MLS

New York Red Bulls v Toronto FC: Herdman says big changes needed for Reds

By Sports Desk June 22, 2024

John Herdman says Toronto FC need to make big changes amid a five-match winless streak, promising to banish their old ways ahead of Saturday's visit to the New York Red Bulls.

Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Nashville SC was the third time in five games that Toronto have dropped a match due to goals in the 90th minute or later. 

They have slipped to seventh in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind the Red Bulls and only four clear of the Philadelphia Union, who are outside the playoff spots. 

Reflecting on Toronto's latest disappointing result, Herdman said: "I was proud of about 60 minutes but that last 30 again, it just feels like old TFC is back.

"We just wobble, we look unsure, we look timid. We look like we can score. But when we look like we can score we look like they're going to score the either way very quickly, and that's a challenge.

"I can point fingers at the players but the staff have got to take a big responsibility as well. We're making those changes."

The Red Bulls, meanwhile, are flying high in third place, having fought back from two goals down in a 2-2 draw with CF Montreal in midweek.

Head coach Sandro Schwarz said after that match: "Especially in the second half it was a great mentality, and there was great energy from the whole team. 

"I'm not frustrated because I want us to play the way I like, to be dominant. If you want to be successful, you have to learn that you don't lose your energy and stay at the highest level.

"That is important for us, not to lose our principles."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New York Red Bulls – Dante Vanzeir

Vanzeir's seven assists are more than any other Red Bulls player has managed in MLS this season, while only Emil Forsberg (29) and John Tolkin (27) have bettered his 19 chances created for the team.

Toronto FC – Federico Bernardeschi

Bernardeschi has been involved in 12 goals in his last seven MLS matches dating back to late April (seven goals, five assists). 

Only Sebastian Giovinco (14 between July and August 2016) has recorded more goal contributions in a span of seven matches in Toronto's MLS history.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK RED BULLS WIN

Toronto have only won one of their last 29 regular-season away matches dating back to late 2022, though they have taken a point from their last two road trips.

The Red Bulls, meanwhile, are unbeaten in 11 home matches in all competitions dating back to the end of last season (seven wins, four draws), their longest home unbeaten streak since a 16-match stretch in 2016.

They have also won their last six home games against Toronto by an aggregate score of 13-1.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

New York Red Bulls – 63.6%

Toronto FC – 17%

Draw – 19.4%

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