Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire: Time To Show This Time It’s Different
No more excuses. That’s it really – Toronto FC are to that part of the schedule that they’ve been holding up and talking about as the fall back for late season disappointments – well here it is, the easy pickings part of the schedule. Although it started out rough with the game against NYCFC, they rebounded nicely against the Rapids last weekend and now the sad sack Fire are in town (plus Philly coming up next week). If ever there was a team that TFC should beat, it’s Chicago. They’ve floundered all season, they finally fired their coach, they leak goals like a sieve (although TFC has STILL let in more) and they’ve not won a single road game this year. Not one. So today’s game (2pm, BMO Field, TSN) should be a gimme for our Reds.
Now on the flipside of all this ‘sure thing, easy win’ talk are a couple of notable points: Toronto FC have not won a game against the Fire in FIVE YEARS. FIVE. I wish I were kidding. Fun right? And then of course there’s Ol Gil – yes, it’s Gilberto’s (likely) triumphant return to BMO Field after all the nonsense of the off season and then the bit of madness when his loan ended, he’ll be in the starting XI and you know this story folks – ex Red with something to prove = goals. Of course Gil hasn’t exactly lit it up since his return to MLS but see the previous sentence and feel a bit trepidatious.
Make no mistake, TFC needs this win to give themselves some breathing space. While yes, they are all but assured their first playoff spot in franchise history, it’s still well within their powers to fall apart and mess it all up. And yes, there is a part of my brain (and yours too, admit it) that expects them to – we’re TFC fans, this is what happens. 5-0 anyone? However this should (SHOULD) be their year to finally get a playoff game and today’s game is a must for them to get to that point.
So which TFC will show up? Will we see the shouty, in charge Damien Perquis from last week? Does Jackson finally return to the lineup – and let Marky Delgado get back to being an attacking player – to bring a bit more balance to the defense? Who scores the goals this week? The big question th0ugh is will they play a professional, take no prisoners, defend smartly kind of game. The temptation is to do all sorts of crazy things against a lesser opponent, but why? Stick with what’s worked, play smart, get the three points. Even if it’s boring as hell. Please.
Things You Need To Know:
1. Ol Gil is back and it’s his time to shine! Probably. Don’t blame me when he scores.
2. Magic Mike McGee is a shell of his former self – but mark him all the same. Savvy veterans are not to be ignored.
3. Toronto have 5 games left in the season. They need to win 4 of those games to guarantee themselves a home playoff game.
4. Damien Perquis: which one will we see? Do we need to post lots of negative comments to get him fired up again?
5. Greg Vanney has been cutting and pasting select negative quotes in each player’s locker (probably true).
6. No monsoon today – enjoy our literal moment in the sun.
7. This is the second game in a five game homestand – enjoy getting to see our team play for a month straight.
8. The last game of the season is in Montreal – do you have your tickets yet?
9. Watch Seba today (as you do every day) he could break an MLS record today.
10. The rumours that Ferris Bueller will be a late season signing are just that, rumours. (He’s a close personal friend and is getting me out of summer school).
This should be a rout; it should. Which means it’s more likely to be a hard fought, grinding game as games against the Fire almost always are. However, they are in freefall and TFC are very motivated so hopefully we get to see some goals and see our Reds get closer to that elusive playoff spot. Watch Gil, watch Seba and enjoy. Prediction: 3-1 TFC