Toronto FC returns to BMO Field for first time since MLS title victory - InfoNews

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Toronto FC returns to BMO Field for first time since MLS title victory

Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono, right, scoops up a shot off the foot of Colorado Rapids forward Dominique Badji, left, as Toronto FC's Nick Hagglund defends during the second half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer match Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, in Commerce City, Colo. Toronto FC returns to the site of its MLS Cup victory for the first time Tuesday insisting December's win is firmly behind it and the focus now is on the next trophy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, David Zalubowski
February 26, 2018 - 1:33 PM

Toronto FC returns to the site of its MLS Cup victory for the first time Tuesday insisting December’s win is firmly behind it and the focus now is on the next trophy.

The Reds will host the Colorado Rapids at BMO Field leading their CONCACAF Champions League series 2-0 on aggregate thanks to their result at Dick's Sporting Goods Park last Tuesday.

“That’s gone now,” goalkeeper Alex Bono said of the '17 MLS title. “We’ve had an entire off-season to enjoy that and throughout preseason and first game we’ve done good job of keeping that behind us and knowing that season is in the books and this season is what’s upcoming.

"It’s our job, once again, to write the story of 2018. We had a good start (last) Tuesday and we're looking to write a similar story as 2017.”

Jonathan Osorio opened the scoring last week in the 55th minute before Sebastian Giovinco scored 18 minutes later off a well-timed cross from newcomer Auro. Both teams battled less than ideal conditions as the game was played in frigid -13 C temperatures in Colorado.

“It was difficult at the beginning, I think we struggled a little bit in the first half also because of the conditions,” said midfielder Victor Vazquez. “But that’s not an excuse because in the second half we did it, we played good football for the first game of the season and we have to keep going the same (way).

"Now at BMO, it’s going to be much better for us with the crowd, with the good result we take on the road and I think we have to keep focus on us. I know they have some dangerous players like (Dominique) Badji — these kind of guys — but I think we are better than them and we have to show it again Tuesday.”

Toronto captain Michael Bradley received a yellow card in the 86th minute of that game. He'll have to serve a one-game suspension if he earns another yellow in CONCACAF Champions League play.

“I think they’re still a team that’s obviously in transition and learning more about what the coach wants and how to adapt in different circumstances," Toronto head coach Greg Vanney said of Colorado. "That’s on-going process, tough to get through that process in preseason and so it’s incumbent upon us to make the day difficult for them to make it hard for them to adapt within the game and make adjustments.

"But they’re going to physically come out and compete. They have nothing to lose, they’re going to put it all out there and see if they can't get themselves moving in the right direction.”

Midfielder Gregory van der Wiel’s minutes will be monitored in the second leg. The 30-year-old, who made his TFC debut last week, and his wife became parents of a baby girl, Naleya Rose van der Wiel, on Saturday night.

Vanney also confirmed Spanish midfielder Ager Aketxe, signed by the Reds last week, had his visa approved and is available for selection Tuesday night.

Should TFC advance, it’ll setup a quarterfinal meeting with either Mexican side Tigres UANL or Costa Rican club C.S. Herediano. The first match would be slated for March 6.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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