NCC 2011 | TFC 2011

Litmus Test And Bling

aka The NutCanLa Plata

I’m sure we can all agree it’s silverware. And there’s never a bad time to accumulate the trophy and the honours. So at the very least, tonight’s NCC final against the VanCanuck Whitecaps is about taking home the shiny thing.

It’s clear Aron Winter has taken the competition seriously. Coming from Europe, this is no surprise. It’s good for the club, and it’s about long-term success and recognition – the legacy issues. Aron seems to be a serious guy. And those big picture issues seem to be high on his list of goals.

Bob de Klerk, on the other hand, was reputedly caught in a dark corner of BMO clutching the Cup and whispering “my precious… my precious… “.

A Significant Milestone

This will be the third meeting of these two teams in the first twelve weeks of this season. If anyone wants to take stock of the progress Aron Winter is making at Toronto FC, tonight should be a fair measure. The first encounter resulted in a 4-2 defeat in the season opener. Last week, TFC was outplayed for long stretches of the match and still managed to eke out a 1-1 draw in Vancouver.

Returning to BMO field tonight, the Reds have a chance to rewrite the story playing out between these rivals. In sum, Vancouver has looked like the better team in competition. TFC, however, are just now finding their game. Inconsistent to a fault thus far, this could be the week the Reds turn the corner together.

A very respectable away draw Sunday against the 2010 MLS Cup Champion Colorado Rapids should lift their confidence. It was the first competent and complete game the team has played under Winter. Toronto FC will need to come out and show the same poise and work ethic tonight to clinch the 2011 NCC.

It would be nice to see the Reds hammer the Whitecaps in front of the cheering masses at BMO. Another tightly contested 0-0 draw, however, would be enough to seal the deal. Either way, I’m hoping to see more of what TFC put on the pitch this past weekend.

With Julian de Guzman returning, and Tony Tchani mending, the toughness and work rate in the midfield should be high. Perhaps another night of Yourassowski, Eckersley and Plata action can help unhinge Vancouver early.

Oh sweet bragging rights. So much mileage we can gain in slagging the ‘caps this season. Even if Vancouver runs for the top of the MLS this year (bets anyone?), we’d still have the NutCan over them.


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