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Lineup Prediction: Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls

Will Veron get the nod to step in for Sam?

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

If we've learned anything about Jesse Marsch's team selection habits this season it is that they are both predictable (he tends to be loyal to starters who have contributed to success, and tries to protect players from experiencing the bitter blow of losing a place in the team to injury or international duty) and unpredictable (he can be tight-lipped about enforced absences and doesn't always tip his hand when there is a rotation to the squad due).

So what to think about the lineup in Toronto? Lloyd Sam was surprisingly called up to the Ghana national team for a friendly on October 13 - aka yesterday. RBNY has said Sam (and Karl Ouimette, who also played in the same match - for Ghana's opponent, Canada) will be "available for selection" in Toronto.

Given that they have been away from the squad for a few days and will presumably be joining the team just in time for quick kick-about before the match, their presence on the bench seems most likely symbolic of RBNY's intention to make clear that a player who was on international duty yesterday can very much be available for selection today. And that is important point because it means Matt Miazga will serve the first game of a two-match suspension tonight.

Assuming Sam is therefore absent from the starting lineup, that creates a space on the right wing most obviously filled by either Gonzalo Veron or Shaun Wright-Phillips. This column says it'll be Veron, but either player is a worth candidate for the start and the decision will presumably be based on performance in training over the last week (SWP, it is worth noting, has spent more time training with the squad than Veron).

Expect to see Kemar Lawrence back on the left side of defense, though Connor Lade has arguably been better on that side than on the right, where stand-in Sal Zizzo has deputized admirably over the past couple of games.