UPDATE: The New York City FC vs Toronto FC game is now scheduled for Sunday, September 24, at 1 pm, after a water main break cut off water to Red Bull Arena. The game was originally to be held on Saturday, September 25, at 7:30 pm.
Welcome to a soggy Matchday 31, which has New York City FC hosting Toronto FC across state lines at Red Bull Arena. Heavy rains continue to blanket the area, but the MLS table doesn’t care: NYCFC’s playoff hopes depend on beating the team with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Here is your NYCFC vs Toronto Game Day Hub.
Game Day Essentials
- Matchday 31: NYCFC vs Toronto FC
- Date and Time: Sunday, September 24, 1 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 1:09 pm ET
- Venue: Red Bull Arena
- Forecast: Soggy, rainy, breezy, cool, 66˚F/19˚C
- Watch: Apple TV
- Apple Broadcast Team: Callum Williams, Calen Carr
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Sergii Boiko (referee), Logan Brown, Brian Dunn (assistant referees), Pierre-Luc Lauziere (fourth official), Edvin Jurisevic (VAR), Robert Schaap (assistant VAR)
NYCFC vs Toronto preview
Toronto have lost 12 of their last 13 matches across all competitions, and have earned just one win, over the Philadelphia Union on August 30, since the calendar flipped to June.
NYCFC haven’t won consecutive matches since April 15 and April 22, but will need to buck that trend if they want to keep their playoff dreams alive leading into their two huge road matches against Inter Miami CF and DC United.
Toronto are fresh off a 4-0 midweek walloping in Miami and are back at Red Bull Arena exactly two months to the day since NYCFC routed them 5-0 in Leagues Cup. One of TFC’s four wins in 2023 came at home against NYCFC in what was a particularly rough match for New York City, one that might be best remembered as The Night Talles Flipped Off Chanot.
Producing another lopsided scoreline would be a huge statement for NYCFC in the playoff race, but scoring multiple goals and doing enough to take three points from matches have each been consistent issues for Nick Cushing’s team this season. They did it comfortably against an in-form Orlando City side on Wednesday—can they avoid a letdown against the conference’s cellar dwellers in front of a small smattering of fans while playing in a tropical downpour?
NYCFC vs Toronto H2H
The head-to-head between the two clubs is close, although Toronto have the slightest of edges. NYCFC’s 5-0 win over Toronto in the Leagues Cup group stage matchup this summer went a long way to reset the scales. The last five games are as even as they get: Two wins each, one draw. NYCFC scored 13 goals in those five matchups, while Toronto scored nine.
- Player Availability: Maxi Moralez is out for the season after injuring his ACL, Alfredo Morales is resting after hurting his adductor, and Richy Ledezma is suspended for one game after “violent conduct” (spitting) in the Orlando game on Wednesday. Keaton Parks is questionable after spraining his ankle vs Red Bulls, though Cushing says he’d only be available as a substitute.
- Mitja Ilenič and is one yellow card away from sitting out a game due to yellow card accumulation.
- Will we finally see Mounsef Bakrar and Talles Magno in the Starting XI? They looked good sharing the field on Wednesday.
- Going to the game in Harrison? Be sure to read Red Bull Arena hacks: 5 Things you need to know.
- The official Hudson River Blue NYCFC Playoff Tracker jumped up three points after the convincing 2-0 midweek win over Orlando City at Citi Field, and now stands at 34 points on the season.
- Player Availability: Brandon Servania has been ruled out, while Lorenzo Insigne, Víctor Vázquez, and Prince Owusu are considered questionable. Sean Johnson also remains out after fracturing his hand during a training session in August.
- Toronto is somewhat awkwardly in between coaches. Terry Dunfield is still acting as interim coach after Bob Bradley was fired back on June 26, but his days are numbered. Former Canada national team coach John Herdman has already been hired as Bradley’s full-on replacement, but doesn’t officially start his coaching tenure until October 1.
- The two high-priced Italian Designated Players, Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi, are still in the squad and have recently gotten a more consistent run of games together. They’ve both been in the Starting XI in four of TFC’s last five matches, with Insigne providing one goal and two assists, and Bernardeschi adding two goals in that stretch.
- You can read more about the team in Oppo Research: 5 Things about Toronto FC.