TFC looks to ex­tend win streak

Kingston Whig-Standard - - SPORTS - NEIL DAVID­SON

Toronto FC looks to ex­tend its fran­chise-record win streak to seven in sub­ur­ban New York on Fri­day night while the Red Bulls try to stem an un­char­ac­ter­is­tic three­game slide.

Since los­ing April 15 in Colum­bus, Toronto (7-1-4) has climbed to the top of the MLS stand­ings with wins over Chicago, Hous­ton, Or­lando, Seattle, Colum­bus and Min­ne­sota. It has outscored the op­po­si­tion 13-2 en route.

The Red Bulls (5-6-1, sixth in the East) have gone the other way, outscored 8-1 in losses to Los Angeles, Philadel­phia and Sport­ing Kansas City.

Last Sun­day’s 3-1 loss to the Galaxy snapped New York’s 19-game win streak at Red Bull Arena, a run that matched the sixth-long­est in league his­tory. Still, the Red Bulls are 4-1-1 this sea­son at their Har­ri­son, N.J., home.

“They’re a dan­ger­ous team, they’re a good team,” said Toronto coach Greg Van­ney. “Some­times you get in th­ese lit­tle funks where things just aren’t click­ing or you lose track of some­thing that was im­por­tant that you were do­ing when you were get­ting re­sults.

“And I’m cer­tain that (Red Bulls coach) Jesse (Marsch) will dig deep and find out what those things are.”

Van­ney pointed to the off-sea­son loss of U.S. in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder Dax Mc­Carty, traded to Chicago, as one fac­tor.

Still, Van­ney be­lieves the Red Bulls will be in the play­off pack when push comes to shove.

Toronto, mean­while, is on a roll as its racks up vic­to­ries.

The MLS says its long­est sin­gle­sea­son win streak, ex­clud­ing (now dis­con­tin­ued) over­time/shootout wins, is eight (set twice by the Los Angeles Galaxy, once in 1996 and once in 1998). Kansas City won nine straight over the 2011-12 sea­sons.

A win Fri­day and Toronto can match the seven straight wins by the Chicago Fire (1998) and Kansas City (2012).

The 1997-98 Galaxy team, which fea­tured Van­ney and Toronto assistant Robin Fraser and Dan Calich­man, won 15 straight but that in­cluded shootouts. The Galaxy also won 12 straight in the 1996 sea­son with the first eight games of that run com­ing in reg­u­la­tion time.

Toronto will be miss­ing star striker Se­bas­tian Giovinco (quad) and de­fender Nick Hag­glund (knee) Fri­day. To­saint Rick­etts has picked up the goal-scor­ing slack with gamewin­ners in the last two matches.

Vet­eran cen­tre back Drew Moor could see his first ac­tion since be­ing di­ag­nosed with an ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat in mid-April.

“Match fit­ness is hard to sim­u­late. I’ve built up as much as I pos­si­bly can and told them I’m ready to go 90 (min­utes) when­ever they need me to,” said Moor, who un­der­went a pro­ce­dure in Bos­ton to cor­rect the heart prob­lem.

Ja­son Her­nan­dez has re­cov­ered from a bout of food poi­son­ing that re­stricted him to 45 min­utes ac­tion last Satur­day so Van­ney could start a back three of Her­nan­dez, Eriq Zavaleta and Justin Mor­row with Moor on the bench.

Mid­fielder Jonathan Oso­rio, who has had his own ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat is­sue, is un­likely to play.

DAR­RYL DYCK/THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Toronto FC mid­fielder Jonathan Oso­rio, left, moves the ball while be­ing chased by Van­cou­ver White­caps mid­fielder Ma­tias Laba ear­lier this sea­son. Toronto FC looks to ex­tend its fran­chise-record win streak to seven Fri­day when it vis­its the New York Red Bulls.

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