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Toronto FC look to bounce back against NYCFC

Toronto FC will try to rebound from one of the worst defeats in franchise history when they host New York City FC on Wednesday in East Hartford, Conn.

Entering last Saturday’s game with the Philadelphia Union on a nine-game unbeaten streak (7-0-2), TFC were dealt what head coach Greg Vanney called “a hard lesson” in a lopsided 5-0 defeat. Philadelphia outshot Toronto by a 27-3 margin, including 12-1 in shots on goal.

Toronto FC (12-3-5, 41 points) dropped into second place behind the Union in the Eastern Conference standings.

“When you’re fighting for a Supporters’ Shield or the top of the table, you expect the (opposing) team to come out fighting,” Vanney said. “You’ve got to be ready to fight back and push back and set the intensity bar, but tonight it got set on us.”

Toronto’s lineup was missing several injured regulars against Philadelphia, and Marko Delgado was substituted at halftime for precautionary reasons. Delgado, Jonathan Osorio and Pablo Piatti are questionable to face New York City, but Vanney said Ayo Akinola and Eriq Zavaleta “should be ready.”

NYCFC (9-8-3, 30 points) were also playing with a roster thinned by injuries and suspensions last Saturday, but they still emerged with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Montreal Impact. The game was scoreless until the 68th minute, when Jesus Medina scored the first of three New York City FC goals within an 18-minute span.

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