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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TFC vs the Impact: Who exactly is the expansion team here?

Overview: Round 4 of the 401 Derby tonite sees the Reds travel for the 1st time to the newly renovated Saputo Stadium to play an Impact side that is have been scoring for fun lately. 8 goals in the last 2 games against quality opposition, is not exactly a reality TFC, with their sieve-like backline, want to go up against. It's a depressing state of affairs to see the first year Montreal side performing so well, as if they've been in MLS for a while now, say 6 seasons. While the cheeseballs may have a clown for an owner, it's obvious to all who see that Toronto FC is the club that most resembles a circus. While I have a low opinion of joey Saputo, at least he has the club's & its fans interests at heart, instead of doing solely what's best for the bottom line. MLSE would be wise to take note, if they would stop pilfer from our pockets for one minute.

What to look for: If tonight's game wasn't signifigent enough to start with, the debut of marquee signing Marco Di Vaio adds some extra spice to proceedings. The former Italian international will kick off his MLS adventure tonight & you have to think he is salivating to make mince meat of the Reds' porous defence. The transfer window has, mercifully, opened today, & Mariner is making all the right noises about bringing in a "Boss" in defence, but he ain't here yet. Expect many of the same old problems for TFC to appear tonight, most notably their inability to counter crosses into the box & set pieces. L'Impact have a number of dead ball specialists, such as captain Davy Arnaud, who will cause havoc with their deliveries into the box.

Another thing to be on the look for is the fatigue factor. The Reds are in the midst of a brutal run of games & you saw Saturday the beginning signs that it's taking a toll on the boys. Mariner appears to be cut from the old school managerial cloth, that you keep on riding the hot hand until it ceases to be. Not sure that that is the smart course of action. I'm not one for the maddening Rafa Benitez-style rotation-for-the-sake-of-rotation approach, but you do need to give your players, even your stars a chance to charge their batteries from time to time. I fear that this tact from Mariner will end up costing us going forward.

Also, for something fun, let's find time during the match to count the number of empty seats at the Cheeseballs new digs. The fact that Saputo Stadium isn't sold out for a game like this is shocking. What does it say about the calibre of fan base that IMFC can't even manage a full house against their biggest rivals. One thing ia obvious, they may have the better teams, but we TFC fans are the superior supporters.

Bottom Line: If both clubs' recent outing are any indication, we should be in for more than a few goals tonight. I guess you could say that it will be a gouda evening for all who watch, The Impact may feel they are the favourites, but they should not expect TFC to make it a brie-eze for them

Final Score: Toronto 2 Montreal 2

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