Welcome again to another edition of 3 questions but this time we go all in with 6 questions. Our brother/sister blog Waking The Red answers our questions, we answer theirs and share some knowledge in between with everyone else. David Rowaan gladly represents Waking The Red and joins in the fun and serious of talking Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC and more. You can find our answers by clicking here.
- Let's open it up right now and get our hands dirty right away: is there a Toronto FC - Montreal Impact rivalry/derby as we speak? Whether it currently exists or not, how will it develop?
There is a rivalry but problem is this season much of the current group at your club is not going to get the nature of the rivalry. Their are just so few Impact players around now that have spent enough time in Canada to understand that these cities do have a natural rivalry and this game is going to mean a lot to the fans. I would say that by the end of these five games this year there will be a much bigger rivalry on the field but for now it is likely to be a derby that is most strongly felt in the crowd. Now if only we knew what we were going to call this thing!
- I really don't see how this rivalry could go political hence we, the media, decide to make it so and the fans. Will the rivalry be solely on the pitch with physical and mental battles?
This rivalry is one that will certainly be in the stands for now and will be much bigger in the media then it will actually be on the field. That should change over the course of even this first season as all it will take is one bad tackle to get that bad blood pumping on both sides of the ball. With several thousand Toronto FC fans traveling to the game there will be a clear red presence in the stands which may serve to motivate both teams to put on a show. For now though this rivalry is all about the fans.
More after the jump....
- Battle of the midfield . The lineups have not been confirmed but how would you see the Toronto FC taking on what might be a not so different Montreal Impact midfield as per the player profiles and roles. Both with no assigned playmaker and playing a flat-ish 4-man midfield, we might see a physical,technical battle to get the ball, keep it and attack.
For Toronto there really is no way you can call their midfield a flat four. First off the team will likely be playing a pair of holding midfielders from Terry Dunfield, Julian De Guzman, and Matt Stinson. Then there will be the one attacking midfielder to complete the point forward triangle that Aron Winter seems to prefer. That spot will probably be filled by Luis Silva or Eric Avila even though something has been off with Avila this season and his minutes have been limited. That midfield set up basically leaves two guys to do a lot of the battling and puts a lot of pressure on the holding midfielders who will be sitting very deep today to protect the back four. The fun battle could be TFC's attacking mid giving someone like Bernier a good workout.
- What is the strongest point of your team? And how did it show on the pitch?
The strongest point of this team is probably still the goal keeping as Milos Kocic remains one of the most consistent MLS keepers. On paper though the strong point should be the attack with Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson, Joao Plata, Reggie Lambe, and Nick Soolsma all being dangerous players. Problem with that is the team has one MLS goal so far this season so it basically is not showing on the pitch, so far.
- What is the weakest point of your team? And how did the coaching staff try and minimize the risks around that weakness
For TFC, the weak point is obviously the defending. At this stage there seems to be no real solution. You could rush Adrian Cann back after he has been off injured for 10 months or you could decide to throw 18 year old Doneil Henry into the fire and potentially harm his long term development. They also have SuperDraft pick Aaron Maund but he is not ready to play at the MLS level and has already made far too many costly mistakes. The staff tries to deal with this by frequently playing the "top" pairing of Ty Harden and Miguel Aceval and then keeping midfielders around to cover them as much as possible. That got a lot harder though when Frings went down for a couple of months.