

Statistically, Toronto and Orlando City are similar teams, except in terms of results. For example, both teams have exactly the same number of shots (173), and are very close in shots on goal (Toronto 84, Orlando City 79). But Toronto has found the back of the net 10 more times, scoring 31 goals on the season, and the Toronto FC defense has been even more impressive than the improved Orlando City defense, as the Canadian side has conceded only 18 goals on the season (Orlando City has conceded 26).

Prediction

There is no doubt that coming into the match Toronto FC have been the better side this season, and they have proven able to win on the road as well as at home. Nonetheless, the homecoming for

Wednesday night Orlando City plays its penultimate midweek match of the season as it hosts Toronto FC in the City Beautiful before the league's Gold Cup break. The game will mark the 20th of the season for Orlando City and the first home game for Cyle Larin after his DUI arrest last month. Orlando City will be at almost full strength, with only Carlos Rivas sidelined with a sprained ankle. I say "only" but Rivas is one of the best passers and the fastest striker on the team, and he is responsible for 3 of the team's 21 goals on the season, putting him in a tie for second on the squad with Kaka.

For a time it looked like Toronto was going to run away with the Supporters Shield and the Eastern Conference race until Chicago caught fire (no pun intended) to burn their way to the top of the table. Toronto has lost two of its last six matches, including its most recent outing, a 3 - 1 loss to Dallas. Toronto has five players named to Gold Cup rosters, but the MLS web site has a track record of being inaccurate about which players will actually be out of their club squad for International Competition, so it's unclear if these players will be available for selection on Wednesday night or not: (Armando Cooper, Raheem Edwards, Jonathan Osario, Tosaint Ricketts, and Justin Morrow). Orlando City fans can hope that's the case, but it would be foolish to count on that being the case. In any event, Toronto has had a very good run, showing their depth by getting results in nearly every match they have played over the last two months, including all the midweek matches that proved to be too much for Orlando City's lack of depth to hold together.

Statistically, Toronto and Orlando City are similar teams, except in terms of results. For example, both teams have exactly the same number of shots (173), and are very close in shots on goal (Toronto 84, Orlando City 79). But Toronto has found the back of the net 10 more times, scoring 31 goals on the season, and the Toronto FC defense has been even more impressive than the improved Orlando City defense, as the Canadian side has conceded only 18 goals on the season (Orlando City has conceded 26).

Prediction

There is no doubt that coming into the match Toronto FC have been the better side this season, and they have proven able to win on the road as well as at home. Nonetheless, the homecoming for Cyle Larin and the intense energy of The Wall make it hard for any opposing side to come into Orlando City Stadium to collect points. Only rival NYCFC have been able to take all 3 points in our house on the final meeting between the two sides back in May, and Orlando City would desperately like to make a strong statement going into the Gold Cup break. My head leans me toward a Toronto victory, since I'm skeptical that all five Gold Cup players will be out for the match. But after having been at the match last Saturday night when the team went on the road to RSL and brought back all 3 points, I am buoyed by the prospect of the team winning at home, so I will predict a 2 - 1 victory for the team in purple.

What are your thoughts on the match? Do you think Orlando City can prevail at home and continue some momentum from last Friday going into the Gold Cup break? Or do you think that Toronto will assert its dominance as a top team in the East to steal points in Orlando? Let me know in the comments below!

and the intense energy of The Wall make it hard for any opposing side to come into Orlando City Stadium to collect points. Only rival NYCFC have been able to take all 3 points in our house on the final meeting between the two sides back in May, and Orlando City would desperately like to make a strong statement going into the Gold Cup break. My head leans me toward a Toronto victory, since I'm skeptical that all five Gold Cup players will be out for the match. But after having been at the match last Saturday night when the team went on the road to RSL and brought back all 3 points, I am buoyed by the prospect of the team winning at home, so I will predict a 2 - 1 victory for the team in purple.

What are your thoughts on the match? Do you think Orlando City can prevail at home and continue some momentum from last Friday going into the Gold Cup break? Or do you think that Toronto will assert its dominance as a top team in the East to steal points in Orlando? Let me know in the comments below!