MLS is Back: Orlando Tournament

Preview | First place in Group C on the line as Revs battle Toronto FC in Orlando

Lemieux Previeux 2020 | Teal Bunbury

MLS is Back Tournament
Group C
New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC
Tuesday, July 21 | 9 a.m. ET
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex | Kissimmee, Fla.

Watch: ESPN (English), ESPN Deportes (Spanish)
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 (English)
Revolution Live presented by Dan O’Brien Automotive Group (July 20, 7 p.m.)
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Outside the Booth presented by Dan O’Brien Automotive Group (July 20, 11 a.m.)
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Referee: Jair Marrufo


New England Revolution
T-1st in MLS is Back Group C (1-0-1, 4 pts.)
T-7th in Eastern Conference (1-1-2, 5 pts.)
Last Result | 1-1 draw vs. D.C. United

Adam Buksa’s second goal in a Revolution jersey gave New England a 1-0 lead for the fourth time in four games this season, but they let that lead slip away in a frustrating 1-1 draw with D.C. United last Friday night. Still, the Revs find themselves with four points from their first two games of the MLS is Back Tournament, tied atop Group C with Toronto FC and knowing that a victory on Tuesday morning would see them win the group.

Toronto FC
T-1st in MLS is Back Group C (1-0-1, 4 pts.)
2nd in Eastern Conference (2-0-2, 8 pts.)
Last Result | 4-3 win vs. Montreal Impact

Toronto FC have featured one of the most potent attacks at the MLS is Back Tournament, scoring six goals in two games, but they’ve also been one of the leakiest defensively, conceding five times along the way. Most recently they beat their Canadian rivals Montreal Impact in a 4-3 thriller, led by Ayo Akinola’s hat trick.


Kelyn Rowe
One of four field players to play all 180 minutes in the Revolution’s first two games in Orlando, Kelyn Rowe is adapting to a new role as a ball-winning central midfielder. Should he start for the third straight game on Tuesday morning, Rowe could be tasked with helping to limit the influence of TFC’s midfield maestro Alejandro Pozuelo.

Rowe has also been key to New England’s possession game, completing 84.5 percent of his passes, while he nearly scored his first goal of 2020 last Friday night against D.C., clipping the crossbar with a long-range rocket.

Alejandro Pozuelo
Ayo Akinola has rightfully received most of the plaudits as the Homegrown forward has bagged five goals in TFC’s first two games at the MLS is Back Tournament, but Alejandro Pozuelo continues to pull the strings in midfield. An MLS Best XI selection last year, Pozuelo already has five assists in Orlando, most in MLS.

It remains to be seen whether Pozuelo will start on Tuesday morning after going 90 minutes in TFC’s last game on Thursday night, but the 28-year-old will likely have some part to play against New England.


Carles Gil is listed as questionable for Tuesday after the Revolution captain was forced off in the 62nd minute of last week’s draw with D.C., an injury that head coach Bruce Arena said is the same ailment that kept Gil out of the first two games of the season.

New England is otherwise largely healthy, although Arena has noted that the quick turnaround time between Friday night and Tuesday morning could necessitate some rotation.

Toronto FC
Jozy Altidore and Jonathan Osorio have both missed the first two games of the MLS is Back Tournament, but TFC head coach Greg Vanney has indicated that both could be available for Tuesday as the duo has recently resumed full training.

Similarly to Arena, Vanney has indicated that TFC will likely rotate the squad a bit in the midst of a quick turnaround and in preparation for a potential trip to the competition’s Round of 16.


New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“You have to prepare knowing that the conditions will be a lot more difficult than they are in the evening. It’s very warm here in the morning. The players are well aware of that – they’ve been training in these conditions, so they know what to expect and hopefully we get through it okay.”

New England Revolution forward Teal Bunbury
“I think we’re happy about the position we’re in because we know that we can control our outcome. I wouldn’t say we’re the most pleased on the totality of both those games. There were moments where we looked like we were playing really well, we were playing as a group, but then there was also times where we let the other teams get into the game and stay in the game. We haven’t really played a complete, full 90 minutes, and I think that’s something that to be a great team, we need to do on a regular basis.”

Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney
“I think they’ll play to win. Bruce (Arena) is not usually a guy who is going to overly-rotate his squad. They’ve got a few guys who didn’t play a lot of minutes in the last game who are guys that he’s relied upon in the past and that he’s used a lot. I think we’ll see some form of Diego Fagundez, (Andrew) Farrell – guys like that who could pop into the lineup. I don’t think he’ll make any big changes. I think they’ll play to try to get a result and position themselves in the best possible way, as will we. I think his teams are always organized. The group that they have now is quite aggressive. (Gustavo) Bou is an aggressive player to goal. (Carles) Gil is obviously crafty and a playmaker. (Cristian) Penilla is a runner. I think their front four, specifically, they’re a handful, and they’re busy. They’ve got (Brandon) Bye who’s going up and down on the right side. I don’t think a lot of that will change for them.”

Toronto FC midfielder Marky Delgado
“We’ve seen it all, we’ve been through it all, so being in this bubble, being in our rooms most of the day and then coming out and playing in this heat, we’ve been through it. It doesn’t really take a toll on us. We know what we have to do at the end of the day. We know if we stay connected as a team, and even more so off the field, at the end of the day when you get on the field, you play football. That’s what we do best. Games have been looking pretty good for us. We just need to see them out in the right way.”