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MLS Week 9 Preview: Toronto FC vs New England Revolution

TFC MLS

Toronto FC/ Twitter/ @TorontoFC

After a rough start to the season that saw them lose two straight, the New England Revolution are undefeated at home and surprisingly sitting in prime position to make the MLS Playoffs. It’s still very early in the season, but the Revs will be very confident going forward after a dominant win over Sporting Kansas City. Next up for New England is an away game against the breakout MLS team of the year, Toronto FC, who they will play at 1 PM ET on Saturday, May 3.

TFC currently sits out of MLS playoff contention, but has a game in hand on every team in the East and could jump into first with a 4 – 0 win. However, after their stellar start to the season, Toronto has lost two back to back games. TFC just can’t seem to get a grove going with the recent injuries and bye-weeks that have seemed to plague them. However, with star striker Jermain Defoe expected to be back from injury, Toronto will go into this game very confident.

What to Watch For:

With Defoe out for injury, Issey Nakajima-Farran has shined for Toronto. With two goals in the last three games, he’s clearly the Wild Card for both teams. On the other hand, New England’s own Diego Fagundez has been far too quiet this season. On a stage against world class players like Defoe and Michael Bradley, he could shine.

MLS Fantasy Watch:

Stay away from New England’s offense in this one. The Revolution have only scored three goals in away games this season. Don’t expect that trend to be broken against a team like TFC, who attack just enough to force teams into counter-attacking as a majority of their offense. New England’s offense is getting better, but it’s not going to be able to handle the style that Toronto’s midfield forces opponents to play.

If you have TFC defender Mark Bloom, start him. If you don’t, at just $6.1 million he’s a good transfer to keep for a couple of rounds – especially if you have a defender that’s floundering at the moment like the Philadelphia Union’s Fabinho.

Prediction:

Like I said earlier, New England has only scored three goals in away games so far this season, two of which were against one of the worst defensive teams in MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes. If trends continue, the only hope for the Revolution is for their defense to stand firm and cut out passes, but they’ve struggled against elite offenses this season. Although New England looks to be getting better game after game, expect either Defoe or Nakajima-Farran to finish this one off.

Toronto 2, New England 0

Related: 2014 MLS Western Conference: Where Defense Is Optional and the Clean Sheets Don’t Matter

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for StoppageTimeSoccer.net. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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