When Toronto FC meets D.C. United tonight at Washington's RFK Stadium it will be facing the most formidable scoring machine in all of Major League Soccer.
D.C. has scored 49 goals this season, compared to the paltry 19 notched by TFC.
Toronto manager Mo Johnston said his defenders will have to pay particular attention to D.C.'s "trio of envy" -- Luciano Emilio, Christian Gomez and Jaime Moreno.
"Emilio can beat you from anywhere in the box," Johnston said before the team flew to Washington yesterday.
Indeed, Emilio's goal output this year all by himself matches the total TFC count of 19.
"We are going to have to get our defenders on him as soon as he crosses into the offensive zone," Johnston said.
It was his defenders, however, who Johnston blamed last week for the team's 2-1 loss to Columbus Crew.
But that was a backfield that was without Marvell Wynne, who was out with a hamstring injury, and Adam Braz, who was excused from play to observe a religious holiday.
Both will be on the field tonight for the Reds.
And as if D.C. didn't have enough motivation, manager Tom Soehn wants to send a message to the rest of the league that D.C. is back in championship mode.
"In any competition and any game you're in, you're looking to win," he said yesterday. "We pride ourselves in being successful in whatever encounter we take."
Soehn, though, is something of a taskmaster and right now he's not too happy with his squad coming off a 1-1 away tie against Chicago Fire last week.
While the team came into the match with a nine-game undefeated streak, Soehn said he saw signs of rust resulting from an off week on the MLS schedule.
"We looked like a team that had time off," he said. "We came out flat. On the day it wasn't our normal effort."
In spite of what Soehn thought, the team managed to stretch its streak to 10 games and remained atop the MLS overall table and the Eastern Conference with 50 points and four matches to play, three points ahead of Chivas USA in the race for the Supporters' Shield and four points ahead of the New England Revolution in the division.