For what seems like the first time in weeks we shift our focus back squarely to MLS action. Toronto FC will not return to Champions League action until the start of March so other than waiting for the draw there is less to talk about on that front now. So on Saturday, Toronto kicks off its season finale in the early afternoon against New England Revolution. It will be a battle of the bottom teams in the MLS' Eastern conference and no matter how you try and spin things it is nothing more then a meaningless match. For Toronto that game against Dallas was their cup final and now I honestly do not expect them to produce much against the Revs.
The tricky part of this match will be for Aron Winter to find the balance between giving a few fringe players a run out to see where they fit in the plans going in to the offseason, and putting out a team worthy of the good mood that will likely be around BMO. Not only is it the home finale it is also going to have a party attitude as many fans get together for the first time after that big win in Frisco. I expect Toronto FC to come out with a nice mix in the lineup but would not be surprised if the likes of Frings, De Guzman, and Koevermans start this one on the bench making way for the likes of Matt Gold, Demitrius Omphroy, and Kyle Davies to try and impress.It is hard to find a way to generate any sort of excitement for this game. The fact of the matter is that the Revs are one team that TFC fans can look at and feel a lot better about themselves. The fact is that Toronto may have had a very poor MLS season but they have a lot more potential going forward than the Revs do at the moment. The Revs come in to the game having lost 5 straight, wrapped up last place in the East, and missed the playoffs for a second straight season. Not as bad as Toronto's 5 straight seasons without a trip to the playoffs but looking at current sides it is a fairly clear that TFC are much closer to the playoffs at the moment.
In my search for a way to make this game more interesting and exciting I came across a stat that had yet to even cross my mind. As of right now Toronto FC are equal with their lowest ever total for wins in an MLS season so to avoid tying that record Toronto are going to have to go out and get that big win. So that is something for us all to cheer for. The other thing that might make for an exciting match is that it features the leagues two worst defenses with Toronto allowing 57 goals and New England a not much better 56 in league play. Then again these two team represent some of the worst offenses so don't count on the goals.
I think that the only thing we can count on going in to this game is that we will get the chance to see some of the depth players, Toronto will have a good chance to win if they don't suffer a hangover from the Dallas win, and it should be a fun time as Toronto wraps up its fifth MLS campaign.
So about that roster. Normally I would predict one but for a game like this I honestly have no clue what to expect so rather then a prediction I will wrap up the review with the lineup that I would play if I were Aron Winter.