Onwards we trudge to the end of the season, with only 17th place to play for and the 'fun' of playing spoiler. But what exactly does that mean? what exactly should TFC be trying to spoil. Sure we could beat Philadelphia and that would be a massive blow to their playoff hopes, but does anyone really have any ill will towards Philadelphia? Same in a couple of weeks, beating Chicago would hurt their chances, but would that bring any good schadenfreude? Beating Montreal however is always fun, knocking them out of the playoffs on the last day of the season would be magnificent stuff, and not all that far fetched, it's very tight from 2nd to 8th, and Philadelphia and Chicago are immediately below the Impact, currently in 4th. Lose today, lose in a couple of weeks in Chicago, then beat Montreal and knock them out would be the perfect way to end the season, that would really be playing spoiler.
So I say let's tank for a couple of games, play Bekker, see what he can do, heck play Aparicio and Welshman, or even Quillan Roberts. Ryan Nelsen definitely has options in this game with Caldwell and Osorio once again back from the naughty spot, who occupies the two defensive midfield spots might give us an idea about Darel Russell's chances of being here next season.
One last thing TFC, if you're somehow winning and Philly have a set piece in injury time, even if you're down to ten men, for the love of god someone find and closely mark Jack McInerney. Okay?
For a fuller preview, click here for all our usual preview articles in our game hub. We'll have team news when it hits twitter, then commentary and the usual nonsense throughout the game.
Before all that though, a question re the fight for 17th. Yes, finishing 18th would mean a higher draft pick for the Whitecaps, 2nd over 3rd overall, which would be very annoying, but it would also mean TFC being 2nd instead of 3rd in all the other rounds of the drafts both Super and supplemental, the waiver draft and all the various allocation orders that might bring good players though the season, as well as presumably meaning we benefit more from the annual allocation cash for sucking program that MLS so generously provides (soon to be re-named the TFC fund).
So yes, it would suck to help the Whitecaps more than we have to, and I've argued that that was a good reason not to tank, and to try and finish as high as we can, but is it worth it. Should Operation Tank be the plan?