No more weather problems for Inter Miami

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Former Toronto FC star midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo – making his first visit to BMO Field on Friday night since being traded in the summer – says one of the reasons he loves playing for Inter Miami is the weather of South Florida.

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Under normal circumstances, Florida enjoys great weather. However, this year has been difficult for the Inter Miami club due to the weather. As reported by Michelle Kaufman in the Miami Heraldfive of the Herons’ 15 home games this season – and six games in total – have been delayed or interrupted by bad weather.

And as Miami prepares for its crucial game in Toronto, Hurricane Ian forced the cancellation of a practice this week. Miami hopes to participate in a practice Thursday before flying to Toronto, but that is yet to be determined.

As for Pozuelo, in four seasons at Toronto, the Sevilla native scored 30 goals in 100 total appearances and was a magician creating scoring chances. He was traded to Inter Miami on July 7 for $150,000 in general allocation money plus an additional conditional GAM based on certain performance metrics. Pozuelo stood out in South Florida, scoring two goals while adding six assists in 11 games.

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HUNGRY HERONS

Expect Inter Miami to be a motivated club on Friday at BMO Field. Unlike TFC, the Herons are fighting to stay in playoff position in the MLS Eastern Conference. With three games left in the regular season, Inter Miami, coming off back-to-back wins over Columbus and DC United, clings to the seventh and final playoff spot in the East.

Inter Miami have won their last four games against TFC after the Reds won the first meeting, 2-1, in November 2020. Toronto is one of two teams (the other being Cincinnati) that Miami has beaten four times in MLS.

Forward Gonzalo Higuain has scored in each of Miami’s last three games (four goals), including a game-winning save against DC United on September 18. Higuain is the first player in club history to score in three consecutive MLS games. This DC United game marked Miami’s third road win of the season and Miami’s 10th away win in the club’s MLS history, with all 10 wins coming by a one-goal difference.

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Getting three points on Friday won’t mean as much positionally for TFC, a club that is out of playoff contention for the second straight season. But you know head coach Bob Bradley and the front office want to end the regular season on a high. The Reds aren’t in danger of finishing bottom in the East (DC United are seven points behind with two games to go), but the organization don’t want to finish second-to-bottom either, where the team is located right now. Toronto finished second from bottom last season so it’s important to show some improvement, although the Reds already have six points more than they recorded all of last season.

COUNTRY, NOW CLUB

Three TFC players – right-back Richie Laryea, midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye and centre-back Doneil Henry – will return from Europe this week after being with the Canadian national team for two friendlies ahead of the FIFA Cup. world against Qatar and Uruguay. All three are expected to be available for Friday’s game. Right-back DeAndre Yedlin (USA) and centre-back Damion Lowe (Jamaica) are on their way back to join Inter Miami after spending the last 10 days playing for their national teams.

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TFC VALUE US$705M

Sports business site Sportico has ranked the value of all MLS teams – based on the sum of the current market value of an MLS franchise combined with the value of team-related businesses and real estate.

According to the Sportico study, the average MLS franchise is worth $582 million, up 5.8% from last year. TFC ranked fifth with $705 million (US), behind LAFC ($900 million), LA Galaxy ($865 million), Atlanta United ($855 million) and Seattle Sounders ($725 million) . The TFC has just overtaken DC United (700 million dollars) and New York City FC (690 million dollars). Despite a tremendous year on the field (second in the MLS East with 59 points), CF Montreal ranks dead last in terms of franchise value ($390 million) of the 28 MLS franchises while the Vancouver Whitecaps are ahead -last ($415 million). ).

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According to Sportico: “After two seasons disrupted by COVID-19 and huge operating losses across the board, MLS is on track to post a record attendance of nearly 10 million in 2022, beating the previous mark of 8 .6 million set in 2019. Nearly every club is still losing money – losses to NYCFC, TFC and Inter Miami are all expected to exceed $20 million this season – but many have reduced the losses as income increased. The 28 teams are expected to generate $1.6 billion in revenue during the 2022 regular season, after hitting a low of $468 million in 2020 when there were few to no fans in stadiums because of COVID-19.

FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT

Friday night’s game at BMO Field — the last home game of the season for TFC — is fan appreciation night. No details on what fans in attendance will receive, but perhaps a nice gesture would be to lower the cost of tickets for next season after such a disappointing 2022 campaign. However, it is MLSE. Don’t count on it. The final TFC game of the year will take place on October 9 at the Philadelphia Union.

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  1. Jonathan Osorio, who has been part of Canada's senior national team since 2013, is doing everything he can to be healthy enough to compete in the World Cup.  Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports

    Osorio out of full Toronto FC training on Friday

  2. Sampdoria's Sebastian Giovinco kicks in a pass.

    Giovinco joins Juventus Academy in Toronto

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