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Toronto FC wary of last-place FC Cincinnati

(Image: Twitter/torontofc)

Coming off a loss to a struggling team, Toronto FC won’t be taking visiting FC Cincinnati lightly when the clubs meet Saturday for the first time.

Toronto FC are looking to get back into an Eastern Conference playoff position with a win, while FC Cincinnati are just hoping to get off the bottom of the overall league standings in their inaugural season.

“In this league, there’s no easy games, no matter what,” Toronto midfielder Jonathan Osorio said. “If you don’t show up for the game, you’ll most likely lose.”

The Houston Dynamo had won just one of their previous nine matches coming into last Saturday’s game against Toronto, yet the Canadian side ended up on the wrong end of a 3-1 result on its home pitch.

Several TFC regulars were rested against Houston, as Toronto was playing its third match in an eight-day span. With a full week between games, Toronto FC (8-9-5, 29 points) is expected to deploy close to a first-choice starting 11. They sit one point behind the Montreal Impact and New England Revolution, who hold down the final two playoff spots in the East.

FC Cincinnati are looking to rebound from consecutive defeats, including a 2-0 loss to the Revolution on Sunday. Cincinnati (5-15-2, 17 points) fell behind on a Carles Gil goal nine minutes into the game, marking the eighth time this season that FC Cincinnati has allowed a goal in the first 22 minutes of a match.

“A huge thing for us has been conceding first and conceding early in games,” goalkeeper Spencer Richey said. “When you go down early, then you typically have to open yourself up to try and equalize the game, and I think that plays into teams’ hands.”

A new face could be a big help in preventing those early scores, as Maikel van der Werff could make his MLS debut on Saturday. The longtime Eredivisie defender signed with FC Cincinnati in early July, but his official paperwork wasn’t completed until last week, delaying the Dutchman’s arrival on Cincinnati’s back line.

FC Cincinnati have allowed the most goals (51) of any MLS team this season, while their 21 goals scored are tied with the Columbus Crew’s total for fewest in the league.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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