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Despite short turnaround, Toronto FC looking to avenge New England loss

TORONTO — Short turnaround or not, Toronto FC has a score to settle with the New England Revolution on Friday night.

TORONTO — Short turnaround or not, Toronto FC has a score to settle with the New England Revolution on Friday night.

The Revs handed Toronto one of its two league losses this season and defender Eriq Zavaleta, for one, has not forgotten the 3-0 defeat June 3 at Gillette Stadium.

"We didn't have a great night against them and they punished us," Zavaleta said. "But at the same time we felt liked they showed a little bit of a lack of class towards the end of the game in the way that they did a couple of things — the way that they danced on the ball or the way that they celebrated a couple of goals.

"And because of that it gave us a little extra chip (on the shoulder) that, in my opinion, you don't want to give a team like us."

That included New England players leading fans in hand claps after the third goal.

"We need to perform better than the last time we played them" Toronto coach Greg Vanney said by way of understatement.

The loss to the Revolution snapped an eight-game league undefeated streak for Toronto (9-2-5), which returned to its winning ways with a 2-0 win over visiting D.C. United last Saturday.

Toronto has had almost no time to prepare for Friday's game given the fact it played to a 1-1 tie in Montreal on Wednesday in Canadian Championship play. The team chartered back after the Impact game, returning to its north Toronto training ground at around 1:20 a.m. Wednesday.

Veteran French midfielder Benoit Cheyrou said he has never heard of a pro team playing games with just one day inbetween.

"I was very surprised but there are lot of very surprising things in this league," he said.

New England (5-6-5) has been off since Saturday when a 2-1 loss to Chicago ended the Revs' 11-game home undefeated streak (9-0-2).

Toronto fielded a strong team in Montreal with seven regulars in the starting 11. But Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez and Justin Morrow saw limited action off the bench and so will be better rested than most.

Captain Michael Bradley is suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Alex Bono is expected back in goal.

Forward Tosaint Ricketts, returning from a hamstring injury, is expected to be able to play some minutes Friday.

Cheyrou said he usually feels worse two days after a game than in the immediate aftermath. But he spoke for the team when saying people will have to deal with the lack of recovery time.

"We will need guys who can turn around and provide us something (Friday)," said Vanney. "Whether that's in a starting capacity or to be able to come in and give us some minutes, But just by sheer numbers, we're going to need guys to be able to step up.

"I was surprised at the amount of guys who hit me up this morning and said 'Hey, I'm ready to go.' I thought I'd have a couple but we had a lot more, which I like. It's a group that's hungry to play. And a small part of it who we're playing and the fact that we lost the last time we played them."

New England has had Toronto's number of late.

The Revolution have lost once in the last 10 meetings between the teams – a 4-1 TFC win last Aug. 6 at BMO Field. That victory ended an eight-game Revolution undefeated streak in the series, dating back to 2013.

The teams are 3-3-5 when they meet at BMO Field. But New England is 0-5-3 on the road this season while Toronto is undefeated at home (6-0-2) and has won its last six league outings at BMO Field.

Ivory Coast designated player Xavier Kouassi (quad strain) is expected to miss a third straight league game for New England. Fellow midfielder Daigo Kobayashi (hamstring) is questionable.


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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press