World Cup quarter final, Canada playing at home, hopefully in front of a large crowd in Edmonton, well that sort of thing doesn't happen often does it? Once every 12 years say the smart asses in the back, but still, the point stands. This is a big game. One the Canw20 team did very well to earn given they looked out of it and unlikely to even score a goal half way through their group stage. It seems equally unlikely that they'll be able to beat Germany who looked very good in the games I somewhat distractedly saw, easily taking care of the US and Brazil in their first and 3rd games. They did concede 5 against China in their other game so there's vulnerabilities in there for sure. Hopefully the likes of Nichelle Prone and Janine Beckie can find a way to exploit them and then Kadeisha Buchanan, Rebecca Quinn and co can keep the high scoring Germans quiet at the other end. Though Canada is by no means favourites here, stranger things have definitely happened. It's not like many people gave them a chance needing a win against North Korea. Speaking of North Korea, as I type this they're tied 1-1 with USA at a soggy looking and somewhat deserted National Soccer Stadium.
And now on to TFC.
Well, just when you got comfortable with the fact that TFC had lost touch with the Eastern Conference leaders and were now in the messy squabble for the remaining 3 places, they win 2 games, DC lose 2 games and SKC get 1 point from 2 games, and all of a sudden we're back within striking distance. Thus today's game becomes another top of the table 6 pointer, a 'must win' game as Ryan Nelsen describes it. If talking of getting to the top of the East, then yes, getting something out of this game is probably pretty important. If just looking at the season as a whole and the playoff places in general, then that's more than a bit hyperbolic, whatever happens this week, TFC will still be in 3rd place in the East.
Must win or not, it'll be another good measuring stick for TFC, a chance to show that blowing 2 straight games to SKC and DC back in July wasn't a real demonstration of where they stand, that they can indeed keep up with the big boys and be a team to worry about when the playoffs roll around. That they're bnot going to just beat the weak teams and then fold when the going gets tough They'll have to do it without Jermain Defoe again as despite the will he won't he teasing throughout the week, he's been ruled out of this one. Frankly, though he'll obviously be in the first team when healthy and his goals will be invaluable, the team has looked better these last 2 games without him. If they can pull that trick off against probably the best team in the East, then serious questions may need to be asked about just how Defoe fits back in when healthy.
For more pre game reading and listening, check out our storystream here for previews, know your enemy, vocal minority podcast (want to hear that allez allez allez les rouges allez chant as done by cats? check the outtakes), all the usual stuff.
We'll have team news when it hits twitter, and chat throughout the game, for both games. I'd have written seperate ones, but many of the wtr staff will be out, say happy birthday to Kristin, so not really commenting anywhere near enough to warrant 2 seperate threads.
Come on you all you various Reds.