Toronto FC vs NYCFC: What Testimonial? Can TFC Beat The Baby Blues?
Two weeks has felt like a really long time hasn’t it? Even though we’ve had the Women’s World Cup and World Cup qualifying matches for the men’s team all going on, it’s still been odd not having TFC to watch and it’s only been two weeks – we may be getting spoiled. Anyway, they’re back in action this weekend to kick off a three game home stand over the next week – that’s right, three games in eight days, followed by just one home game in July…but we’ll worry about that later.
The important thing is that this game should have the team back to full strength roster wise – and by that I mean the roster that’s seen Toronto FC gain a decent foothold in the Eastern Conference and looking pretty decent doing so. Some noteworthy performances from Seba – who we like very much – Benoit Cheyrou, Ashtone Morgan, Michael Bradley and Chris ‘Caveman’ Konopka (among others) have helped to put TFC on a pretty nice run of form. Which of course means that their team record tying three game win streak is likely to come crashing to a halt. What? You think eight years of disappointment and shattered hopes get washed away that easily? Come on now, you were thinking it too.
Honestly our Reds should come away from this game with three points – they’ve got all of the regular starters back, either from injury or international duty – and those that were carrying knocks have had time off to rest. The three players returning from international duty – Bradly, Morgan and Jonathan Osorio – all had pretty excellent games while away and should be returning with a lot of confidence. All of these are good things for any team, but TFC always needs as many good things as possible – like I said, we’re not out of the woods just yet.
It’s easy to look at Toronto’s first match against NYC FC and think, easy win. They’ve not exactly set the league on fire and currently languish at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in a three-way tie of mediocrity with the Chicago Fire and the Montreal Impact on 14 points but with less than a point per game and only three wins on the season. Of course two of those wins have come in their last two games as they’ve managed to start to gel and got results. That is until they ran into the New York Cosmos in US Open Cup play on Wednesday night, and ended up losing 4-3 on penalties. So they’re coming into Toronto a bit beaten and egos bruised, led by Jason Kreis (superstar) who’s had the look of a man who’s plans haven’t quite gone as expected for much of the season.
*Writer’s note: due to yet again gremlins in the machine (swear I’ve not been feeding the Mogwai after midnight) many paragraphs of careful and thoughtful analysis about David Villa and NYCFC were deleted. So once again here are the things you need to know for today*:
1. David Villa is good. Scary good. And starting to play like the guy that kind of ruled La Liga for all those years. Mark him at all times.
2. DeRo’s Testimonial match is at 3pm. You should go to that.
3. You can leave in between the DeRo match and the NYCFC match.
4. Seba could break DeRo’s assist record today. Which is both sad and appropriate.
5. NYCFC have been terrible on the road: 1 win, 4 losses and have scored less than a goal a game when away from Yankee stadium
6. Jozy’s back – this should mean some exciting stuff up top
7. Collen Warner is back. The holding winger is returning just in time
8. DeRo’s official retirement ceremony (read: Wall of Honour unveiling) is at 6:45. You should probably go to that too. Or not; I’m not your mother.
9. If TFC win today they will set a new club record for wins in a row at 4.
10. Apparently Heritage Nights are back at BMO Field – tonight is Italian Heritage Night. Get ready for Primo pasta giveaways at the gate.
11. It’s going to be a beautiful day as the weather gods appear to be smiling: wear sunscreen!
That’s it, those are your things to know for today’s game. See you at BMO. Oh, Toronto FC win 3-1 is my prediction. And that Konopka plays.