Three in a Row
The Lions will look for their third victory of the season over the Reds on Saturday, first earning a 1-0 shutout victory over Toronto on May 22. Tesho Akindele scored the eventual game-winner in that match in the 12th minute, his first of two finishes against Saturday’s opposition on the year. Akindele also opened the scoring in City’s 3-2 victory over Toronto at Exploria Stadium less than a month ago, with Nani and Júnior Urso also finding the back of the net in that contest.
The First for Andrés
Midfielder Andrés Perea scored his first MLS goal in the Lions’ last outing, finding the back of the net in the 34th minute against the Chicago Fire. Perea is one of two Lions to play every regular-season game since he’s been on the roster, along with Júnior Urso, with 35 such appearances as a Lion and three assists to add to his finish in Chicago.
Defender Kyle Smith sits as the lone player on the Lions’ roster to have played every minute for the Club this season, leading the side in passes successful (495), duels won (78), recoveries (79) and tackles won (26). Smith trails only teammate Robin Jansson (64.29) in duel success (62.9) and Tesho Akindele (22) in aerials won (17). On the offensive end, Smith has tallied two assists this season to lead all defenders on the roster.
Saturday will mark the Lions’ first trip to Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic, as Major League Soccer announced that both Toronto FC and CF Montréal can host upcoming matches at their respective home stadiums this past week. The Reds had been occupying the Lions’ home at Exploria Stadium since the start of the 2021 MLS season, with June’s fixture between the two sides serving as an away match for the Club despite being housed at its home venue.
This past week, the Lions announced their most recent signing in Argentine defender Emmanuel Mas. A 32-year-old left back from San Juan, Mas joins the Club as a free agent with numerous trophies across his club career, including the 2013/2013 Copa Libertadores during his time with Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro and two Argentinian Championships with Boca Juniors in 2018 and 2020. To date, Mas has totaled 335 appearances, scored 18 goals and provided 23 assists across all competitions with his previous clubs.
For Club & Country
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese concluded his 2021 Copa América campaign last Friday as Peru fell 3-2 in the third place match to Colombia. Gallese played every minute of the tournament for the Peruvian National Team, building off a 2019 performance in which he helped his home nation reach the tournament final. Daryl Dike remains on international duty for the USMNT, coming off the bench on Sunday night in the 62nd minute as the U.S. defeated Haiti in a 1-0 shutout victory to open Gold Cup play.
- Chris Mueller’s next appearance will tie him with Cristian Higuita for the most in club history in all competitions (108).
- Mueller’s next assist would give him the club record for assists in all competitions (23), passing Kaká.
- Nani is one assist away from tying the Club all-time record, currently held by Chris Mueller and Kaká (22).
- Pedro Gallese’s next clean sheet will be his 9th in all competitions, which would see him pass Brian Rowe for second in club history. Joe Bendik has the record with 13 clean sheets.
- Uri Rosell sits three appearances away from 100 in MLS.
- Júnior Urso sits one appearance away from 40 in all competitions as a Lion.