Thursday, July 25, 2024

Toronto FC v Orlando City: Herdman tells troubled hosts to keep pushing

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jul 2024


Toronto FC must keep moving forward after their dramatic defeat to Atlanta United made it four straight losses, said John Herdman ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Orlando City.

The Reds’ miserable run continued on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Atlanta in remarkable circumstances.

The Five Stripes’ Jamal Thiare lurked behind Toronto goalkeeper Luka Gavran and stole possession from him as he went to kick the ball long, before converting into an empty net.

Despite the nature of the result, Herdman believes their performance represented a step in the right direction, saying: “The team took a big step.

“The players were all in. You got that sense they were grinding out a result, but also had chances to win it.

“What can you say about the last goal? It’s tough. I didn’t have too many words. It’s just gut-wrenching, but at the same time, there has got to be a response coming into the midweek game at home against Orlando.

“We’ve got to keep moving forward. It’s tough to take with 10 seconds left. I asked the fourth official how long was left, he said 10, I turned to walk to the bench and it was in the back of the net.”

Orlando are also out of sorts, only winning one of their last seven matches (two draws, four losses), and going down 4-2 at New York City last time out.

Midfielder Dagur Dan Thorhallsson says finding a better balance out of possession will be key to changing their fortunes.

“We’ve done it before and we know how to do it, but I feel like right now the balance just isn’t quite there and that’s something that we need to look at,” he said.

“It’s good that we started scoring, but now we need to stop conceding so many goals.”


Toronto FC – Federico Bernardeschi

Bernardeschi scored his eighth goal in MLS this season – a team-high total – in last week’s defeat to Atlanta.

He has overperformed his expected goals (xG) total of 6.21 for the campaign and ranks joint-fifth in the league for total shots on target (28, alongside Andres Gomez). Can he provide the inspiration?

Orlando City – Duncan McGuire

McGuire is Orlando’s leading scorer for 2024 after netting his seventh goal of the season last time out, with that tally coming from just 12 shots on target.


Having won seven of nine matches across all competitions between late April and May 22, Toronto have now failed to win any of their last seven (two draws, five defeats).

They have lost their last four, including each of their last two at home – 1-4 versus the Chicago Fire and 1-2 against Nashville SC.

Orlando, meanwhile, have taken 12 points on the road so far this season – a tally only bettered by five Eastern Conference rivals. The Lions are also unbeaten on their last five trips to Toronto, winning on three occasions and drawing twice.


Toronto FC – 30.7%

Orlando City – 44.2%

Draw – 25.1%


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