Toronto FC faces New England Revolution at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Gillette Stadium in back-to-back away games to start the season. After a goalless encounter against Cincinnati FC, TFC is looking to shock the league with a win and establish themselves as an early surprise team this year.  

Toronto has visited New England 21 different times, only scoring 17 goals and winning four times. A win would be their first in Revs territory since 2021. 

As good as it can be, for now… 

Toronto couldn’t have asked for a better start this season than the last game against the 2023 Supporters’ Shield winners. The signings of Richie Laryea added dynamism on offence, and Kevin Long and Deybi Flores were pretty solid on defence. But these were still problems for TFC on offence; neither Prince Osei Owusu nor Ayo Akinola had a single shot on or off target. 

John Herdman may be faced with making some changes to the starting XI with Lorenzo Insigne and Laryea as the main concerns. Gillette Stadium’s artificial turf can be a risk factor for the Italian player in particular, who missed 14 of 34 games last year. 

“Might get action”, said coach Herdman when asked about Insigne and confirmed that it will be a coaching decision on matchday. 

The rival

New England Revolution is undefeated this season in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, playing two games against the Panamanian team Independiente de la Chorrera. They won the away leg 1-0 and followed it up with a 3-0 win in Foxborough. 

But their MLS season opener hit the rails with a 3-1 loss against D.C. United. Christian Benteke had a monster game, scoring a hat-trick to seal the win. 

John Herdman said the main concern is the Valencia-born brothers Carles and Nacho Gil. 

“It’s how they attack centrally with the Gil brothers. That’s the biggest threat. It’s a weird game, in a tough stadium,” said Herdman when asked about the Revs’ tactics on Friday. 

New additions 

Toronto added midfielder Matty Longstaff, the former Newcastle player, earlier this week. The 23-year-old played seven games in EFL League Two in England this season and is looking for a fresh start in Canada.

TFC also signed the Brazilian defender Ythallo and the NCAA players Nate Edwards and Mark Fisher for Toronto FC II. 

Herdman told the press the importance of signing talented players like Ythallo was to help the team in depth, especially when the international window starts.