Toronto FC Best Starting XI In 2017: Finest In Reds History?
Toronto FC Starting XI Best In Franchise History
Sebastian Giovinco – Forward
Seba took over the MLS the moment he landed in 2015, becoming the first player in history to lead the league in goals and assists. He was awarded the MVP, Golden Boot, Top Assist Provider and Newcomer of the Year. In 2017, he’s among the leading producers of the league, challenging for his third consecutive MLS Best XI nomination.
Jozy Altidore – Forward
Few players combine the power, speed and grace of Jozy Altidore. He beats defenders with deft touch passes, clinical finishes and a bulldozer mentality that wins possession through tough challenges. He also happens to be brilliant in clutch situations. In 2016, he became the first player in MLS history to score in five consecutive playoff games.
Michael Bradley – Midfielder
The first member of Toronto FC’s designated player trinity, Bradley established himself as a world-class field general overseas before the Reds purchased him from AS Roma in 2014. His stabilizing influence on the pitch has helped Toronto mature as an organization, while getting the most out of Jozy and Seba. Bradley’s been named to the MLS All-Stars in three of his four years in the league.
Marky Delgado – Midfielder
Toronto FC scored big in the dispersal draft when Chivas USA folded. Choosing Marky Delgado with the 14th selection was ingenious, because none of the franchises believed a starting midfielder would be available at that spot. Delgado’s progressed wonderfully under the leadership of Bradley, with the potential to step into a leadership role over the next few years.
Victor Vazquez – Midfielder
After playing in Barcelona, Bruges and Mexico City, he signed with Toronto FC to serve as a crafty, creative midfielder. Thus far, he’s given the Reds exactly that, building terrific chemistry with his mates. Vazquez earned a pair of UEFA Champions League titles with Barca, and he’s only a couple of years removed from being named the Belgian footballer of the year, which makes him the type of player Toronto needs to make the final step towards an MLS Cup.
Raheem Edwards – Midfielder
Before 16-year old phenom Alphonso Davies stole the spotlight with a brace in his debut at the Gold Cup, Edwards was touted as a breakout star for the Canadian National Men’s Soccer team. Raheem, a comparatively old 22, also shows maturity beyond his age.
When Edwards starts zipping around the field and whipping quick, pinpoint passes, his creativity and speed become bothersome for opponents. There’s a good chance that Edwards will become part of Toronto FC’s top pair of midfielders, along with Delgado.
Justin Morrow – Defender
Morrow’s proven himself as a versatile wing-back capable of contributing across the entire pitch. He’s in his prime, and remains on pace to enjoy his most productive year as a goal scorer. Justin contributes to the type of pace that makes Toronto FC a difficult side to handle.
Drew Moor – Defender
Moor has been a stout and steady defender for years, anchoring the back line through superb positioning, gap control and communication. He owns the MLS record for most consecutive games by a field player, earning 68 consecutive caps. Drew won an MLS Cup with Colorado in 2010, and was named to the MLS All-Star team in 2015. Put simply, Moor is a big reason why the Reds flirt with history in 2017.
Chris Mavinga – Defender
He didn’t impress during his first few games with the Reds, but Chris Mavinga redeemed himself when given another chance with the Hagglund injury. Mavinga bounced around various Euro leagues, earning a reputation for tough, physical challenges. Chris also provides the lineup with a boost in speed, countering enemy strikers and returning the ball forward efficiently.
Nick Hagglund – Defender
Injuries have been the adversity that this athletic defender struggles to overcome, losing playing time to Mavinga and Zavaleta as they filled in admirably during Hagglund’s absence. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a member of the Toronto FC best starting XI. The best possible lineup features Nick leaping to win difficult balls in the air, including the occasional clutch strike. Don’t be surprised if Hagglund reclaims a permanent spot on the starting roster.
Alex Bono – Goalkeeper
Bono’s well on his way to breaking the single-season record for wins by a Toronto FC keeper after taking over when Clint Irwin was felled by a hamstring injury. Alex has been impeccable, including the occasional sprawling, game winning save when the Reds defensive line falters. He’s one win away from setting the club record, which is all but inevitable as long as he remains unhurt.
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