State of Mind: Wondering what sort of drama is next
Location: Not air conditioned splendour
Brek Shea looks worried; as well he should
Alright boys and girls here we go. Tonight TFC return to the scene of one of their greatest wins ever; that glorious 3-0 (yes, it was glorious damn it) victory on October 18th of last year that sealed the Reds entry to the next round of the CCL. It was a game that no one said they'd win. Not only did they win but they destroyed the Hoops on two goals from (the now departed) Joao Plata and another from Danny Koevermans. In fact it was so fantastic I say it calls for a wee reminder:
If watching that doesn't make you grin like an idiot in happiness then you're likely reading the wrong blog...move along, nothing to see here...
Of course tonight's match is the polar opposite to the one last fall. Both teams are mired at the bottom of their respective conferences and have not lived up to expectations. TFC has once again taken the term "lowered expectations" to dizzying new lows and the FCD have plummeted from the heady heights of MLS Cup contenders to, well the third worst team in the league. And while our Reds have been slowly showing some positive signs of improvement, FCD have been anything but impressive over the last couple of weeks having lost 3 of their last 5 games, whereas TFC have only lost 1 of their last 5 and are unbeaten in their last 4 games.
Points for the taking you say? Could be; with multiple draws and even a win on the road of late this could be an opportunity to crush a weakened opponent. However, you cannot discount the emotional charge that the Hoops will get from playing on the 4th of July - they're already having the biggest fireworks show ever (OK, in that part of Texas but still) - expect what little crowd there is to be loud and uber "USA" all night and that goes for the players and half-time "entertainment" as well. Personally I suggest draping yourself in a Canadian flag to help ward off the "America is the best" vibe escaping your TV set tonight. Not to mention that Dallas are well rested not having anywhere near the punishing schedule that TFC is facing at the moment and they also have much missed midfielder David Ferreira returning from injury. While not likely to start Ferreira is a both an emotional spark for the team as well as being a game changer when on the field.
In TFC's favour is confidence and being unbeaten in 4 games. No they're not setting the league on fire but they're scoring and hey that was a pretty good team they held to a draw on Saturday...and there's the whole Wednesday night record thing and there may be hope yet. Other than the fact that they're getting little rest in between games, are heading into the Texas heat (although not much different from Toronto heat these days) and they still have off the field drama possibly distracting them as the Plata situation continues to spiral comically out of control. You have a potential for a less than sharp group of Reds out there this evening. However I'm very much in favour of spoiling a good jingoistic celebration and putting the boots to a demoralized opponent (especially one that lets Brek Shea do that to his hair) so I'm feeling pretty good about tonight's match and our boys chances.. And if all else fails, remember this:
COME ON YOU REDS!!!
My Links Are Bigger Than Yours: The Yorkies, Waking The Red, Partially Obstructed View and Red Nation Online