Securing 10 wins against a pseudo regional rival at home tonight (LIVE at 7pm CT on NBC 5.2) would feel rather good, wouldn’t it? Here are Five Things on Toronto FC and possible omens for a positive result to happen…
1) UNBEATEN AT HOME…That’s right, since coming into the league in 2007, Toronto FC has failed to come away from Toyota Park with a victory going 2-0-3 in five previous matches. Better yet, the Fire are unbeaten in their past four games vs. the Reds, going 2-0-2 in a streak that dates back to a 0-0 draw on September 8, 2010.
2) ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY… Saturday’s game comes just a little over a year after the teams swapped defenders in a late July trade, with the Fire sending Dasan Robinson north of the border and TFC giving up Dan Gargan in return.
LOOKING BACK: Fire 3, TFC 2 (4/21/2012)
A year later, Gargan has appeared in 28 regular season matches and become a regular choice for Frank Klopas while Robinson was traded to LA (where he won an MLS Cup ring) before retiring at season’s end.
Talking about his first year in Chicago earlier this week, Gargan said, "Every day I’ve been happy to be here. Chicago is a great city and this is a club with a lot of tradition that I’m proud to be a part of."
3) SPEAKING OF GARGAN… Less than a month after the trade, the newly acquired Fire defender tallied his debut goal for the Fire to ice a 2-0 victory in last season’s home encounter against TFC on August 21. The goal still stands as just the second in the veteran defender’s MLS career.\
Months before, 19-year-old Fire striker Orr Barouch earned his first goal in a Fire uniform, tallying the 75th equalizer in a 2-2 draw at Toronto FC on May 15.
4) THAT LAST BIT seems a good omen for two now Fire Designated Players Alvaro Fernandez and Sherjill MacDonald, who both will hope to make their home debuts tonight vs. TFC at Toyota Park.
5) IMPORTANT THREE POINTS… With all the Fire’s remaining 12 MLS regular season matches coming against conference opponents and the tight nature of the East standings, it goes without saying that all remaining matches are six-pointers.
The Houston Dynamo claimed the conference lead with a 2-0 victory Friday night over Red Bull, leaving the fifth-place Fire eight points out of first place with two games in hand. Closer to where the Fire stand, fourth-place DC United (33 points) host sixth place Columbus (28 points) tonight as well.
A draw or Columbus win in that match and a win for the Fire would see the Men in Red jump to fourth place and a possible two points out of third if New England can defeat Sporting KC tonight as well.
That’s the best case scenario in what will be a very tight playoff race down the home stretch.