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Toronto FC aims to bolster lead in East, ready for Revs
Toronto FC will try to increase its lead in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference when it visits the New England Revolution on Friday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Toronto FC (9-2-5) sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with 32 points, one ahead of Chicago. New England (5-6-5) is eighth with 20 points.
Toronto FC is coming off a 1-1 draw against the Montreal Impact on Wednesday in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final. Jozy Altidore scored in the 30th minute to tie the game after Montreal took an early lead. The Reds will host the second leg on Tuesday.
"Theoretically, it's a good result," Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney said. "A 1-1 draw with a road goal -- we'll take it."
Altidore leads Toronto with seven goals and Sebastian Giovinco has six. Victor Vazquez has a team-high eight assists.
Altidore and Michael Bradley will be away on international duty with Team USA this weekend and will not be with Toronto FC against New England. Team USA is preparing for a match against Ghana on July 1.
Marky Delgado is serving a suspension due to a red card and Nick Hagglund is out with a torn MCL.
New England has struggled mightily away from home this season, but the Revolution salvaged a 2-2 draw on the road against NYCFC earlier this week. The Revolution appeared to be headed toward defeat before Kelyn Rowe served up some magic in the 86th minute.
Rowe played the ball off his chest, flicked it into the air with his right foot and then drove a sensational cross toward the left side of the box. Xavier Kouassi took it from there, rising above the defense for a header to net the equalizer.
That goal was the first of the season for Kouassi, who will not play against Toronto FC due to a groin strain.
Juan Agudelo leads New England with seven goals and Lee Nguyen has six to go along with a team-high seven assists. Rowe, a versatile player capable of logging minutes at multiple positions, is now tied for second on the team with four assists.
"Throughout the week, I know that there's one, two, three positions that I could slot into," Rowe told MLSsoccer.com. "To be prepared, I make sure I know every position on the field so if I do have to slide into a position, I can do it without too much of a problem."
Updated June 22, 2017