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TFC 2012

Tired or Inspired?

Tired

The official talking point for today’s final leg of the CCL Quarter Final is that LA are tired. Apparently, last week’s CCL match in Toronto wore them out. That’s the explanation being tossed about for the Galaxy’s late game collapse at home on the weekend against Real Salt Lake. The 3-1 loss to RSL was the first time LA lost on their home turf in over a year.

They’ve had a bit of rest since. And they’re brushing off the media-gab this week about their fatigue. One thing is certain, the Galaxy are going to come out tonight looking to clog up TFC. The Galaxy managed to do so quite effectively in the second half last Wednesday. And LA is often content to keep the scoring low.

A  0 – 0 or 1 – 1 draw tonight (even 2 – 2) would be enough for LA to advance to the next round.

Inspired?

Toronto FC must win or they’ll be sent packing. In theory, a 3 – 3 draw would get them past the Galaxy. The odds of that six goal game seem very low to me.

For all the hyperbole about last week’s CCL game being the biggest in franchise history, tonight’s must surpass it. The shock and glory of defeating LA at home would be a big monument for this club. It would be a great statement about the club’s performance turn-around since last summer. Without a doubt, TFC would benefit as a team and organization from this achievement.

Toronto will have to repeat their early goal-scoring this week. A one goal margin will again leave the Galaxy in the driver’s seat. Above all, TFC have to shore up the defending. Whether it’s bad luck or mental errors, the Reds must end their persisting habit of faltering under pressure.

I think this team has it in them to win. I’m hoping tonight is the moment they find the inspiration to reach that top form for a full 90 minutes. They pulled it out against FC Dallas in the fall, and earned a 3 – 0 road victory to get to this stage. They’ll need another performance of that calibre to achieve this second knock-out.

Or Fired…

Ok, that’s just my hyperbole. Nobody’s going to lose their job either way over the match tonight. It’s clear, though, that management of both sides have put a lot of stock in this competition.

A victory for Aron Winter would surely set him up for a contract extension, even before it expires at the end of next season. He’s pitching a three-year turn-around and still has grace in most our minds. A few more steps in the CCL early this season, however, would be a big boost for his credentials in Toronto.

Bruce Arena and the Galaxy are trying to roll up as much hardware as they can in the short-term. They feel they are the MLS’ superpower right now, and they want to set records and bring home trophies. It would be a big smack-down for them to be pushed out of the CCL by a Toronto FC. Most commentators feel TFC are still a marginal team.

Again, what more can a fan desire? A match for all the marbles? The stakes are high. And our underdog side has a fighting chance. C’mon you Reds!

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