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TFC 2010 | Week#21

Exciting Days For TFC

Fireworks at BMO

Fireworks at BMO: Toronto FC beat Cruz Azul 2 - 1 in their Champion's League opener last night

Good News, Bad News

Losses to Kansas City and New York aside, the past few weeks have seen Toronto FC stepping up and delivering in some big matches. The good news is that their performance in Champion’s League contests now has the Reds making historic strides on the international stage. The bad news is that their playoff hopes for 2010 – and the MLS Cup game being played here at BMO in November – are not looking so certain.

Time to win on the Road

It gets tiring saying it, but every game right now is a big game. Toronto FC are having their best season yet, but they are not exactly bound for glory. It’s not too late to make believers out of cynics, but time is running short and the schedule is getting more congested with the Champion’s League added on.

Like a broken record, you’re going to hear it again and again – the Reds have to get some results on the road.

Otherwise, they may not make it into the MLS playoffs. Points squandered earlier this season – a few games where TFC took draws instead of wins – will surely come into play now. It’s reckoning time, and Toronto FC need to step it up.

NY Yankees er… Red Bulls in town

Saturday’s return-leg match against the Red Bulls will be another decisive test of Preki’s TFC. With Theirry Henry, Juan Pablo Ángel and Rafael Marquez as their three Designated Players, the NY Yankee-izing Red Bulls will be intent on ending the Reds unbeaten record at BMO Field.

The Red Bulls have started a DP arms race this season, as MLS clubs without Designated Players are now defensively loading up with these weapons. Thankfully, the MLS’ rules and structure constrain a runaway managers’ war using this tactic. Nevertheless, the Red Bulls are now becoming a favourite on paper for the MLS title. Can the ‘money is no obstacle’ glamour club beat us at home this week?

Now that Maicon Santos and Chad Barrett are nursing injuries, O’Brian White and Mista will have to stand and deliver up front. If anything can be said of last night’s game against Mexico’s Cruz Azul, it would be that they’re both up for the challenge. White might need to find some more confidence having been a sub for most of the season, but potting one goal might be all he needs in that regard. Mista’s main issue seems to be fitness as Preki only allows him 60 minutes per match. His quality on the ball is hard to argue with, though, and it would be great to see Mista get both more time and more goals going forward.

DeRo’s Sweet Spot

The best news of late, in my opinion, is that Preki is finally allowing Dwayne De Rosario to play from an attacking midfielder position. While effective and threatening as a forward/striker, DeRo is truly his best when he can play maestro directly behind two strikers. As the past few games have proven, Toronto FC seem to have their most creative and effective offense when he’s in that position.

Fan-tastic

Win or lose, playoffs or not, this is a great time to be a Toronto FC fan. It may not be the World Cup, but there is a ton of drama every time the Reds hit the pitch these days. I’m glad to be back from family holidays and TV/internet challenged locales. I’m looking forward to some exciting weeks ahead.

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