Down and dirty, Toronto FC has the 2nd best road record in the East (12 points) behind the MLS’s only team with a winning road record NYCFC (16). Toronto is also riding a nice points streak (nine points in their previous seven games) while San Jose is struggling (four points in seven previous league matches).
Toronto comes stacked with players: Giovinco, Bradley, Hamilton, and former Quakes Stephen Beitashour and Justin Morrow to name a few. They are a team with huge potential, but their coaching has not allowed them to turn a stacked team into a winning team for several years now.
A silver lining for the Quakes: Avaya Stadium. The Quakes are playing well at home (5-1-3) and are hungry for a win. This could be the game the Quakes get back into the “win” column.
If both Simon Dawkins and Quincy Amarikwa start, I will just play my Pokemon Go during the match: both have been terrible, yet continue to start and be totally ineffective at producing goals–zero goals for the starting squad in eight games, counting the US Open Cup match versus Portland!. Dawkins has two assists and one goal in 15 games, and is the worst defending midfielder by a wide margin. Quincy definitely puts forth a lot of effort when he players, but cannot produce offense: one goal, three assists in 14 games (a 2 goals in a season pace), and just 0.61 shots on goal per 90. I love his energy, but he is not producing at forward, which is what his position requires of him.
I’d like to see Barrett get the start, or Simon start up top in place of Quincy as Simon seems to play better in a central role. I also want to see one defensive midfielder: Anibal Godoy, with more of an attack setup: MPG, Tommy, and Quintero in the midfield. Defensively I wouldn’t expect much change: Sarkodie will probably start at right-back with Wynne and Muma at center-back, and either Francis or Stewart at left-back.
Final Score Prediction
If both Simon and Quincy start, or Dom starts both Fatai and Godoy, I predict the Quakes starting lineup will score no more than one goal. If Dom changes up the formation and becomes a bit more aggressive with more offense and less defense (the 4-1-3-2), I think the Quakes could manage to score a few goals, possibly even win 2-1.
But if history has taught me anything, it’s that Dom resists change, so I am going with a final score of 1-1. BUT I am holding onto some hope that Dom will finally change an ineffective lineup by benching Quincy and/or Fatai, which might be the key to a Quakes 2-1 victory. See you there!