Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls
Red Bull Arena, 7:00 PM Eastern
In 2009, the last time Toronto FC came close to making the playoffs, they met the New York Red Bulls on the final day of the season. There have been a lot of losses in the team's history, last week against Houston was their 118th. But none have been more haunting to the franchise or its fanbase than the 5-0 loss against New York on the final day of the season, when a victory would have meant their first and only birth in the MLS playoffs.
Fast forward a few seasons and Toronto are once again on the playoff bubble. Tonight, they will have a chance to exorcise those demons from many years ago. A victory tonight would not put the Reds in the playoffs, but it would put them back into a conversation that they have drifted in and out of all year. A loss and they might as well leave that conversation altogether. As Kristin Knowles said in her preview of the match, mathematically Toronto are not eliminated if they lose tonight. But failure to make the most of an opportunity to gain three huge points on a team they are chasing would be devastating.
The opportunity is made bigger by the fact that Tim Cahill is away on international duty with Australia, Roy Miller is with Costa Rica and Peguy Luyindula. They may not be the biggest losses, but it certainly does not help New York's depth that they are missing.
For more on the New York Red Bulls, check out James Grossi's article on the team. If you are quick you still have a chance to be smarter than Paul Mariner before this match. For the rest of you, feel free to join in the comments section below for live discussion on what promises to be an incredibly entertaining match.