Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let's Not Forget About Toronto

On Wednesday night, the Battery will face Canada's Toronto FC in the second set of games in the 8th annual Carolina Challenge Cup. In the first set of games on Saturday night, Toronto went down to a 10-man Chicago Fire SC 1-0, and the Battery also lost, to DC United, 2-1. Here's what to expect on Wednesday night:

Toronto is the MLS' constant underachievers. They are the only team (excluding last year's new expansion Philidelphia Union, and the two new teams, Portland and Vancouver) that haven't made the playoffs. Despite great fans, good attendance, and a great stadium, Toronto just can't seem to get over the hump. Last year they finished 5th in the Eastern Division and 11th overall in the MLS. In last year's edition of the CCC they failed to win a game or even score a goal.

Toronto will most likely come out in a 4-4-2, as they did against the Fire on Saturday. Swiss International Stefan Frei will most likely start in goal for TFC. He played the full 90 against Chicago. The backline will probably consist of some combination of Dan Gargan, Nana Attakora, Mikael Yourassowsky, Matt Stinson, Andrew Ornoch, and Ashione Morgan. In the midfield look for Nathan Sturgis, Javier Martina, and Nick Labrocca. Up front will probably be Maicon Santos and Joao Plata. This is all speculation of course.

Toronto got 4 yellow cards in Saturday match against Chicago. Plata, Labrocca, Soolsma, and Yourassowksy, all were cautioned in that match. This could be considered Tornto being less talented, but I think that they just got straight out played, and frustration obviously could have been a factor.

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