With Toronto FC out of the playoff picture in terms of domestic play and neither the Canadians nor home team FC Dallas assured of a place in the knockout rounds with anything but a win, the CONCACAF Champions League match between the two sides is set to be one of those matches that neither team is willing to lose. It'd be nice to expect that we'll see two teams hammering each other, but that seems unlikely considering the composition of the clubs.
Daniel Robertson of SB Nation's FC Dallas Blog Big D Soccer and the combination of Dave Rowaan and Duncan Fletcher at Toronto FC blog Waking the Red both agree that it's going to be incredibly nervy, and both blogs agree that the hosts' ability on the counterattack will dominate the match. Here's Daniel's take:
This one is probably going to be a nervy, nail-biting game. Dallas has not allowed a goal to Toronto in 3 1/2 games this season, but they've also never been more than a goal up on them. The difference in tonight's game is that TFC goes into this one knowing anything other than a win is curtains for them so there should be plenty of room for the Dallas counter-attack to exploit a poor Toronto back line.
I think the key for Toronto will be to keep the game tight early on, if we go a goal down early and have to chase the game, then i think it could end up getting ugly with another of those heavy losses we've been sporadically having all year as Dalllas will burn us on the break. If we can keep it at 0-0 for as long as possible, eventually we'll get a chance from somewhere, if that chance can fall to Danny Koevermans, there's a very good chance he'll bury it. If it gets to the last 15 minutes or so and we still need a goal, then I'd suggest change things around to a more attacking formation, but not much earlier than that.
So, if you're looking for expansive, open football, it's best to look elsewhere. However, if you like the pressure cooker of tight games that neither side can really afford to lose, you could do far worse than tuning into the affair at Pizza Hut Park this evening at 8:00 PM EST.