State of Mind: OK, it's a new week; deep breath
Location: Ou est la bibliotheque?
OK, it's been a rough couple of weeks in TFC land and we've all had our share of disappointment and searching for the positives in the last couple of matches. What could be a better solution than a little game against what is arguably our biggest rival, the Montreal Impact? Time to once again face the team that our Reds will see the most this season and see if they can continue the tradition (yes, I said tradition - tradition is important!) of never losing at Stade Saputo.
This game is truly a toss-up as to what will happen at the end of 90 minutes. Since the opening of the new and improved Stade Saputo - now with more empty seats! - the Impact have beat two very good teams and scored an impressive number of goals. But this is the Impact after all; the team we love to beat (that game at the Big O doesn't count OK?). They've got several injuries to deal with as defense mainstays Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas are both out and a similar issue up front as Andrew Wenger is also sidelined (and of course Corradi is out for the season). But before we get all razzed up about missing players you have to remember that the Impact still have the always dangerous Felipe Martins and newly minted DP Marco Di Vaio making his debut tonight; not to mention that Patrice Bernier, Davy Arnaud and Nyassi will there causing all sorts of problems.
But those injuries to the Impact defense could very well help to offset TFC's ongoing defensive woes with what could very well be a goal fest of epic proportions as both teams have recently found their scoring touch. While the search for a CB "boss" (as per Mariner and well, everyone who's ever watched the team) continues, it looks as though Doneil Henry will not be starting as without an more experienced CB beside him for guidance his learning curve has been showing more in games. Instead expect to see Logan Emory and Ecks take the centre with Jeremy Hall and Ashtone Morgan completing the back line.
I for one am looking for Avi and JDG to continue their recent strong play in the midfield and prevent the Impact attack from going anywhere near the defense - they have both been doing an excellent job of breaking up any forward momentum. And if Morgan can replicate the service he gave to Danny and RJ on Saturday? Add to that the return to form (and fitness) for Danny and RJ finally getting an MLS goal? We could have a very exciting match.
Sadly I can't watch this one (why can't I be independently wealthy?) so will be anxiously checking twitter - keep me informed folks - and hopefully not seeing that our Reds have once again fallen apart in the last 20 minutes and gifted another team with 2 (or even 3!) points. I hope that the defense have been soundly whipped - OK, put through their paces - that Mariner will consider leaving Avi on for longer than 60 minutes (please? just for one game?), as well as leaving JDG on until the end or at the very least bringing on Stinson as his replacement. And that they finally (please!) close out a game instead of panicking or allowing themselves to be swarmed under by relentless balls into the box.
This is a winnable game; and one that TFC should be hyped up for - if only to show that they are moving forward, that they actually can learn from their mistakes and hell that they want to win and will do everything necessary to make it happen. This could also be the last time that this version of TFC suit up together with the transfer window opening - anyone unsure about his status should be playing for that spot for all he's worth.
Even though my optimism in our boys has been severely damaged of late I'm still hoping for a solid game - hell I'll take a well fought draw; as long as it isn't the Impact coming from behind - but boy wouldn't a win be nice? Wouldn't it be good?
ALLEZ LES ROUGES!!
Les Links: Knowledge is power so here you go - The Yorkies, Waking The Red, Partially Obstructed View and Red Nation Online.