This match is about as close to a must win as any MLS September contest can be. Toronto FC, winless in their last four MLS matches, is currently sitting in 10th place only two points ahead of the Fire in the race for the final MLS wildcard playoff spots. TFC has only eight matches remaining and only three of those are at home where the Canadian side has been very difficult to beat.
Dwayne DeRosario, Julian De Guzman, and Nana Attakora have all been released from national team duty in order to play in this match. A welcome sight for TFC fans since every match is vital in order to keep any playoff hopes alive. The trio was not available for this past weekend's 1-0 loss in
During the first meeting between these two sides on May 8 the Fire provided their worst effort of the season to date, a 4-1 embarrassment which saw
In midfield, TFC will be without Martin Saric who was shown a red card late in the
The backline of Nick Garcia, Adrian Cann, Ty Harden, and Maksim Usanov have started the last two matches although Attakora and Gargan have both seen considerable time. Stefan Frei has started every match in goal.
The Fire have placed themselves in a position in which they can no longer afford further mistakes or mental errors. Every minute of the remaining 10 matches must be approached with the intensity and concentration of a playoff final. Although the team has listed no players on the current injury report, Carlos De Los Cobos will still not have his best selection at his disposal. Apparently Marco Pappa will not be available for the match since the Guatemalan National team is in action tonight. The same goes for Deris Umanzor.
De Los Cobos may also opt for a true two forward formation if Nery Castillo and Collins John are selected in the first eleven. Castillo's natural position is that of the withdrawn or playmaking forward which moves Freddie Ljungberg back into the playmaking midfield role. Assuming that Patrick Nyarko fills one of the midfield wing positions, the inclusion of both Castillo and Ljungberg into the starting line up probably moves John Thorrington into a wing position or the bench. De Los Cobos faces a difficult decision between Logan Pause and John Thorrington in this formation. Pause is best suited to fill the holding midfield role since his first inclination is to defend and err on the side of caution while Thorrington provides more bite offensively but does not defend as well as Pause. Thorrington is also prone to the occasional hard tackle resulting in unneeded yellow cards. With Nyarko on one side and Pappa unavailable Thorrington could move outside or Mike Banner can be utilized on the left side as he was this past Saturday against
Defensively Krzysztof Krol will resume the left back responsibilities after Gonzalo Segares' straight red card ejection. Wilman Conde and CJ Brown will return in the middle while a healthy Dasan Robinson could supplant Steven Kinney at right back. If Sean Johnson continues his current form it should be difficult for
Fire : None Reported
Fire 2 TFC 0
Anything less than three points has to be considered a loss. Actually losing to TFC in