NewsSports’s prediction for FC Cincinnati vs. Toronto FC MLS match

CHICAGO — Like most managers, FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam tends to be tight-lipped on matters related to personnel and tactics.

For the personnel side, that hasn’t presented too many question marks when attempting to anticipate Stam’s plans as his starting lineup and substitution patterns have generally been stable and consistent.

However, Cincinnati now finds itself at the tail end of its busiest period of the 2021 season to date, and the time might be right to switch things up for a pivotal match against one of FCC's nearest competitors in the standings.

More:FC Cincinnati notebook: Looking ahead to Toronto FC, final thoughts on the win against Chicago Fire FC

Saturday’s scheduled 7 p.m. match against Toronto FC at Exploria Stadium in Orlando marks the end of a Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday swing of games. FC Cincinnati used Wednesday’s 1-0 victory in Chicago to vault itself out of last place in the MLS standings.

FCC could now solidify its escape from the league's cellar with another win, or even a draw.

Not only did FCC swap out of last place with Chicago, which dropped to the bottom of the standings, but it also passed Toronto in the process. Now, Cincinnati could start to put meaningful distance between itself and the bottom of the league.

Teammate s mob Alvaro Barreal after he scored the lone goal in Wednesday night's 1-0 victory over the Fire in Chicago.

That leaves Stam, along with observers of the team, with some interesting questions about whether the club will roll the dice and go with the same core group that defeated Fire FC or lean on depth players to do the job.

"It's going to be an interesting game in terms of coming off the win against Chicago," Stam said during a Friday video-news conference. "Being on the road, still, now in Orlando, arriving (Thursday), trying to get the players back, of course, to their health and how we need to be before the game, to start the game. So, that means get them as fit as possible."

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