Almost 45,000 people are filing into the Rogers Centre for tonight's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg between the visiting LA Galaxy and host Toronto FC. The stadium is sold out and the crowd will be rowdy as the Canadians try to spur their side onto a win, possibly with the help of the turf, which is hard and not exactly ideal for soccer, but it is what it is and both teams have to play on it.
The Galaxy are going with a starting XI very similar to last season's. The only change in the defense is Andrew Boyens in for the injured Omar Gonzalez and at forward Edson Buddle is in for Chad Barrett, but the midfield is the same four. The only other change that some might have expected from Los Angeles this year is Marcelo Sarvas slotting into the midfield, but he is not eligible to play for LA in the Champions League because he played in it for Alajuelense during the group stage.
Toronto is countering with their expected 4-3-3. Like Sarvas, Eric Avila is cup-tied after playing in the group stage for FC Dallas, so he is out, and Julian de Guzman is too as he serves a suspension. The rest of the Reds' lineup is as expected with a front three of Joao Plata, Danny Koevermans and Ryan Johnson and Torsten Frings anchoring the midfield.