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Know Your Opponent: Toronto FC

The Houston Dynamo are looking for their first road points of the season as they face off against Toronto FC tonight at BMO Field (6:30 p.m. CT; KUBE 57). Toronto (2-1-4 record) is coming off of a 3-1 win at home over the Chicago Fire last Friday night, just their second of the year after reaching the MLS Cup final last December.

The Toronto FC trio of Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley has to be one of the tops in MLS. How dangerous are they, especially when you can’t necessarily key in to one player?

All have varying roles and of course are amongst the highest paid players in MLS. Sebastian Giovinco is coming off a two goal, MLS Player of the Week match. He is dangerous in so many ways. His ability to break opponents down off the dribble makes his a "wrecker" of lines and team shape. The minute he beats someone, options become available for others. His spatial awareness and ability to float between the lines of an opponent allows him to make all kinds of angles to receive the ball. He has power from long range, can create his own chance by making a yard and a half space for himself and of course is a free kick threat. To me, he is the most dangerous attacker in MLS.

Jozy Altidore provides the big target up front, and at times can be a threat over the top. He is always an outlet and an option and likes to come back to the ball. A big man that occupies defenders.

Michael Bradley was excellent against Chicago breaking up and starting attacks, his positional play is a place to build off of for Toronto FC. All three bring a wealth of experience based on their time in Europe and internationally.

TFC has been playing a back three recently, how has that switch worked out for them on the defensive end?

Their aim is to win the middle third of the field, let's not forget Michael Bradley is tied in a way to the center backs. Their two wide lateral players are expected to help defend but they will concede space at times out wide in this system if the Dynamo can recognize it. Can the Dynamo get pressure on their back three at times? That will be the question.

Toronto didn’t make many changes after reaching MLS Cup last season, but one addition, Victor Vázquez, has made an impact with five assists already after joining from Cruz Azul. What more can you say about him, and the threat that yet another attacking weapon gives this Toronto side?

Very impressed with him when it comes to finding the creative pass. He is one of those players that can see things that others might not be able to see then execute passes that gets teammates in good positions. If you are a  TFC player, you want to get in front of him and he will find you. Super vision from a player that came up through the Barcelona system and spent time at Brugge in Belgium and in Liga MX.