Today we have the 1st leg of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals for Toronto FC and New York City. The game will be played at BMO Field. Both teams finished with 50+ points in their conference. Neither have been in this position before, but, it will be a great match up to watch.
Toronto FC defeated Philadelphia 3-1 at home to make it to the Quarter Finals. Toronto will need a very similar performance to win today’s game. It will be a difficult task because they are playing on short rest against a good team, but, being in front of their fans should give them a boost.
Toronto is favored into today’s leg. They must win today, before traveling to New York. Toronto’s has faced New York once at home in their history and they drew (1-1). But, this is a different stage. It’s the playoffs and anything can happen. Both teams are slightly different from when they last faced.
New York City finished second in the Eastern Conference by 1 point. They were given a bye for the Knockout Round. The last time New York played, it was at home against a weak Columbus team. They won 4-1. New York is very well rested because they haven’t played played in 7 days. It’s always tough to tell if being well rested is advantageous or not, but, we will figure that out tonight.
This match is filled with recognizable names. On Toronto’s side you have Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco. On New York’s side you have Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard and David Villa. It’s a star studded match.
Both teams have faced each other 5 times in their history. Toronto FC hasn’t beaten New York City yet. They have drawn 3 times and New York has won twice. But, this is New York’s first playoff appearance in their history. Good thing for them is they have a few veteran players. They should help the other players get prepared and focused. But, playing your first playoff game on the road is always tough. If you look at their recent performances on the road you’ll see that New York has only won one game in their last 7 on the road. They’ve scored 9 goals, but, have conceded 13. It will be a challenge leaving Toronto with a win.
Overall, this is a big match for both clubs. Toronto can’t lose this game if they want to advance. You want to go to New York with a lead. They were able to win their first playoff game last week and that should be a confidence booster. Today’s over/under for goals is 2.5. The over is favored. I like Toronto FC to win in a close one.
Prediction: Toronto FC 2-1 at home