Toronto FC vs New England Revolution. Is it the future yet? No? Aaaaawwww.

Doneil Henry, not looking all that good against Saer Sene - Winslow Townson

Transfer rumours be damned, there's another game to watch. Oh Joy. For the 2nd time this season Toronto FC head off to New England to face the Revolution.

Yes, that's right. Forget about multiple Argentinian Maximilianos that might or might not be on their way to BMO Field sometime this week. Stop thinking about that golden future where Laba wins the ball, lays a simple pass to Moralez who dances (the tango obviously, they're Argentinian) round a couple of defenders before setting up Urruti to knock it home past a frightened, nay shell shocked, opposition goalie. Don't you dare start wondering about when Tim Leiwecke might have to start wondering about where TFC's parade route would go. You get right back here to 2013 Mister! There's a game to watch, one more torturous stop in the misery, small hope, nope back to misery, slight hope maybe, nope back to misery, ride that is the present season. If I have to stick around and not fast forward to the future, then so do you.

Which will we get this time, the misery of the hope? No-one knows and that's just the way they like it, any torturer worth their wound rubbing salt knows the uncertainty just makes it worse. You can't not watch, this might be one of the good ones, so against all good judgement and what you really know deep down is going to happen you self loathingly submit yourself to it anyway.

What might provide the hope for this one? Well, after the chaos, sudden exits of O'Dea and Silva, and horribly bad games against SKC and Chivas, things have settled down a bit. No further exits, a clean sheet, some goals, even a win. It all adds up to a 2 game unbeaten streak, heady stuff indeed. Clearly not all TFC's problems are solved, especially up front, but a big part of the defensive solidity is a stable-ish lineup after the returns of Doneil Henry and Jeremy Hall. Richard Eckersley's return meaning Ryan Richter could move back to the bench has obviously helped as well.

Despite TFC's goals against Columbus coming after a formational shuffle to a more attacking lineup, I'd expect to be seeing the usual 4-4-2 with 2 dm's as the starting lineup, so there will be stability maintained. The one of the 6 defensive players that might get changed is Ashtone Morgan as he might well be replaced with new signing Jonas Elmer. He's described himself as a defence first kind of left back and you've got to think that sounds good to Ryan Nelsen, especially away from home.

That would provide some intrigue for sure, something worth watching, and talking of new signings, we may well get a longer look at Alvaro Rey after his brief sub appearance vs Columbus, though probably not in a starting position as Jonathan Osorio and Bobby Convey have done enough recently to be continuing in the wide midfield spots.

Up front is where the more difficult to call selection quandaries lie. Danny Koevermans is still out so won't be returning to the scene of his injury last year, and while there was talk of Robert Earnshaw being 50/50, you've got to think Gilette Stadium's plastic pitch isn't the place to be easing anyone back into the side after an injury, maybe he'll make the bench but don't expect more that that.

That does still leave Andy Wiedeman as an option to potentially break up the Jeremy Brockie and Justin Braun partnership. Does his goal last week mean he'll get into the team ahead of either of the less than prolific duo, the annoying, troublesome but in no way killer B's? I'd guess at no, though he may well have vaulted himself to the top of the options to come off the bench if things aren't going well. I think Braun and Brockie both bring different styles of play that can really bother a defence so they'll probably be given another go, with Wiedeman ready to come off the bench and provide the finish against a more beat up defence.

Bringing up New England's defence, well that's where the misery part of all this comes in, as they are very good, especially at home. Jose Goncalves might well be the biggest snub of last week's all star game, as he, Bobby Shuttleworth, Andrew (No thanks, I'll take some allocation money please!) Farrell and co have been a massive part in the Revolution's resurgence and playoff contention. 0.6 goals per game allowed at home, it's a fearsome stat, especially when considering how goal shy TFC have been all year.

They did of course beat TFC 2-0 back in May, and there's really very little that you'd feel confident about that would suggest we'd get anything different this time around. It was 1-0 until injury time in that game and that's about what I'd expect here to be honest. TFC do seem to have finally cleared that mental hurdle, with only 1 last 15 minutes goal given up (and that was the 79th minutes, so not super late, against Chivas)in the last 8 games over 2 months, perhaps Tobias has finally left town. There's still a clear lack of creativity and goal scoring ability though, so I really can't see them troubling the Revs defence.

I'd expect a dull, workmanlike game from TFC, relatively solid at the back, hard work but little inspiration up front, and with Dunleavy, Serioux and Godfrey bringing the Soma of "Kevin Payne mentioned that...' or "expect big moves from TFC this week..." to try and take us away to that magical future world full of Maximilianos. It will be nice when we get there right? Right?

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