So here we are, over 4 months since the end of the 2011 season, and over a month since pre season started, and now we finally get to see a Toronto FC game. Yay.
Yes it's still just preseason, and yes it's just the Mickey Mouse Cup (and yes, i know calling it that isn't big, clever or in any way original, but tough) so we probably shouldn't be jumping to too many conclusions based on what we see today and over the next week or so. On the other hand, there's less than 2 weeks now until TFC's latest Biggest! Game! Ever! (ah, welcome back old running gag, you still amuse me.) so you'd think there might be some attempt to get some first choice team chemistry going.
After today's game, the Reds will have it their way against BK Hacken of Sweden and, if things don't go well in these games, will play their only pre-season game against MLS opposition in FC Dallas. If things do go well, we'll get one more game, maybe against one of our Canadian brethren in the final or 3rd place match. Whatever happens there's not much time, so we'll have to look to these games for an answer to, or at least hints at answers to all the questions and worries we've kept pent up for the last third of a year, starting at the back and moving our way through the team.
Who's the number one goalie? Has Frei improved his ability to come out for crosses and command his box? Can we finally put out a competent back 4? Is Richard Eckersely burnt to a crisp yet? Is Miguel Aceval as silky smooth bringing the ball out of the back as advertised? Is Geovanny Caicedo still 'chasing fitness'?
Who's going to be with Torsten Frings in midfield for that LA game when Julian de Guzman and Eric Avila can't play? Is Frings too old to continue his dominance? Will de Guzman continue his improved play? If not, what's his excuse going to be this year? Can Luis Silva keep up his torrid 2 goals and 2 assists per game pace, or is he not quite the golden booted magician that university game made him look like?
Has Joao Plata got any new moves, or at least learnt how to use his left foot a bit more? Is Reggie Lambe the new Plata, or the new Javier Martina? Do we have any kind of reliable backup to Danny Koevermans?
Will we see more young players take a step forward rather than a step back? Will the stream be good enough to allow us any kind of insight at all? Finally, and a little off topic, after watching half of last night's game, are Montreal really that bad?
Tune in at 6pm tonight, and join us in the comments section before then, for answers to all of the above and more! When I say us, I mean Dave. What will I be doing? Well after 4 months of champing at the bit for some real live hot TFC action, I'll probably get the first half in, then I'll be going out for dinner. Happy Birthday Red Wine Roz!