New York City FC (+125) vs. Toronto (+245), Draw (+260)
This is a crucial moment for the Eastern Conference. Toronto FC (11-5-3, 38 points) and New York City FC (10-3-6, 33 points), both in contention for the top spot, will face each other twice before the month is over. Their first meeting will be on Wednesday (July 19th) at NYCFC’s Yankee Stadium. With the match still a few days away, you have some time to check out our experts’ reviews of the top betting sites, which will make placing a bet easier.
Also in the mix is Conference leader Chicago Fire, who will put NYCFC to the test in a week’s time. And to further complicate things, the games will clash with the Knockout Rounds of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, so we could see some star players absent at a time they’re needed most.
The last time NYCFC and Toronto met was in the Eastern Conference semi-finals of the 2016 season. Toronto picked up a win in the first leg after Jozy Altidore and Tosaint Ricketts netted two late goals, and they put the series to rest with a crushing 5-0 victory in the second leg at Yankee Stadium. It was a stunning one-man show by Sebastian Giovinco, who picked up a hat-trick in the dying minutes of the game.
Toronto FC boasts one of the strongest, most well-rounded lineups in the league, but the ongoing Gold Cup could strip them of a few star players. Americans Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore were excluded from the USMNT during the Gold Cup group stages but could be called upon for the quarter-finals. That would be a huge blow for Toronto. Until now, their only absentee had been star defender Justin Morrow.
NYCFC has a less to worry about. With far fewer homegrown players, they’ve been largely unaffected by the Gold Cup. Other than Rodney Wallace being called up for Costa Rica, they have all their key players available to them.
If Toronto had their full roster, I’d be inclined to back the Canadian club. They’ve built one of the most reliable squads in the MLS and their focus on depth over star talent has really paid off. However, they’ll likely have a severely depleted lineup come Wednesday. Without a handful of their key players, it’ll be tough for them to overcome a thriving NYCFC.
Pick: New York City FC (+125)