Revolution, Toronto FC striving for first league win this season

League: MLS

Posted on: 02 Mar, 2024 at 08:53 PM

Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Two sides eyeing their first win of the young MLS season face off when the New England Revolution host Toronto FC on Sunday.

The Revolution opened the campaign with a 3-1 loss at D.C. United on Feb. 24 but bounced back with a 3-0 midweek victory against CA Independiente in the Concacaf Champions Cup Tournament.

"I really liked that we got three goals and got a clean sheet, and I don't know if they got a shot," coach Caleb Porter said after the last match. "Partly that was because we controlled the game with the ball, but I thought our team defending went really well. It was a comprehensive performance and now we have to turn around and recover and think about the Sunday game."

It'll be the MLS home opener for New England, which will be looking to repeat its success as the hosts from a season ago when the Revolution were 12-1-4.

Carles Gil scored the lone goal for the club against D.C. and leads the club with three shots on target while Tomas Chancalay leads with five shot attempts.

The Revolution will be without forward Giacomo Vrioni against Toronto due to the red card he accrued in the loss to D.C. United.

Toronto, meanwhile, enters the match buoyed by its effort in a 0-0 draw on the road against FC Cincinnati, last year's Supporters' Shield champions, but knows the challenge they'll face against the Revolution.

"Ultimately it's how they attack centrally with (Carles) Gil and his brother, (Nacho), the two Gil brothers, that's the biggest threat," coach John Herdman said. "... So for us it's a clear strategy of trying to force them outside and deny those central two-across rhythms. That's a big part of what they want and what we have to take away.

"And, again, it's an away game in a tough stadium. As I've said to the lads, points on the road are wins for us."

Herdman said he didn't expect newly signed midfielder Matty Longstaff to make his debut Sunday. Next week's home opener is the likely target for the former Newcastle United player, who is coming off a knee injury.

"I've been out for a little bit, but I'm in good shape now," Longstaff said. "I imagine I'll need building up a little bit, but I feel like I'm ready to play in games now. Whenever I'm needed, I'll be ready."

New England won both matches last season, outscoring Toronto 4-1 (2-0, 2-1) and has a five-match unbeaten streak in the series (3-0-2) since 2021.

--Field Level Media