Following the departure of Jaap Stam on Monday, FC Cincinnati (4-8-13, 20 points) will take on Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday night looking for a new manager bump from interim boss Tyrone Marshall. Luckily for Marshall, FCC has had success against Toronto this season, taking all six available points from two matches.
FCC will look to rebound from a disappointing road match in the District of Columbia, where the 4-2 final scoreline flattered FCC (even with a couple of very questionable decisions from the match officials on DC United goals).
Marshall, who joined FCC in February 2021 as an academy coach after five years as an assistant at Real Salt Lake, said in an interview with the team that he wanted to bring energy back to the locker room and to the field. In terms of tactics and personnel, Marshall gave few hints about how he would set up FCC in his managerial debut. He said he was “still trying to figure out personnel wise” what he would do but that he would “evaluate everyone now and decide who’s going to be the best fit” against Toronto while still looking ahead to Saturday’s match against New York Red Bulls.
Marshall will also have Álvaro Barreal available after he served a one-match ban for his red card against NYCFC. (UPDATE: Isaac Atanga remains out for another match following his red card) Relatively new signing Tyler Blackett played 30 minutes against D.C. United over the weekend as he continues to build match fitness and could be available for selection. The other new signing Kyle Scott has yet to make the 18-man gameday roster but he also appears to be inching closer to a debut.
As disappointing as FCC’s season has been, it’s been worse for Toronto (4-7-15, 19 points). After a dismal start to the season and first year manager Chris Armas’ departure in July, Toronto still remains at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and Supporters Shield standings. Toronto’s goal difference, -23, and expected goal difference, -16.7, are both worst in MLS.
However, Toronto is unbeaten in its last two MLS matches, defeating Nashville SC 2-1 and playing Colorado to a 0-0 draw over the weekend. Throw in a 4-0 win against York United in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Championship in between those matches and Toronto has shown signs of an uptick in form in the last two weeks.
Injuries and other issues have hampered Toronto’s attack. Ayo Akinola, an up-and-coming striker who chose to represent Canada on the national level is out for the season with a torn ACL suffered while on Gold Cup duty. Jozy Altidore remains sidelined following foot surgery in August, though he missed time with Toronto due to other reasons as well. Without attacking contributions from top level strikers, midfielder Jonathan Osorio leads the team with four goals on the season. Though designated player Alejandro Pozuelo will be out with a lower body injury, Toronto’s other healthy DP Yeferson Soteldo should be available for selection. Soteldo should prove to be a challenge to deal with however Marshall sets up FCC’s defense.
6:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 29, 2021, BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
In-Market Video Stream: fccincinnati.com
Out-of-Market Video Stream: ESPN+
Local Radio: ESPN 1530
Audio Stream: iHeart Radio app