The XI: Lampard and Pirlo Start vs Toronto

Pirlo returns the XI Toronto

Andrea Pirlo has shaken off the injury which kept him out of the MLS Playoffs Semifinals first leg versus Toronto.

The Italian maestro returns to midfield along with Frank Lampard who makes his first start since September 17 when he came off against FC Dallas.

Tommy McNamara comes into an attacking NYCFC lineup as another of the three changes to the XI from the 2-0 first leg defeat in Canada.

Steven Mendoza, Federico Bravo and Mikey Lopez are the three to miss out as Patrick Vieira opts for what appears to be a 4-3-3 formation, with Jack Harrison and McNamara providing the width on either side of David Villa.

Andoni Iraola features as the midfield anchor in front of the defense and behind Lampard and Pirlo who will be charged with loading the bullets for those ahead of them.

In defense, Johansen makes his third MLS appearance and third in succession, with Ronald Matarrita and RJ Allen as fullbacks beside central duo, Maxime Chanot and Frederic Brillant.

NYCFC go into the game knowing that a 2-0 win will take the game to extra time, while if Toronto score, the home team at Yankee Stadium will need to score at least four goals to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

How They Line Up...

The XI: Lampard and Pirlo Start vs Toronto -

NYCFC XI: Johansen, Allen, Brillant, Chanot, Matarrita, Iraola, Pirlo, Lampard, Harrison, McNamara, Villa (C)

NYCFC Subs: Saunders, Hernandez, Lopez, Bravo, White, Shelton, Taylor

The Opposition

For the City - Stories

Join us on our mission to empower NYC youth through soccer.