Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Toronto FC's Monumental Challenge

Toronto FC faces a monstrous challenge today. If Toronto FC is to become the first Canadian club and second MLS side to reach the CONCACAF Champions League final, the task will be monumental.

Beat Santos at Santos.

Well, I take that back. They technically don't have to win. They can tie 2-2 or 3-3 or etc., and win the series on away goals. A 1-1 draw sends the match to extra time while a scoreless draw sends Santos through.

No way this match finishes in a goalless draw. This one has goals written all over it. Santos beat Seattle by 6-1 in Torreon last time out and Toronto FC has scored five goals in their three previous CCL encounters.

But Toronto FC will be missing Danny Koevermans and of course Torsten Frings. Without their two European standouts, the task of scoring goals and stopping Santos from scoring becomes even more difficult.

Still, nothing is impossible. Few gave Toronto FC a chance to get this far, and few gave them a shot of beating Santos at home. While they did not win the home leg, a 1-1 score is surprising to some and a decent enough result heading down to Mexico.

That Toronto FC is the last MLS club standing is a shock. FC Dallas and Colorado did not survive the group stage while LA Galaxy fans surely relished the opportunity of playing Toronto FC instead of Seattle in the quarterfinals.

Toronto FC may go down in flames and they may be swallowed up by the budding Mexican juggernaut in Torreon but the club has done itself proud and done MLS proud in this tournament regardless of the result. And if they do pull off the supposed miracle, they will surely have more MLS supporters in their corner come the final.


Anonymous said...

Big Tex says:

I was completely wrong on my CCL predictions last round, but I think I'll try again. Nothing about this game and TFC's lineup suggests that they can defeat Santos. However, all it takes is a fluke injury, a dumb or mistimed tackle for a sending off, or even an early goal from Toronto and this game could make history for MLS. This game has the feel of the USA vs Japan Women's WC Final to it. I think Toronto pulls off a miracle draw at 2 - 2 and advances on away goals...

Anonymous said...

Big Tex says:

Once again, my optimistic prediction gets trashed. No more for me. I take a "Wait and see" approach in this tournament from now on...