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TFC 2010 | Week#27

Last Shot At Playoffs

Seattle Sounders FC vs  Toronto FC

The drama of the past month and a record of 1 – 5 – 2 in the past eight games are not encouraging signs of a post-season. Toronto FC are now 8 points out of the wild-card race, fourth in the East behind Columbus, New York and the surging Kansas City. So, with four games remaining, three wins probably won’t be enough to make the playoffs. Four wins, however, might just do it.

That miracle would have to start this afternoon with a trip to Qwest Field in Seattle to face the Sounders. Seattle hasn’t lost a league game at home since June, and are sitting pretty for a playoff spot with 39 points and four matches remaining. Toronto have nothing left to lose at this point. An away win today would be a significant achievement. Anything short of that outcome and the season will more or less be over for the Reds.

Working in Toronto’s favour, Seattle has had a busy travel schedule in September. They are coming off a Champion’s League victory this week and have a mid-week contest against Columbus for the U.S. Open Cup. With all that action, Toronto have to hope to catch Seattle tired and distracted. The biggest change in the game plan would have to be scoring. Toronto FC has struggled all season to get the ball in the goal, and they’ll have to make good on the few chances Seattle will allow them.

My guess  is that interim coach Nick Dasovic will direct the Reds toward an aggressive attack today. Their best hope would be scoring the first goal and taking the game to the Sounders.  Toronto FC’s back line will have to be confident and resilient. With Sanna Nyassi due to return and Steve Zakuani on the other flank, Seattle will have two credible wide threats. Down the middle, Seattle’s Freddy Montero and Blaise Nkufo are capable goal scorers too.

For a real shot at the playoffs, some other matches need to fall Toronto’s way today as well. Tonight’s match between the Kansas City Wizards and host New York Red Bulls ought to provide some hope, provided NY doesn’t choke on their home turf. Columbus is playing host to San Jose tonight as well, and the Reds could receive some help from the Crew in keeping the Earthquakes closer to the wild-card margins.

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