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Toronto FC vs AS Roma. Preview/Game Thread

AS Ro-Meh! AS No-Ma! Serie Nah! The potential for derisive punning almost makes this match worthwhile. Almost.

Ryan knows!
Ryan knows!

AS Roma vs Toronto FC (This is effectively a Roma home game so I'll put them first
BMO Field, 8pm
TSN (Seriously? This one makes the main channel rather than be shunted off to TSN2? Jesus wept.)

Yeah, yeah, a 2 game win streak, 3 game unbeaten streak, possible new signings, whatever. Get your priorities right people, we've got something special going on right now, a mid season friendly! AS Roma are here! Wow.

Yes, it's once again that time of year when TFC gets to bask in the reflected glory of some big team from Europe and just pray that no-one gets injured. Yay.

Just like last season, TFC come into this game with a bit of form behind them. Last season it was a 3 game win streak and 16 points in their previous 9 games before the match against Liverpool, they didn't win another league game all season. Hopefully there won't be a similar reaction this time. It'd be very harsh though to put that down to anything other than a coincidence that's fun to maliciously use as a point against this type of game, but there's plenty of very valid arguments against it.

Some are debatable and depend on your point of view, the inherent indignity of interrupting your season for this sort of thing, of bending over and letting yourself be used for the benefit of the other team, pretending that it's great for TFC as well, a chance to reach a whole new demographic, that any Roma fans who usually just ignore TFC will in any way have their minds changed by this. All that sort of thing that only 'the vocal minority' would bother getting worked up about while the real fans who so eagerly told Kevin Payne that this is what they wanted snap up all the tickets (how's that working out for you guys? Not so good? There's a shock.) On that note, the fact that Roma showed just how much they care about helping the game in Toronto by snubbing the press after the open practice they held tonight amuses the hell out of me.

There's also arguments that even the enthusiastic proponents of this sort of game will acknowledge, that throwing another game into what was already a short Sunday to Saturday week won't help with any fatigue issues, and that the risk of injury will hang over the game like a bad Ronnie O'Brien flavoured stink.

You have of course heard all that before so I won't go too far into it all, I imagine most people have already made their minds up as to the value of these games. It'll be a good night out for Roma fans, or anyone excited to see the likes of Totti and the rest, I won't begrudge them that (though the predicted thunderstorm would be a satisfying if it actually happens).

For TFC, well it's a chance for some of those who don't get much playing time to get some. TFC have already said that Stefan Frei will be starting, with Quillan Roberts possibly getting some time as well. It'd be good to see Mark Bloom get some action, or Jonas Elmer and Alvaro Rey, see what the new guys can do. Let Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman get out there, though it's probably for the best to play nice and not let Darel Russell out there to wreak his own brand of mayhem as amusing as that could be.

I'm sure there'll be contractual obligations to put out some of the first team at least for the first 45 minutes, again, the best we can do is hope for no injuries. Then, let the academy kids and reserves play the second half, maybe someone will get their Gabe Gala or Quincy Amarikwa moment, or put in an impressive performance like Tyler Pasher did last year, it really helped all those players move on to bigger and better things.

If you're going to the game, have fun. I personally won't be, though I probably won't be able to stop myself from watching on TV, so you'll probably find me here snarking away half heartedly. Join me, it'll be oh so special.