The convoluted final set of matches before the break in the Major League Soccer season continues on Friday night when Toronto FC take on Sporting Kansas City in a match between two sides who will be eager to go into the off time with a win.
Toronto FC had a bright start to their campaign but they have slid down the Eastern Conference table in recent times while it has been a struggle throughout for Sporting Kansas City for different reasons.
After making an encouraging start, there were thoughts that we might see another strong title challenge from Toronto FC, even allowing for the fact that Sebastian Giovinco left in the close season, but recently they have reverted to the poor looking side we expected them to be. If ever a side needed a win and a convincing performance to go into the break with then it is the BMO Field residents.
Toronto go into this match without a win in their last six matches. That is clearly poor form but if there is an upside to that it is that they don’t need to go too far to see where their struggles lie. They have only scored three goals in that time and have a distinct lack of creativity in the side, and in truth they are too weak up front. They’ve only conceded more than twice once in their last eight matches so they will have a chance if they can sort out their lack of goals.
Sporting Kansas City
When you look at the Western Conference table you expect to see the name of Sporting Kansas City fairly high up in it so it is a bit of a surprise to see them labouring down in tenth position. There are reasons for that though. Initially they took their North American Champions League campaign seriously and rightly prioritised it and then more recently they have had to deal with a horrendous injury list to contend with.
The end result of that though is the Kansas City have only won one of their last 10 matches in MLS so if ever a break was coming at a good time for someone it is this one and SKC. It will give them the chance to get a few players who are injured back and to take stock of where they are and regroup for the second half of the season. A win to take into it would be no bad thing.
Toronto FC are missing a number of big players for them in this match. Chris Mavinga would have been out with a hamstring injury in any case but Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan are all on international duty.
Internationals and injuries are denying Sporting Kansas City of a number of big players too. Erik Hurtado, Roger Espinoza and Matt Besler are all injured while Johnny Russell, Nicolas Hasler and Krisztian Nemeth are all away with their countries.
Even with the players they have missing, I do believe that Sporting Kansas City are the better of the two sides here but in saying that I can’t be backing a side with one win in their last 10 when they are away from home and still missing players. Toronto need to show a lot more before I am able to trust them with my money, especially at short prices so this isn’t one to bet on.
There is so much international football on the horizon and one or two matches on Saturday that look like they could yield some betting potential so I would rather save my cash for that rather than risk my money on a hunch rather than anything with genuine statistical evidence to back it up.