It's already the third meeting between the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC with only 2 months into the MLS season. Both teams have had a similar beginning to their season marred by losses but the Impact always produced a promise to better things on the field. On the other hand, Toronto FC was not able to learn or want to learn from its defeats, a sequence of a win-less 2012 MLS season interrupted by a semi-final in CONCACAF Champions League.
Toronto FC will look to save face by going all the way in the 2012 Amway Canadian Championship and rekindle with the CONCACAF Champions League. On the other side, the Montreal Impact have clearly decided to take the competition seriously by fielding its regular starters for both legs and also '' discovered '' a deeper squad with a few not-so-surprising surprise in its shocker of a win against Sporting Kansas City.
On one side, Aron Winter is probably playing his job in the 2nd leg and still trying to create a team (but there is a still a final to be won if TFC goes through) and on the other side, Jesse Marsch.Both teams could not be more different in their recent forms, their players and soccer style. But Jesse Marsch does not underestimate a hurt animal and expects a difficult game as he says
One thing is for sure, the last 30 minutes of Wednesday's game will be crazy
Where: BMO Field
When: 08/05/2012 at 8:00 PM
On TV: Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Out : GK Stefan Frei - Left lower leg , Dicoy Williams - Right knee surgery , Nick Soolsma - Left hamstring strain
, Nicholas Lindsay - Left knee surgery
Questionable : Jeremy Hall - Sports hernia , Danny Koevermans - Right adductor strain , Torsten Frings - Shoulder
Out : Zarek Valentin - Right calf contusion , Josh Gardner - Left hamstring tendinitis , Evan James - Fractured nose
Probable : Justin Mapp - Left hamstring strain
Toronto FC : Kocic -- Hall, Cann, Henry, Morgan -- de Guzman, Dunfield, Avila -- Johnson, Lambe, Plata
Montreal Impact : Ricketts -- Wahl, Ferrari, Thomas, Brovsky -- Ubiparipovic , Bernier, Warner, Neagle - Nyassi , Corradi
Keys to the game
There is a doubt in Torsten Frings being available after picking up what was apparently a shoulder injury against DC United. If there was one player that could make a difference in such an important game, it would have been him. TFC still has the likes of Luis Silva and Eric Avila that might try to step up in this important game. The midfield battle will be won by which midfield presses the other one the most by not letting them have a flow and break up their passes.
Montreal seems to have the upper hand with a much mature midfield in tactical sense, soccer intelligence and aggressiveness. This does not mean that TFC's midfield is lobotomized but a similar performance from the red midfield will doom them against a strong Montreal Impact midfield.
After a very defensive approach in the first leg, TFC will need and try to score the first goal to force Montreal to open up and vice versa applies as well. Talking of scoring, it's a sector that the Impact will need to improve on and actually not falter as they previously did in the 1st leg.. Karma is very present in soccer and you can get so many chances and not score until your opponent gets half a chance and becomes an efficiency expert.
Jesse Marsch is conscious of the importance of the Canadian Championship and adding silverware to the Impact's trophy room is always welcomed. In Montreal's path is Toronto FC, a team that never started its season the right way and has been scrambling since.