Heber, Jozy Altidore both absent from starting XI for Toronto FC, NYCFC playoff game
When the opening whistle blows for tonight's Eastern Conference semifinal (7 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes in US; TVAS, TSN 1/4 in Canada) in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, some star attacking talent will be absent from both Toronto FC and New York City FC.
TFC and US men's national team striker Jozy Altidore has not made the 18-man roster, while Heber will start on the bench for the Cityzens at Citi Field. The match has been moved from Yankee Stadium due to conflicts resulting from the New York Yankees' trip to the American League Championship Series.
Tonight's Starting XI vs. @NYCFC in the Eastern Conference Semifinals#TFCLive | #TheyWillSeeRed | #NYCvTOR | #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/r5xaTuzYBc- Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) October 23, 2019
Without Altidore, Toronto will look to fellow Designated Player Alejandro Pozuelo to lead the attack. That approach led to a 5-1 victory over D.C. United in Round One, as the Reds bagged four goals in extra time.
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Altidore has been out with a quadriceps injury, while another injury concern has been alleviated some. Center back Omar Gonzalez (hamstring) is on the bench for Greg Vanney's squad.
As for Heber, head coach Dome Torrent was optimistic at training this week that the Brazilian striker could feature at some point. Without him, the East's No. 1 seed still has the likes of Maxi Moralez, Taty Castellanos and Alexandru Mitrita as danger-men in the final third.
📋 | Starting XI vs. #TFCLive #MakeItHere | #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/dqENLmYFKX- New York City FC (@NYCFC) October 23, 2019
NYCFC had a first-round bye for this single-elimination fixture, and last played Oct. 6 for Decision Day presented by AT&T. Should Heber be good to go, he'd bring impressive form (15 goals, four assists) from the 2019 season.
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