Chivas USA face strong home team Toronto FC

Reds are unbeaten at BMO Field, but Goats have much improved of late

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The Basics

Toronto FC (6-6-5, 23 points, 3rd place Eastern Conference) vs. Chivas USA (5-9-3, 18 points, 8th place Western Conference)

All-time record: Chivas USA lead 5-1-0

TV and Radio Info

 1 p.m. PST, TeleFutura, Prime Ticket, CBC (Canada), W Radio 690 AM

Game Intro

This match is critical for both teams as they push to improve their playoff prospects. Toronto are in a precarious situation, holding the tiebreaker over San Jose for the eighth and final playoff spot, with Chicago and Houston close behind. The Reds hope to ride the confidence from a series win over CD Motagua of Honduras in the CONCACAF Champions League, which halted a three-game winless streak. Though last in the Western Conference, Chivas are hot of late and can climb out of the Western Conference cellar and within two points of Toronto with a win.

Toronto FC

The Reds made history Tuesday, qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in franchise history with a gutsy performance in Tegucigalpa. Falling behind early and facing stifling heat, Toronto fought back twice from one-goal deficits and withstood waves of pressure late to draw 2-2. Goals from Dwayne De Rosario and Chad Barrett were welcome sights for a team that has recently had trouble generating chances and scoring. Following off-days Wednesday and Thursday, the team should be well rested heading into Saturday’s game.

Chivas USA

The Goats are on a roll, coming off the biggest win of the season last weekend at home to Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew. After a six-game losing streak that lasted almost all of May and June, the Red-and-White have gotten back into the playoff picture. Chivas have lost just once in their last nine matches in all competitions and are currently on a four-match unbeaten streak (2-0-2) in MLS play. Justin Braun has been a key factor in the resurgence, scoring seven goals, and the recent addition of striker Alan Gordon in a trade with stadium roommates Los Angeles Galaxy will bolsters the attack for a playoff run. Gordon will likely debut in this game.

Heroes & Villains

Justin Braun vs. Dwayne De Rosario: Braun has been a bright spot in an otherwise subpar season for the Goats, with seven goals to lead the team in scoring. Toronto’s backline will have to carefully defend him, but not lose sight of midfielders Blair Gavin and Jesus Padilla, who have combined for seven goals. That’s where De Rosario comes in: If the Canadian international is at his attacking best, he can effectively force Gavin and Padilla into defensive roles. Chivas defender and Canadian National Team 'mate Ante Jazic knows De Rosario well and plans to educate his teammates on his tendencies.

Stat that makes you go, “Hmm ..."

Toronto are undefeated at home this season with a record of 5-0-4.

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