Skip to main content

A win over visiting New York City FC on Friday and Toronto FC can accomplish something it failed to do all of last season – win three league games in a row.

Toronto (2-0-0) won back-to-back games in league play just once last year and that was against lowly Chicago, which finished four points below ninth-place TFC in the Eastern Conference.

TFC will be boosted Friday by the debut of new designated player Alejandro Pozuelo, an attacking midfielder who arrived a week ago from KRC Genk in Belgium.

“He’s got a lot of quality,” said veteran defender Drew Moor. “He’s very confident. He wants to get on the ball, he wants to get on the ball in tight spaces and he wants to make things happen for us.

“I think he’s exactly what we can use right now.”

“First and foremost seems like a great guy,” added captain Michael Bradley. “Really excited to be here ... You don’t need to spend a lot of time with him on the field to see that he’s a good football player.”

Coach Greg Vanney says the 27-year-old Spaniard is good to go Friday.

“Great vision, very technical,” he said. “Fits in with the group and the way we play philosophically.”

Good on the ball with both feet, Pozuelo can play in a variety of positions, supporting striker Jozy Altidore or drifting in and out as play dictates. He will also be involved in dead-ball situations.

NYCFC (0-0-3) has been waiting on a marquee recruit with 27-year-old forward Heber still in Brazil awaiting a visa. New York could use him with just four goals in ties with Orlando City, D.C. United and Los Angeles FC.

Romanian international forward Alexandru Mitrita, who joined the team this season as designated player, goes into weekend play tied for most shots in the league with 19 in three games. But only five were on target and just one produced a goal.

NYCFC forward Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who saw 54 minutes of action in Libya’s 2-1 loss to South Africa, is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

Argentine playmaker Maxi Moralez has one assist and four shots in three games.

Both sides had players on international duty with 10 NYCFC players leaving to join Costa Rica, Libya, Luxembourg, Peru, Romania and Sweden and the U.S. Toronto had four players with Canada and the U.S.

Toronto, which has beaten Philadelphia and New England so far this season, and NYCFC are among just six unbeaten teams in this early stage of the season.

Vanney says everyone in his squad is available. Playing just two league games so far, due to the team’s CONCACAF Champions League exit and the international break, has helped team health.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe