The Headliner: Almost There
No matter what anyone says, Toronto FC is in a good position coming into this match. Not as good of a position as they could be, mind, but still one which will make it difficult for the Montreal Impact to advance.
Their 4-2 win in the opening match was dampened only by the two late away goals that the Impact scored, and that's the reason the home side still have a chance at all. Otherwise, it was a dominating effort by a rather inexperienced Toronto FC side, and one that has inspired a lot of optimism going into this second match.
If Toronto FC wants to advance, all the have to do is make sure that the Impact doesn't beat them by two or more goals. A Toronto FC win, draw or loss by one and they advance. This is unless Toronto FC is able to score two away goals, in that case, the Montreal Impact would need to score four goals to tie and five to win prior to extra time.
It is a tad complicated, but for Toronto FC it shouldn't be: don't lose and they are fine. With the exception of a few blips, the club has shown a solid defensive ability. In fact, the last time they visited Saputo Stadium they shut out the host Impact 1-0.
Toronto needs to find a balance, however, between playing with caution and not allowing the Impact to dictate the game. Allowing players like Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti to control the tempo will only end badly for the visitors.
Luckily, if Toronto does get into a bit of trouble, they are likely to have some returning weapons on the bench. Neither Sebastian Giovinco nor Will Johnson is likely to start tonight's match, but both could be in the 18 and available should the club need a late substitute.
Montreal has one big absence that was made all too obvious last Wednesday, as Laurent Ciman continues to be a crucial player for the Belgian national team ahead of Euro 2016. Meanwhile, Toronto FC's Michael Bradley once again captained the American side at Copa America as they beat Costa Rica 4-0 last night.
Key to the Game: Don't Give them Hope
As proven in the last five minutes of the first leg, Didier Drogba only needs a couple of inches to be a different maker. Out of nowhere the Montreal DP was able to create a pair of brilliant goals that means his side still has a fighting chance in today's match.
Toronto FC can't afford to allow that to happen today, who knows if their streaky offence will show up today, and therefore a firefight against the Impact should be the last thing they want. Instead, it is all about staying organised and getting back to the sort of strong road performance that they regularly made to open the season.
The club has only lost by more than one goal on the road once this season, as long as it doesn't happen a second time Toronto will be on their way to the Voyageurs Cup final.
Toronto FC: Irwin; Beitashour, Moor, Zavaleta, Morgan; Johnson, Cheyrou; Babouli, Osorio, Lovitz; Hamilton
Subs: Bono, Morrow, Hagglund, Williams, Chapman Endoh, Giovinco
Montreal Impact: Kronberg; Oyongo, Lefevre, Cabrera, Camara; Shipp, Bekker, Alexander, Ontivero, Salazar, Drogba
Location: Stade Saputo, Montreal, QC
Kick-off time: 7:30 PM Eastern
SB Nation OPPOSITION Blog: Mount Royal Soccer
Available TV: TSN
Available streaming: TSN Go
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.