Preview: Fire, Toronto FC shift scenes to BMO Field Saturday night

raheem edwards vs TFC

Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 22

BMO Field — Toronto
July 28 - 6 pm CT


It is the second of back-to-back games between Eastern Conference foes Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire, with the scene shifting to BMO Field Saturday night.

A week ago at Toyota Park, Toronto FC picked up a much-needed 2-1 win, their first victory since June 8, while Chicago dropped their fourth game in a row. Sebastian Giovinco opened the scoring two minutes into the second half, and three minutes after Nemanja Nikolic equalized, Jonathan Osorio scored what proved to be the 65th-minute winner.

This is the teams' third meeting this season, with the Fire dramatically rallying from a two-goal deficit to tie the Reds, 2-2, at BMO on April 28. Osorio and Victor Vazquez struck inside the opening half-hour before Bastian Schweinsteiger pulled the visitors to within a goal in the 69th minute and Alan Gordon did what he does best, by leveling deep in stoppage time.

Toronto FC

Toronto (5-11-4) cruised into the Canadian Championship final again, defeating Ottawa Fury FC, 3-0, in the second leg of the semifinals Wednesday night at BMO Field to advance 4-0 on aggregate.

Ayo Akinola buried a rebound for his first goal with the first team to open the scoring in the 36th minute. Substitute Jordan Hamilton doubled the lead in the 76th minute and Osorio capped the scoring six minutes from full time, for the Reds' third win in a row across all competitions.

“First and foremost, we're happy to get through,” Greg Vanney said. “Ottawa have been a very organized group, difficult to break down. [And] pleased that we had three Canadians score tonight. That's always a nice thing in the Canadian Championship to have those guys front and center.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Drew Moor (quadricep strain), D - Chris Mavinga (hamstring strain), GK - Caleb Patterson-Sewell (elbow injury), D - Auro (hamstring strain), D - Jason Hernandez (hamstring strain)

Projected Starting XI
(3-1-4-2, right to left)
GK: Alex Bono — Gregory van der Wiel, Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga — Michael Bradley — Justin Morrow, Marky Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, Ashtone Morgan — Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore

Chicago Fire

The losing streak is now four games for Chicago (6-11-5), following a second straight defeat and MLS-leading sixth of the season at Toyota Park last Saturday.

Raheem Edwards was a bright spot in defeat, assisting on Nikolic’s 10th goal of the season in his Fire debut against his former side after being traded from Montreal on July 17.

“I think Raheem is going to bring a ton of energy, pace and determination," coach Veljko Paunović said. "He played a great game in his debut. He had an assist and showed a lot of character, soccer acumen and desire. I think this shows us that there's a future here, but also a present."

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL surgery), GK - Patrick McLain (hamstring injury), D - Grant Lillard (right quad injury), M - Dax McCarty (hamstring injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Jorge Corrales (facial injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Richard Sanchez — Kevin Ellis, Johan Kappelhof, Jonathan Campbell, Brandon Vincent — Bastian Schweinsteiger, Brandt Bronico — Aleksandar Katai, Diego Campos, Raheem Edwards — Nemanja Nikolic

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Toronto FC 10 wins, 46 goals … Chicago Fire 9 wins, 44 goals … 9 draws
  • At Toronto: Toronto FC 7 wins, 30 goals … Fire 4 wins, 26 goals … 4 draws
  • Last meeting at Toronto: Toronto FC 2, Chicago Fire 2 (April 28, 2018)


Referee: Joseph Dickerson
Assistant Referees: Kevin Klinger, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Luis Guardia
VAR: Guido Gonzales

Dylan Butler is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com.