So here we go, starting the 7th time round on TFC's glorious managerial carousel. Will this be the time it magically works and we finally get the right mix of tactical nous, pragmatism, experience and ego wrangling skills to bring some much needed success? Can Paul Mariner at least bring some measure of consistence and longevity to the position (depressingly, Aron Winter getting 10 games into his 2nd season puts him above John Carver at the top of that particularly short totem pole) and get us into a situation of more seasons than head coaches?
He doesn't get an easy start, what with a game at Houston following tonight's game against Sporting Kansas City. They aren't quite the juggernauts they seemed at the start of the season having cooled off a little after that 7-0 start, and injuries and international callups should give their lineup a considerable B team feel. It could also mean that Captain America himself Jacob Peterson gets into the team alongside USMNT castoff Teal Bunbury to give the game a double does of villainy.
A win is probably unlikely here, but it's more about signs of hope and seeing how the new system (yeah, that's right Paul, I'm still saying system) suits the players. Will it be just the minor tweaks we were promised, or will it be the full on return of 'hoofball' that some supporters are fearing? We'll get the first evidence tonight, so at the very least it should be interesting.
For further pre game reading, click here for Dave's preview, and James's usual in depth breakdown of the opposition, and you can of course check out The Daily Wiz for the Kansas City viewpoint of the game. If you're reading this before the game starts, there is of course time to enter your prediction for Are You Smarter Than Preki.
The game kicks off at 8:30, and I'll be here with lineups when they hit twitter as well as general chat in the comments section, so join us then.
Come On You Reds!