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Canadian Rivals Toronto FC & Montreal Impact Favored in MLS is Back Tournament Group C

Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact
Things can get intense when MLS rivals Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact clash on the pitch. Photo by: @FootballUtdFR (Twitter).
  • Defending MLS Cup finalists Toronto FC are the +150 favorites to win Group C of the MLS Is Back Tournament
  • Could any of the Montreal Impact (+300), New England Revolution (+300) or DC United (+400) upset Toronto?
  • Analysis of the odds and predictions on outcomes are assessed in the ensuing story

When Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact get together on the pitch, there’s usually plenty of fireworks. The so-called 401 Derby illicits passion among both sides.

“Oh yeah, I hate them more than any team,” Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush told MLSsoccer.com of Toronto FC.

Even minus their usual gatherings of rabid supporters, drawing both clubs into Group C for the MLS Is Back Tournament immediately began the blood to boiling.

“Montreal makes for an exciting game,” Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney told the Toronto Sun.

The two rivals are being housed along with the New England Revolution and DC United in Group C for this season re-opening event that’s being contested in similar fashion to the World Cup.

Toronto FC is the +150 favorite to win the group. The oddsmakers are offering both the Impact and Revolution at +300. DC United brings up the rear with a betting line of +400.

MLS Is Back Tournament Group C Odds

Team To Qualify To Win
Toronto FC -600 +150
Montreal Impact -200 +300
New England Revolution -130 +300
DC United -150 +400

Odds taken July 5th.

The top two teams from the group will automatically advance to the knockout phase of the competition. All matches in the MLS Is Back Tournament are being contested at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Toronto FC Playoff Hardened

After reaching the MLS Cup final in three of the past four years and winning it all in 2017, there can be no question that Toronto FC is quite comfortable playing in a tournament format such as this one.

Toronto was 1-1 to start the abbreviated season. The team was hit hard last week when rookie sensation forward Achara was lost for the year due to an ACL tear.

The good news for the club is that USA international midfielder and team captain Michael Bradley (January ankle surgery) and new Designated Player Pablo Piatti,  who suffered a left hamstring strain during February training, both look to be ready to go.

The side is expected to arrive in Orlando sometime late Monday afternoon. Toronto’s journey was twice postponed after team members were exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Making An Impact

Montreal doesn’t enjoy Toronto’s track record when it comes to MLS Cup. The closest the Impact came to making an impact was in 2016, when Montreal lost the Eastern Conference final 7-5 on aggregate to Toronto. The Impact took a 3-2 lead home with them from the first leg but were hammered 5-2 on their own pitch.

The Impact won the 2019 Canadian championship, defeating Toronto FC in the final. Each club won a leg 1-0 but Montreal copped the cup by virtue of a 3-1 verdict in a penalty shootout.

Like Toronto, the Impact were 1-1 during the start of the coronavirus-halted regular season. Montreal has already arrived in Orlando. Coach Thierry Henry can draw upon his experiences in World Cup-style tournaments from his days as a French international.

You Say You Want A Revolution?

The Revolution were off to an 0-1-1 start during the abbreviated 2020 season. That included a 2-1 loss to the Impact.

There appears to be big news on the horizon for them that could factor into this tourney. England’s Daily Mail is reporting that USA international midfielder/defender Michael Polster will be transferring from Rangers to the Revolution for a $375,000 fee.

This would prove to be a valuable addition for New England, who lost midfielder Luis Caicedo for the season after he underwent knee surgery.

Who You Got?

Toronto FC is given the best odds among this group to win the MLS Is Back Tournament. They’re also the class of this group, fashioning recent winning slates against Montreal (2-0), DC (2-1) and New England (2-1).

The Impact are an alarming 0-3 against DC United but 3-0 when facing the Revolution. DC United is a combined 6-4, while the Revolution bring up the rear at 3-7.

Take Toronto to win and the Impact to survive and also move on.

Pick: Toronto FC (+150 to win); Montreal Impact (-200 to qualify).

More MLS is Back Tournament Group Previews

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