Sat, 25 Jun 2022

Toronto FC look to halt slide, extend success vs. Fire

Field Level Media
28 May 2022, 02:05 GMT+10

Two struggling teams are looking to get back into the win column on Saturday when Toronto FC host the Chicago Fire.

Toronto (3-7-3, 12 points) and Chicago (2-6-5, 11 points) are mired in lengthy winless droughts and hold the bottom two spots in the Eastern Conference.

The Fire are 0-6-3 in their last nine matches, putting them perilously close to the club's record 11-game winless streak from the 2011 season.

Despite a league-worst 11 goals scored, Chicago still has managed to remain competitive. Believing his team's breakthrough is "very, very close," coach Ezra Hendrickson said the Fire will keep using their 4-2-3-1 formation.

Though some lineup changes are "necessary," Hendrickson said that the Fire are "just trying to get the team ... to be on the pitch for an extended period of time and for an extended period of games. We haven't had a chance to sort of put the same lineup out on a consistent basis. I think once we do that, with the final pieces that we just added, we'll be better."

Chicago's last match was a 1-0 road loss to New York City FC on Sunday.

Toronto FC are on a six-game (0-5-1) winless streak, which included three games without Jonathan Osorio due to a lower-body injury. Osorio returned to play 28 substitute minutes last Saturday, scoring an 89th-minute goal to secure a 2-2 draw over D.C. United.

"When (Osorio) is not in our midfield, it makes it really easy for every team to just focus on Michael (Bradley) ... and those two have a really good understanding," Toronto coach Bob Bradley said. "Then Oso also has incredible timing to move forward and get into the box. So for us he's a really important player."

Osorio was one of several Toronto regulars who saw some action in the team's non-league Canadian Championship game on Tuesday. With this extra game mid-week, Bradley could juggle his lineup against the Fire.

A win or draw on Saturday would give Toronto a share of the MLS record for most consecutive successful results against a single opponent. The Reds are 10-0-3 in their last 13 matches against the Fire, a streak that stretches back to the 2015 season.

--Field Level Media

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