Last chance to impress for TFC

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:15 PM ET

Saturday provides Toronto FC a final chance to get on the good side of its loyal fans before the season mercifully comes to a close.

The playoffs are long gone, the supporters are revolting over revolting price increases and the team already has lost to both the worst team in the East and the West.

However, some much-needed good will can be attained by the Reds if they can pull off a stunning victory over the hated Columbus Crew.

Columbus is Toronto’s main MLS foe, but the rivalry has been decidedly one-sided with the Crew winning five of nine matches and drawing in the other four.

Columbus is in the midst of a 0-3-2 skid that has seen it fall from the top of the East’s table for the first time in months.

Even so, realistically, few can honestly expect a Toronto win. Not with the team free-falling even more spectacularly with six losses and just one victory in its past nine outings (1-4-2 since general manager Mo Johnston and head coach Preki were jettisoned).

And especially not without captain Dwayne De Rosario, striker Chad Barrett, defender Adrian Cann and, likely, high-priced disaster Mista.

De Rosario and Barrett have scored 20 of the squad’s 28 goals this season — that lack of scoring depth being a key reason why the campaign went so spectacularly off the rails after a promising start. Barrett’s hamstring is acting up again, while De Rosario was booked in Toronto’s 3-0 loss to Chivas USA last week and will miss the game for accumulating too many yellow cards.

Though as captain, De Rosario needs to show more tact, it is hard to come down too hard on him for his actions. After all, how could he not be frustrated when referee Terry Vaughn missed the blatant elbow to Cann that has ended his season prematurely and left Toronto a man short in the loss to Chivas?

Cann, arguably Toronto’s top defender in 2010, was elbowed by Chivas striker Alan Gordon, who was suspended for two games this week for his actions.

All the absences will likely mean a chance for TFC Academy signees Nicholas Lindsay and Doneil Henry to make an impression.

BMO Field is expected to be far quieter than usual — especially for a match against Columbus — with two main supporter groups planning to hold silent protests.


Photos