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Major League Soccer
Sep 17, 2023 at 12.30am UK
BMO Field
VW

Toronto
1 - 2
Vancouver

Kerr (50')
Petretta (76')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Blackmon (56'), White (66')
Berhalter (32'), Vite (60'), Brown (87')

Preview: Toronto vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Toronto vs. Vancouver Whitecaps - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Toronto and Vancouver Whitecaps, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Toronto can win consecutive league fixtures for the first time all year when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at BMO Field, in the final all-Canadian matchup of the 2023 MLS regular season.

The Reds ended a 10-match losing run in all competitions in their previous encounter, defeating the Philadelphia Union 3-1, while the Caps have points in three successive road fixtures, playing to a 1-1 draw with New York City FC.


Match preview

He may not be officially in the dugout until next month, but just knowing John Herdman is coming to Toronto seemed to light a spark in this group against the Union, as they notched three goals after 63 minutes and were the aggressors throughout the match.

That was the first win for Terry Dunfield as interim manager, while those three goals scored were as many as this team had managed in their eight previous MLS contests combined.

The quality we saw from them versus Philly has been in short supply throughout the campaign, with Toronto scoring the second-fewest goals in MLS (23), failing to find the back of the net five times at BMO Field this year.

Toronto are winless against Western Conference opponents this season, scoring just once in five encounters, and are without a goal at home against the West since a 2-2 draw versus the Los Angeles Galaxy last year.

Dunfield will be in charge of this group for their next four matches and can ill-afford to suffer many more defeats if they are to keep their slim postseason hopes alive, as TFC sit dead-last in the Eastern Conference, 12 points behind the playoff line with just seven games to play.

All four of their domestic triumphs in 2023 have occurred when they have scored in the second half, though they have dropped 13 points this season when leading in the final 45 minutes.

Over the past two seasons, the Whitecaps could barely buy an away victory, but at the moment, they cannot seem to lose a road contest, unbeaten on their current trip.

Vancouver still have four successive away matches to come, and their newfound confidence on the road has vaulted them from a team fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot, to a side in the hunt for a postseason home fixture, currently sixth in the West, but only three points behind the Seattle Sounders for second.

Their draw at NYCFC was only the second time domestically all season that they had earned a point away from home when trailing in the second half, while the Caps have only suffered one road defeat in 2023 when scoring the opening goal (2-1 loss at the San Jose Earthquakes).

With three away victories this year, it is already more than this team have experienced in either of their two previous regular-season campaigns and if the Caps can win their remaining five road matches, it would set a new single-season club record for the most-ever away wins, eclipsing the old mark of seven set in 2015.

They are only five points away from equalling their entire total from 2022 (43), and if they can win at least five of their remaining games, Vanni Sartini's men would match a franchise record for points in a single regular season campaign set eight years ago (53 in 2015).

Vancouver have already earned some bragging rights over their arch-rivals Seattle and the Portland Timbers this year when they clinched their first Cascadia Cup since 2016, and if they can avoid defeat on Saturday, it would mark the first time since 2019 that they finish an MLS campaign with a 100% record against their two Canadian rivals (Toronto and CF Montreal).

Toronto Major League Soccer form:

Toronto form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W

Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer form:


Vancouver Whitecaps form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D



Team News

Toronto could be without CJ Sapong, Latif Blessing, Prince Owusu, Cassius Mailula, Cristian Gutierrez and Adama Diomande because of lower body injuries, Shane O'Neill is doubtful due to concussion protocol, Greg Ranjitsingh continues to recover from knee surgery, while Sean Johnson remains sidelined after undergoing surgery on his hand.

Lorenzo Insigne and Jonathan Osorio each have a goal involvement in consecutive MLS home fixtures, and they both found the back of the next versus Philly, with the other strike coming courtesy of Deandre Kerr, while Tomas Romero only faced two shots in the victory.

Osorio was the only player to miss from the penalty spot when they lost in a shootout versus Vancouver at the Canadian Championship a season ago, after former defender Lukas MacNaughton scored an equalising goal in that encounter (1-1), while current Whitecaps wing-back Richie Laryea had the only strike for the Reds the last time they played against the Caps at BMO Field in 2020, helping TFC to a 1-0 win.

Vancouver are still missing Thomas Hasal, who is suffering from patellar tendinopathy, Luis Martins has a left calf strain, Junior Hoilett will join the team after his contract with League One side Reading expired, Sergio Cordova has been transferred to Alanyaspor in the Turkish Super Lig, Javain Brown may not be back in time, having featured for Jamaica at the CONCACAF Nations League, while Andres Cubas may be out as well after being away on international duty for Paraguay.

Since May 31, Ryan Gauld has led the league in goal contributions with 17 (10 goals and seven assists), notching the equalising goal from the penalty spot versus New York City, Brian White saw his two-match scoring run end in that encounter, while Yohei Takaoka has conceded a goal or fewer in his last two starts between the sticks.

White had the only Caps goal when they faced Toronto in the final of the 2022 Canadian Championship, while he, Gauld, Cubas, Tristan Blackmon and former midfielder Julian Gressel all converted their penalties to give Vancouver the title.

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Romero; Franklin, Rosted, Mabika, Petretta; Bradley; Osorio, Ibarra, Coello; Bernardeschi, Insigne

Vancouver Whitecaps possible starting lineup:
Takaoka; Blackmon, Veselinovic, Laborda; Laryea, Adekugbe, Berhalter, Ahmed; Vite; White, Gauld


We say: Toronto 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

Vancouver are undefeated in five encounters against the Eastern Conference this season, and they look like a well-oiled machine across the board right now, while their key attacking threats remain in fine form.

One solid performance is not enough to change the fortunes of Toronto, who have been very inconsistent, while their leaky defence could be under duress against a Vancouver squad that are deadly in transition.

How to watch

You can watch Toronto vs. Vancouver Whitecaps and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data


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Premier League Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter MiamiInter Miami18105342271535
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1610332316733
3New York City FCNY City169252417729
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls178542923629
5Charlotte FCCharlotte FC177461818025
6Columbus Crew146622113824
7Toronto177372626024
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia164842723420
9Nashville SCNashville164752022-219
10DC United174762531-619
11Orlando City164571624-817
12CF MontrealMontreal164572335-1217
13Atlanta UnitedAtlanta164482221116
14Chicago Fire173681729-1215
15New England RevolutionNew England1541101227-1513

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1796236191733
2Los Angeles FCLos Angeles169342819930
3Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd168532821729
4Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy177733125628
5Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver167452419525
6Austin FCAustin176562125-423
7Houston DynamoHouston166461818022
8Colorado RapidsColorado176472931-222
9Portland TimbersPortland185673232021
10Seattle SoundersSeattle174672021-118
11St Louis City163942325-218
12Sporting Kansas CityKansas173592632-614
13Dallas163581825-714
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1632112439-1511
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