|New York City FC||Draw||Toronto FC|
Major League Soccer is into its final month of play, and the stakes are high. The match of the week will take place Wednesday, September 11, when New York City FC hosts Toronto FC. Both teams are coming off wins over the weekend, and each point is crucial from here on out. Who is going to have the edge in the Bronx?
New York City FC
NYCFC has used its games in hand to climb all the way into first place in the Eastern Conference standings. Already two points clear of the Philadelphia Union, with a win Wednesday night, NYCFC can make it a five-point lead and will be in the driver’s seat to clinch the East. New York has been on fire, with wins in five straight and eight out of its last 10.
Héber has been awesome all season, with 14 goals and four assists, while Valentin Castellanos has added 10 goals and five assists, and Maximiliano Moralez has seven goals and 18 helpers. NYCFC will rely on all of them to provide some offense in front of the home crowd.
🇦🇷 The first of Valentin Castellanos’ two goals for NYCFC against Cincinnati.
He has now contributed to 15 goals (9 goals, 6 assists) in 14 starts this season🔥
— SidelineScouted (@SidelineScouted) August 18, 2019
NYCFC also gets Sean Johnson back from international duty, and he will be ready to be in goal, while the defense looks to keep the good performances going. NYCFC has only allowed 13 goals in its last 10 matches and will want to have a better outing than it did back in March in a 4-0 loss at Toronto.
Toronto enters this match in desperate need for points to stay above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference. In sixth place with 41 points, Toronto is only one point away from catching D.C. United for fourth, which would give the club a home playoff match.
But Toronto’s form has been shaky down the stretch, with a 5-2-3 record in its last 10 matches. The club got a reprieve when it was able to keep Michael Bradley, Omar Gonzalez and Jozy Altidore home from international duty, and it smoked FC Cincinnati over the weekend. Now Toronto will need to put it all together against the top team in the conference.
Altidore has 10 goals on the season, while Alejandro Pozuelo has nine goals and 11 assists. One player for Toronto to watch is Nick DeLeon, who has had a remarkable year after a few injury-riddled seasons with D.C. United. He has been an unsung hero for Toronto all season, and the club will need his play to get past the Pigeons.
Pick: NYCFC +125
This will be an emotional match in the Bronx on September 11, and NYCFC is going to come out to try and get a victory for all of New York. They’re going to endure a surge from Toronto, which will get a goal, but NYCFC will end the game as 2-1 victors (+900).