Players return to Toronto FC after being away on international duty

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Toronto FC expects to have all of its players who've been away on international duty back in time for Saturday's return to MLS action at FC Cincinnati.

That includes winger Yeferson Soteldo, who is slated to rejoin the team in Cincinnati after Venezuela's World Cup qualifier in Paraguay on Thursday.

Other TFC players away with their national team were Richie Laryea and Jonathan Osorio (Canada), Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica), Chris Mavinga (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Eriq Zavaleta (El Salvador).

Toronto coach Javier Perez said while Soteldo faces a long travel day back from Asuncion, "the plan is to have everybody back with the team and available."

Those who remained in Toronto over the international break trained Monday through Thursday last week and from Monday on this week.

Saturday's game features the two worst teams in MLS.

Cincinnati (3-10-8) is next-to-last in the 27-team league, two points ahead of Toronto (3-13-6) with a game in hand.

Toronto has not played since a 3-1 defeat in Montreal on Aug. 27, which extended its losing run to four games and winless streak to seven (0-5-2). TFC's last win came July 24, in a 2-1 victory at Chicago.

Cincinnati is winless in 12 games (0-5-7) since blanking Toronto 2-0 in Orlando on June 26. It was beaten last time out, 1-0 to Inter Miami on a 90th-minute Brek Shea goal Sept. 4, to extend its losing streak to three games.

Saturday's game is the first of seven in 23 days for Toronto.

After Cincinnati, it plays Inter Miami, Nashville, Colorado, Cincinnati and Chicago, with all but the Colorado game at home. In the midst of that run, it faces York United FC in the quarterfinals of the Canadian Championship.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

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