So here we are again. Haplessly bumbling along in the league, and hoping for yet another 'Where the hell did that come from? Who are you? And what have you done with TFC?' performance in the cup. You all know the unlikely sequence of results and good performances that have got us to this point, (if not ,enjoy this recap, in poem form. seriously.) but tonight, can TFC pull off their unlikeliest win yet?
If TFC are going to have any chance, they'll have to play similarly to how they did against Columbus, keeping it tight defensively and not taking too many risks, then hope for a little more luck or sharpness in front of goal. They'll have to play a mistake free game and have almost every little thing go their way to even out the obvious imbalance in skill, experience and form. I can't help but think we'll see a re-run of the Canada-Mexico game from Saturday, some good periods, the odd chance, maybe even a goal, but ultimately, a lot of chasing the ball as the mexicans pass it around confidently, and ending in an honourable defeat. But stranger things have happened, and if there's one thing we've learnt recently, it's to not write TFC off in a cup game.
In the immortal words of Russell Osman, "We can win this!" (the Escape to Victory analogy really works, a ragtag collection of people from many different countries, with an injured goalie and an injured star player, given no chance, taking on a vastly superior team and a dodgy ref (I'm guessing at that one, but i think there's a good chance) and hey, a 4-4 tie would certainly be enough to get me shouting victoire! I just hope it doesn't come down to a last minute penalty save, and a post game pitch invasion probably wouldn't be a good thing for TFC, aside from that it's perfect).
For fuller previews, check out Dave putting a brave face on against the odds and expert opinion, and James' usual know your enemy feature looking at Santos' form, tactics, and what changes they'll make from the first leg. Also, here's Eben Lehman answering my questions, and Eben's article over at FMF state of Mind looking at the developing rivalry fuelling fan interest down in Torreon after last week's unpleasantness. For those looking for another random reason to cheer for TFC, well, it's fun reading Benjamin Massey deal with the realisation he actually wants them to win.
The game starts at 8, we'll be here earlier with general nervousness, and team news and such like when it hits twitter. Join us.
Come on you Reds!