TFC Republic Weekly: June 19-25

It's a difficult and challenging week ahead for Toronto FC, with back-to-back road games versus the league's first- and third-place teams.

TFC Republic Weekly: June 19-25

Welcome to the latest edition of TFC Republic Weekly, an email newsletter that will land in the inbox of both paid subscribers and free members of TFC Republic every Monday.

This newsletter will look at what's in store over the next seven days for Toronto FC and set up its schedule of games for the week.

You'll also get a glimpse of what to expect at TFC Republic in the coming days.

So, without further ado...

Toronto FC facing a make-or-break stretch of games

Toronto FC (3-5-10) is back at it this week with a pair of road games after enjoying its first bye week of the 2023 MLS regular season.

But while the time off gave TFC a chance to rest and recuperate – and allowed for some guys carrying injuries to get closer to full fitness – the reality of the situation can't be ignored. This upcoming stretch of games could make or break their season.

Toronto plays away to FC Cincinnati, who currently sit atop the overall league standings. The Reds will then face the third-place New England Revolution three days later in another road game. TFC have taken just four out of a possible 24 road points this season, and haven't won away from BMO Field since last August.

The game against the Revolution coincides with the kickoff of the Concacaf Gold Cup, which runs until July 16. TFC are expected to lose several players to their respective national teams, including both of their top goalkeepers, Sean Johnson of the U.S. and Tomás Romero of El Salvador. That means third-stringer Greg Ranjitsingh, whose last game in MLS came in 2020, will get the call for the Reds. TFC will lose influential midfielder Jonathan Osorio and right fullback Richie Laryea (the team's MVP this season) to Canada for the Gold Cup.

From a Toronto perspective, the Gold Cup is ill-timed as it has five MLS games scheduled during the course of the tournament: away to New England (June 24), home to Salt Lake (July 1), away to Orlando (July 4), home to St. Louis (July 8) and away to Chicago (July 15).

It's a five-game run that would be daunting for TFC under the best conditions. But considering they'll have to rely on Ranjitsingh and that they'll be without Osorio and Laryea, this part of the schedule will be even tougher for Bob Bradley to navigate.

Four of TFC's five opponents during the Gold Cup sit above them in the overall standings (Chicago is the exception), so it's not an exaggeration to suggest that this part of the schedule could make or break things for Toronto. Unless the Reds can somehow take eight to 10 points over this next stretch, you'd have to think there would be no way back for them as far as the playoff picture is concerned.

TFC vs. FC Cincinnati on Wednesday

Toronto returns to action on Wednesday when it visits TQL Stadium for a match vs. FC Cincinnati (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV).

Cincinnati (12-1-4) sits in first place in the overall league standings and is unbeaten in its last nine games (with seven wins). The Orange and Blue's lone loss of the season came in a 5-1 setback away to St. Louis City SC on April 15 – one of only three games in which they've conceded more than one goal.

Cincy is also coming off a bye week and has been idle since earning a 1-1 draw away to the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 10.

Luciano Acosta leads Cincinnati in scoring with eight goals, while fellow Argentine midfielder Álvaro Barreal has a team-high five assists. Roman Celentano has been among the best goalkeepers in MLS in 2023, as he ranks second in the league in clean sheets with eight.

These teams last squared off on May 4, 2022 when Cincinnati earned a 2-0 win at home. Already down 1-0, the Reds were reduced to 10 men after Ralph Priso was red carded in the sixth minute.

The all-time regular season series between Toronto and Cincinnati is tied at four wins apiece.

These teams will meet again this season on Sept. 30 at BMO Field.


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TFC vs. New England Revolution on Saturday

After the trip to Ohio, TFC will hit the road again and play the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET/Apple TV, TSN 4 and TSN 5).

New England (9-3-6) sits third in the overall MLS table and is riding a five-game unbeaten streak (with two wins). The Revs are coming off a 3-1 home win over Orlando City last weekend after scoring a trio of second-half goals courtesy of Emmanuel Boateng, Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil.

With the victory, New England extended its home unbeaten run to nine games (6-0-3), matching its longest streak without a home loss to open a season.

Gil is New England's top scorer in 2023 with seven goals. He's also the club's leading playmaker (eight assists). Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic has six clean sheets this year.

These teams previously squared off on May 6 when New England earned a 2-0 win at BMO Field. TFC coach Bob Bradley called it a frustrating night and struggled to point to any positives from his team when speaking to reporters in the post-game press conference.

“You could see the frustration on the field,” Bradley said.

New England leads the all-time MLS regular season series against Toronto with 15 wins and 13 draws in 38 matches

This is the final meeting of the 2023 regular season between the clubs.

Stories to look out for at TFC Republic

Richie Laryea has been Toronto FC's season MVP, winning plaudits for his consistency on both sides of the ball and his work rate. The Canadian has also impressed at times when he's been asked to fill in as a centre back, a position he'd never previously played. How did the Canadian fare in the middle of Toronto's defence during the club's ongoing injury crisis? TFC contributor Peter Galindo will do a deep dive on it. Look for his feature story in the coming days

Other stories that will be published later this week include:

  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of TFC's road game against FC Cincinnati.
  • In-depth pre- and post-game coverage of TFC's road game against the New England Revolution.
  • The latest instalment in our "MLS rules explained" series.
  • The return of the reader mailbag.
  • The weekly TFC injury report.
  • The weekly TFC 2 report with James Grossi.
  • A video blog of recapping Canada's loss to the U.S. in the Nations League.
  • A video blog on Atiba Hutchinson's retirement.
  • A full report on Canada's roster announcement for the Concacaf Gold Cup.
  • And much more!

TFC Republic mailbag

TFC Republic will feature a regular reader mailbag column where I answer questions from subscribers about Toronto FC and Canadian soccer in general.

I'll answer the best questions submitted to me by TFC Republic readers, so feel free to drop me an email at You can also reach out to me via Twitter and Facebook.

(Top photo courtesy of Andy Truong/Toronto FC)

TFC Republic has a comments section! At the very bottom of every story, there is a feature where you can post your comments, so be sure to share your thoughts and views.