With MLS set to pause during the Copa Centenario, Toronto FC embarks on the first step of a journey that may see them return to international competition for the first time since 2012.
Say what you will about the CONCACAF Champions League, but regardless, it has been fun to watch. It's something different, not necessarily better than MLS, but definitely interesting.
But first they must navigate a path past their Canadian brethren to earn their spot in the regional competition.
A two-legged series against Montreal begins tonight at BMO Field, while the second leg takes place at Stade Saputo in a week's time.
Concurrently, Vancouver will face off against Ottawa in the other semi-final.
Greg Vanney spoke about the upcoming series on Tuesday – the preview and a Sebastian Giovinco injury update can be found at MLSsoccer.com – but an expanded version of his quote in response to how he will approach the two-legged series is as follows:
"It's an 180-minute game. With us being at home in the first leg we want to set the tone for the event. It's important that we come out with the right attitude, right mentality; we find our way into the game quickly – much quicker than the last couple games – we push to try to score some goals. Get on the right side of the tie from the beginning. That's my strategy, I want a group that's motivated because we want to try to win this event."
One factor to consider, aside from whether Giovinco manages to talk his way onto the pitch just days removed from exiting Red Bull Arena prematurely, is what sort of eleven both sides put out.
Jonathan Osorio summed it up, speaking on the importance of the Canadian Domestic Cup: "In the past a lot of teams have used it as a chance to develop & showcase their young Canadian players. Now five teams, hopefully, in the future some more."
TFC ended the loss in New York with six Canadians on the pitch. Just how many will see it on Wednesday night remains to be seen.
As always, please leave your questions in the comment section below and the WTR staff will respond in kind.