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Beating San Jose Crucial to Proving 'This is Our House' Again

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Every game this year is important for Toronto FC, but this one has a couple of factors that set it apart. A win could leave an important lasting impression.

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

More than any other, this has been a season of swinging emotions around Toronto FC. One day it is all doom and gloom, fire Greg Vanney talk. The next it is all about how Sebastian Giovinco is the best player in the league and the team are finally on track to make their first ever post season appearance.

At the moment it is the latter that has taken on popularity, after a string of wins and an impressive away draw against the New England Revolution optimism has been restored in Toronto. Getting a win today is incredibly important in ensuring that optimism continues.

Ever since the new east side stands were added at BMO Field all of the talk centred around returning the stadium's home field advantage that hasn't been present in this decade.

While a team never wants to treat any opponent differently than another, a team like San Jose Earthquakes are an example of those that Toronto really need to start beating at home. San Jose is a mediocre team on a bad run of form who have struggled to score goals this year.

Well, most of them have struggled to score goals, Chris Wondolowski remains one of the most dangerous scorers in Major League Soccer. With seven goals so far this year he sits third in league scoring, two goals ahead of both Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco, who have five each.

After Wandolowski, however, things get very thin in the San Jose attack. No other player has scored more than one goal, although several have gotten on the board including former Toronto FC defender Ty Harden.

Toronto are even more fortunate because the Earthquakes will be without Fatai Alashe, who is with the United States U-23 World Cup squad. Alashe has been one of San Jose's best players this year.

On the defensive end of things, however, the Quakes have proven to be difficult to break down under the sturdy guidance of Dominic Kinnear. They have only conceded one goal per game, largely why they have been able to win despite the aforementioned offensive difficulties.

That backline includes yet another former red, Marvell Wynne the lightning fast fullback. He will make it difficult for Toronto to play out wide, which is where they created the majority of their chances again Portland.

On the Toronto side of things, it should be interesting to see how the team deals with the absence of Collen Warner. Warner had been an integral part of a revamped midfield that has helped TFC regain some confidence as of late.

There is a possibility that Wednesday's friendly against Manchester City may offer some insight, as Toronto played Daniel Lovitz and Jay Chapman out wide. One would think Jonathan Osorio slots back into the lineup considering how solid he has been as of late, but that remains to be seen.

Chapman looked very solid against City, playing the full 90 minutes, and showing his class when going up against some very talented midfielders. After the game he was grinning ear to ear, knowing that he had made a good impression.

On the backline, it appears Eriq Zavaleta has taken Nick Hagglund's spot at centreback with a couple of strong performances. While Hagglund played very well against City, an argument can be made that Zavaleta played even better. He and Damien Perquis look to be the best partnership Toronto has had all year.

It is a good situation for Toronto to be in as competition for jobs on the backline is starting to heat up, certainly better than at the start of the season when the majority of Toronto's defenders were either injured or suspended.

If this truly is Toronto's house, then today would go a long way towards reminding everyone of that. It is all the more important with an international break on the horizon, and the Gold Cup just around the corner.