Inter Miami vs Toronto FC
DRV PNK Stadium hosts a high-stakes Major League Soccer contest between Eastern Conference second-from-bottom Inter Milan and dead-last Toronto FC.
Without Lionel Messi in the matchday squad, Inter Miami slumped to a woeful 5-2 defeat at Atlanta United last weekend despite opening the scoring as their mini-revival (W3, D1) ended abruptly. Keen to return to winning ways immediately, the ‘Herons’ come into proceedings seeking three points, which would keep them firmly in contention for a first-ever MLS playoff qualification. Despite the coveted 9th place in the Eastern Conference by seven points, Gerardo Martino’s men have two games in hand on DC United, who currently occupy the last qualification spot in the east. Playing Toronto bodes well for Inter’s bid to return to the win column, as they had won five consecutive MLS H2Hs before losing 2-0 in their most recent encounter in Canada last March.
In the meantime, Toronto’s chances of securing a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference could be dead in the water unless they bounce back from a 2-1 home loss to Vancouver Whitecaps last time out. Nailed to the bottom of the table, the visitors can consider themselves lucky for trailing 9th-placed DC United by ‘only’ 13 points, considering their abysmal 14% win ratio across 28 MLS fixtures this season (W4, D10, L14). Barring an unexpected 3-1 home win over Philadelphia Union on the last day of August, the ‘Reds’ have lost nine of their last ten league matches, ominously failing to get on the scoresheet on five occasions. It only gets worse away from home as they enter this round as the only side in the east yet to win an MLS contest on hostile turf (D4, L9).