Toronto-Union: Lineups and pre-match observations
- Vincent Nogueira picked up a small groin knock that rules him out tonight, meaning the question of how Jim Curtin flows together all his midfield pieces will have to wait for yet another week. Cristian Maidana slots into the central attacking role, and Maurice Edu slides back into defense temporarily to pair with Ethan White in the absence of Carlos Valdes (international duty). Andrew Wenger, fresh off his brace against San Jose last time out, gets another deserving start at right wing.
- Look for the Union to try to exploit a battered Toronto backline missing Steven Caldwell and Justin Morrow. This is a team that has surrendered 11 goals in its last four matches, so expect the Union to get at them, perhaps targeting Nick Hagglund and Mark Bloom on the same side of the field with runs by Sebastien Le Toux and Amobi Okugo bombing in from deep in midfield.
- New manager Greg Vanney shakes a few things up for Toronto. In comes Daniel Lovitz, while it appears as though Dominic Oduro will be up front instead of on the wing. Gilberto apparently picked up a calf injury that will allow him to be on the bench, but his absence along with Jermain Defoe’s ongoing injury drastically hurts the Reds’ firepower.
- The key battle today, it would seem, is in the center of midfield. Michael Bradley can tip a game on its quickly, especially when he has a speedy forward like Oduro ahead of him. That puts the onus on Okugo and Brian Carroll to limit his touches and close down his time and space on the ball.
Labels: Amobi Okugo, Andrew Wenger, Brian Carroll, Daniel Lovitz, Dominic Oduro, Gilberto, Greg Vanney, Michael Bradley, Nick Hagglund, Philadelphia Union, Sebastien Le Toux, Toronto FC, Vincent Nogueira