Whitecaps/ Toronto FC Game Intro
MAY 16, 2012 vs TOR
at BC Place
Toronto on the other hand had been suffering through their worst season in MLS, with no wins to date, but did manage a victory over Montreal last time out against the Impact in their first round Canadian Championships playoff.
The two teams have experienced very contrasting levels of success this year, but a two legged playoff can be very unpredictable, especially one with so many implications as this battle for Canada’s only Champions League spot.
The sole spot carries much prestige and a big financial windfall with the extra matches against international opposition.
TFC has had sole possession of the Champions League berth for the past three years and will be loath to give it up.
There is a great deal of national pride at stake here as well and, considering the strain and stress of this poor season for the reds, the team wants success here to salvage a very disappointing year.
The danger man for TFC will be Dutch striker Danny Koevermans, who is returning from injury. He is one of two players for the easterners, along with Canadian Julian de Guzman, who can conjure something out of nothing.
The defence though is the weak link for TFC, and can be exploited by the Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps have the speed and skill at forward to unsettle the TFC back line and the challenge will be for Vancouver to get in behind the Toronto midfield.
Speedy Jamaican forward Darren Mattocks should earn a first start of the year to provide an element of unpredictability for the ‘Caps.
TFC has been poor this year, but do possess a core of talent.
They are also better rested than Vancouver, as there was no weekend MLS game for the reds, so there could be a big push early by Toronto.
But they will also be missing inspirational midfielder Torsten Frings and are vulnerable.
Vancouver will produce a squeaker of a 1-0 home victory over Toronto FC.