SALT LAKE- The MLS season is finally back for Toronto FC when the Reds travel to Utah to play against Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon.
Toronto FC’s last MLS game was the dramatic loss in MLS Cup Final against Seattle Sounders at the BMO Field in December. The players will be anxious to get the 2017 season underway but it won’t be an easy game for Toronto.
RSL have defeated TFC at the Rio Tinto Stadium the last eight times the sides have met, seeing Toronto’s only win in Utah come in 2007. So it’s not a place Toronto have done well at, but that’s all in the past and TFC are a much changed side from back then.
Last season, the two sides met once. Toronto came out on top with a late winner from Tosaint Ricketts to give the Reds a 1-0 victory.
Real Salt Lake will be looking for a better year than last after they ended the season falling into 6th place and losing to the LA Galaxy 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs.
A player to watch for RSL is their small striker Joao Plata. A former TFC player who is known for his goalscoring, Plata will be hustling the TFC defence. Another player is another former TFC player and a new signing for RSL, Luis Silva, who adds creativity to the midfield.
For Toronto, the players to look out for are none other than Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore. The duo combined for a total of 36 goals last season and were influential for Toronto in their historic playoff run.
New signing Chris Mavinga will not be available for selection but TFC’s other new signing Victor Vazquez will be in the squad for Saturday.
Armando Cooper signed a permanent deal with the Reds after the playoffs and he will have a big role to play in the midfield especially after selling Will Johnson.
Toronto will be looking to start to season off on the right foot and it all begins this weekend.
Kickoff: Saturday, March 4, 2017. 4:30pm EST. Televised on TSN 1&4.