Something will have to give Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.
Toronto FC has found it difficult to score of late and the normally stingy Colorado Rapids have become a tad porous recently.
Those deficiencies have not devastated either side — they both come in on lengthy unbeaten streaks, six without a loss for Colorado, seven for TFC — but they have caused both sides to leave some points on the board.
TFC has managed to net one paltry goal in its past three games, blowing chances to beat the Kansas City Wizards and L.A. Galaxy at home in games that it was probably the better side. TFC rallied for a draw against the Houston Dynamo in its latest contest.
In an effort to boost the dormant offence, TFC has added two strikers in the past week. Spanish international Mista is not eligible to suit up until next week’s game in Philadelphia, but Friday’s signing, Brazilian Maicon Santos is expected to see some action.
“He will be involved in some capacity. Obviously (he’s) not going to start but at some point will come in,” said TFC head coach Preki who coached Santos last season with Chivas USA.
Santos managed a goal and an assist under Preki and scored in the playoffs against the Galaxy, but was released last week by the team after a slow start to 2010.
Both the 6-foot-1 Santos and Mista are big forwards and target men — something TFC has lacked since the retirement of Danny Dichio. Mista is the key addition though, as he has a much more impressive resume.
TFC and Colorado will each be without its top midfielder, Julian de Guzman — suspended after brawling with Houston’s Joseph Ngwenya last week — will be missed as will Colorado’s assist leader Mehdi Ballouchy, who did not make the trip due to immigration issues.
Toronto’s Amadou Sanyang is also out after being red-carded against Houston.
Captain Dwayne De Rosario, Nick LaBrocca and Jacob Peterson will likely be asked to settle down the middle, while Chad Barrett and O’Brian White should see ample time up front.
Preki said the absences will also give others a chance to prove their worth, as some did earlier in the season.
“Hopefully some of the guys that are going to see some playing time can continue that statement that anybody can step in and do the job,” Preki said.
A handful of players — including LaBrocca and Peterson — will have a chance to seek revenge against the team that let them go.
Marvell Wynne will makes his return to Toronto. Meanwhile, striker Conor Casey has had his way with the Reds since being dealt away. He scored twice in their last meeting.
Including Nutrilite Canadian Championship play, Toronto has gone 10 matches without a loss.
Colorado has never won in Toronto and was a dreadful road side last season, but is an impressive 4-3-3 in 2010 away from the friendly altitude of its home confines.