Toronto FC (1-0-3, 7th Eastern Conference) vs. Seattle Sounders (2-1-2, 2nd Western Conference)
All time record: Seattle leads 1-1-0.
The match will be broadcast in Canada live from BMO Field on CBC at 2:00 p.m. and presented by PokerStars.net.
What’s at Stake?
Toronto are looking to right their course after a 3-1 loss in Colorado. Preki’s side played relatively well in the altitude and coming off of a game just three days earlier, but costly individual mistakes in the second half proved to be its downfall. Dwayne DeRosario is the Edson Buddle of the Eastern Conference, scoring all four of TFC’s goals, so the team will be looking for others to step up on offense.
In Seattle, TFC will be facing a team also coming off of a short week. Sigi Schmid’s team will aim to continue its undefeated record against Toronto before it looks ahead to two straight home games against Columbus and Los Angeles over the next two weekends.
The two teams drew 0-0 at Qwest Field on Aug. 29, 2009, in a chippy affair that had a playoff-type feel. Seattle DP Freddie Ljunberg and Toronto’s leading scorer Dwayne DeRosario had a verbal altercation with each other, picking up cautions for unsporting behavior. Toronto FC had an opportunity to escape one of the toughest environments in the league with a win, but they couldn’t convert on a number of scoring chances.
Heroes & Villains
Seattle forwards Steve Zakuani and Fredy Montero vs. Toronto FC’s defense: Zakuani will look to use his speed to pressure a Toronto defense still getting familiar with each other. The unit played well in limiting Colorado’s two-headed strike force of Omar Cummings and Conor Casey, but they were prone to individual mistakes that proved costly in the loss. Zakuani’s ability to open the field with his speed can create space for the crafty Montero. Combined with the seeing-eye service from Ljunberg, Toronto’s defense could be in for a tough afternoon if it isn’t at the top of its game.
Dwayne De Rosario vs. Seattle’s defense and goalkeeper Kasey Keller: The Toronto captain is the team’s offense right now. Preki is looking for others to step up, but until then it will be up to DeRosario to create for himself and his teammates. It will take much more than a pop-gun offense to beat Keller, who is a formidable and commanding presence in goal.
Seattle midfielder Freddie Ljunberg and coach Sigi Schmid vs. Toronto FC supporters: Toronto FC fans are well aware of Seattle’s rabid fan support and will be out to show they set the standard and that BMO Field is still the toughest venue in the league for opposing teams. Ljunberg, as a former Arsenal player, and Schmid, from his tenure at rival Columbus, will be the targets of derision as the fans will try to get under their skin throughout the game with their usual assortment of verbal pleasantries.
Stat that make you go “Hmm … ”
In just his second season with the club, Dwayne DeRosario became Toronto FC’s all-time leading (MLS regular season) scorer with 15 goals after recording his fourth of the season last Thursday at Colorado.
He said it
“No team has been really dominating us in our half and creating chance after chance after chance. Hopefully we’ll get our breaks and things will even up. It looks bad, but I don’t think its bad. I would be really worried if [goalkeeper] Stefan [Frei] had to every game make 10 saves, I would be really worried, but if you look at the first half he doesn’t touch the ball,”—TFC coach Preki on the team giving up 10 goals in its first four games.