State of Mind: They have to win eventually, right?
Location: Steamy supporter's couch (I miss air conditioning)
OK, here we go again. Our Reds are coming off of a strong performance (OK yes they bloody well won) in a cup competition and now must once again face the MLS monkey on their back. But before that a look back at Wednesday night's win.
1. JDG - It was dumb. Plain and simple. I can appreciate his passion and yes Davidson went down like he had been shot from that little tap on the cheek but it shouldn't have happened and was a deserved red.
2. Petrescu - He's not a good ref, we know this. And Wednesday night he again showed his inability to keep control of a match.
3. Avila's injury - Avi has been playing well of late and Wednesday night was one of his best performances on the season in the midfield. TFC will miss him today.
4. Joao - Strong showing from him - possibly the most intelligent I've seen him play this season - still no left foot though.
1. They won. 'Nuff said.
2. Ryan Johnson - Deserved winner of Tournament MVP. Lays it out there each and every match.
3. Style of play - We got to see some great ball movement, lots of attacking and pushing the ball up the field (Milos didn't have a lot to do) and some very nice defending from the back line - Hassli who?
4. Entire backline - Not perfect, but much better communication, marking and closing down of the Vancouver attack.
5. Reggie Lambe - He's getting better in every match and you know, scored the winning goal.
6. Ecks - Best performance of the season for him. Obviously not wanting to be stuck to the bench any longer he was massive for TFC when he came on in the second half.
So that's more or less where we've been - to refresh yourself just visit the usual suspects over at Waking The Red, Red Nation Online and The Yorkies.
Today our boys in Red have to refocus and try to once again translate a very strong performance in the Voyageurs Cup to league play. And what better opponent than the beleaguered and battered ship that is the Philadelphia Union? Make no mistake this is likely the most winnable game that TFC have had in MLS play this season. The Union (much like TFC) are a team in disarray - they traded forward Sebastien Le Toux to Vancouver in the off season and just recently sent centreback staltwart Danny (anywhere but Toronto!) Califf to Chivas and have little in the way of solid performers to replace either of them. They've lost 3 of their last 4 matches and are definitely not playing with momentum. And wouldn't it be fantastic to go into the international break on a high - Voyageurs Cup champs and some MLS points? Yes please!
Having said that they do have actual points and such thus far this season having won 2 (yes 2 wins is something to be envious of right now) games and tied 2 - sad that being able to say the same thing about our Reds would make me happy - sigh. And as TFC have shown countless times this season the match following a strong cup competition performance is usually a nightmare. The Reds will need to be alert right from the opening whistle and not let the Union take control of the match.
While Eric Avila is unavailable to play, the rest of the recently walking wounded should be available for Winter today and he could field a very strong starting XI in this last match before the international break. I expect to see Nick (doin' it for Suarez) Soolsma get the start and perhaps Johnson get a breather to start the match (give this man a rest!), especially as he will be off playing for Jamaica - let's not push him harder than needed. One of the questions is will Ecks be back at rightback and will Danny K. get the start or be saved for the second half should TFC fall upon old habits. Either way I hope to see more of what we saw Wednesday night; play like that and the points are there for the taking.
This is a winnable game folks, it's a beautiful day and our boys are Voyageurs Cup Champs for the 4th straight year - let's pack the stands, be loud, sing, chant, cheer and be there for our boys. Let's send them off in style today. Be there or be a parallelogram.
Link It Up: You know the drill, click and learn - Waking the Red, James via WTR, The Yorkies and Red Nation Online.