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Toronto FC Breakdown

Can the Quakes take advantage of a Toronto team with no Pozuelo?

MLS: Toronto FC at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Wondo watch is finally over! With four goals last Saturday against the Chicago Fire, Chris Wondolowski became the leading goal scorer in MLS history surpassing Landon Donovan. The win also meant the Quakes tied their win total from last season with five months still left to play in the season. Can the Quakes pull off the improbable playoff run? They will have to beat teams like Toronto FC if they want to be in the conversation so let’s see what the Quakes may be up against.

Manager: Greg Vanney

Formation: 3-5-2

Stadium: BMO Field

Goalkeeper:

Quentin Westberg/Alex Bono

I include both goalkeepers in this breakdown because even though Westberg has been getting more starts lately, he and Bono had each played the exact same minutes this season. They also have the exact same goals given up per 90 minutes as they both have allowed ten goals for the season. Westberg has two clean-sheets on the season one more than Bono but because soccer is an unfair sport Westberg has only won one match while Bono has four wins on the season. Whoever Vanney goes with on Sunday is not having a great year, and with Toronto not having the most prolific scorer on the pitch this could create an opportunity for the Quakes offense to get some goals on the road.

Backline:

Justin Morrow, Chris Mavinga, Eriq Zavaleta, Auro

Other than weeks two and three this backline has been different every match for Vanney, and the inconsistency seems to be affecting the chemistry. This group has given up 20 goals this season and over half of those have come at BMO Field. In their seven home games this year Toronto has allowed at least four goals in five of those matches, and their overall goal differential sits at two so if the Quakes expect to beat Toronto they better be ready for a shootout. Unfortunately for Almeyda and the Quakes, it looks like Danny Hoesen may not be available after injuring himself in warm-ups last week before the match against Chicago Fire. The good news for the Quakes is that team legend Chris Wondolowski is averaging four goals per 90 minutes since last week.

Midfield:

Michael Bradley, Nick DeLeon, Jonathan Osorio, Marky Delgado

Toronto is tied for third in possession with the Quakes, both teams sitting at 55% for the season, and first in the league in passing percentage completing 86.4% of their passes and this group is a huge reason why. Fortunately for the Quakes a significant component of this group will not be available as Alejandro Pozuelo will be serving a one-game suspension after receiving a red card last week against Real Salt Lake. Pozuelo had started all but one of Toronto FC’s matches and with Altidore finally fit they looked ready to propel Toronto to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, now the duo must wait at least another week to get their chemistry back. Whichever team wins this battle has the best shot of dictating the pace of the match, if neither can gain an advantage over the other, we may be in for a game with plenty of passing but minimal scoring.

Forwards:

Jozy Altidore, Jordan Hamilton

Jozy Altidore is one of the best players in MLS, and when he is healthy, Toronto FC is one of the best teams in MLS. Last week Altidore played 45 minutes after struggling with injuries most of May which seemed like bad news for the Quakes as it was one of the first times all season that both he and Alejandro Pozuelo shared the pitch. Altidore and Pozuelo account for almost half of Toronto’s goals this season, and when they are on the field together, it is a nightmare for opposing defenses. In their 4-0 blanking of New York City FC on March 30, the duo combined for three goals. Hamilton is no slouch either already having netted three goals this season and with the defenders focused on Altidore it could give some beautiful looks for Hamilton to get one past Daniel Vega.