Toronto will face their second major threat to an unbeaten home record in less than a week at BMO Field Saturday afternoon when they go up against a second place NY Red Bull team determined to become the class of MLS.
With regular starting strikers Chad Barrett and Maecon Santos doubtful again today it will likely fall on Mista and O’Brien White to take over up front as they did in Tuesday’s Champions League match against Mexico City powerhouse Cruz Azul. Mista got what proved to be the winning goal in a match TFC was not expected to win. But win they did, sending the two time Champion League finalists home 2 – 1 losers and picking up more confidence in the process.
Red Bulls have brought the dynamic duo of Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez to Gotham City from Barcelona, adding $11 million to their payroll and to an offensive threat that already includes long time league great Juan Pablo Angel.
Toronto coach Preki will be looking to his stingy defense centered on two standout Canadians, Nana Attakora and Adrian Cann to repel the visitors attack that likes to come at opponents up the middle. The two have played a large part in the home side going 14 games unbeaten at home this season.
Rotating players through his lineup to keep his team fresh for league and international competition is a constant challenge to the first year coach. With Julian de Guzman out of the midfield due to accumulated yellow cards, Martin Saric should get another start. Another goal like the one he notched early Tuesday night will be on his mind. The Argentine has seen only limited action since preseason and has been anxious to impress.
Following today’s match TFC is on the long road down to Panama City for another trying CCL test of endurance and team balance.