After a tough few weeks for Toronto FC in MLS, the Reds now return to Canadian Championship action, taking on Forge FC at Tim Hortons Field for the first leg of the semi-final.

The eight-time tournament titleholders have had nothing but success in their Canadian Championship performances this year compared to their recent losing streak in MLS, but this two-legged semi-final against Forge FC is shaping up to be a tough test for TFC.

Each team’s path to the semi-finals was quite different: Toronto faced only semi-pro teams, starting with a heavy 5-0 loss to the Simcoe County Rovers of League 1 Ontario in the preliminary round. In the quarter-finals, they eliminated CS Saint-Laurent of League 1 Quebec in two sets, 3-0 in the first and 8-1 in the second.

While Forge’s run began with a win over league rivals York United, they then continued their fierce battle against CF Montreal and won on aggregate at Saputo Stadium.

Photo credit: Audrey Magny

Toronto FC enters this match with a recent away loss in Ohio after losing 4-0 to Columbus Crew. Forge FC’s last match was a 3-3 home draw against Vancouver FC on Friday night.

Overall, this matchup bodes well for several scenarios, with Toronto FC looking to use this return to the Canadian Championship to regain form as the team struggles in MLS. There will be some familiar faces in attendance as Toronto FC will be reunited with former TFC player Jordan Hamilton, who was in the academy and a first-team player from 2014 to 2019. Tonight’s matchup at Tim Hortons Field will be Hamilton’s first time playing his former club.

Forge FC will be looking for revenge as the two teams have met before, dating back to the 2020 Canadian Championship final, where Toronto FC won on penalties after the match finished 1-1 over the course of 90 minutes.

The intrigue is expected and the pressure is certainly on for the eight-time winners as they look to maintain the status quo in this competition. The action takes place tonight with kick-off at 7:00pm EST.

Header Image Photo Credit: Josh Kim