Calling all Toronto soccer fans

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:24 PM ET

TORONTO - Toronto FC might not be in the big game, but its fans will get a chance to see a couple of familiar faces compete for the MLS Cup on Sunday at BMO Field.

The reaction to both players promises to be markedly different.

On the one hand, there is Colorado Rapids defender Marvell Wynne, a fan favourite during his April 2007-March 2010 tenure in Toronto.

Wynne has thrived as a centre back in Colorado and recently recorded a YouTube message encouraging TFC backers to cheer for the Rapids on Sunday.

"All year I've been telling these guys how crazy the fans were up there and how much you supported me, how much you supported the team," Wynne says in the video.

"So I'm going to ask you one last time to come out and support us."

Wynne, the son of a former Major League outfielder, is one of the fastest and most athletic players in Major League Soccer.

Traded for Nick LaBrocca and a draft pick, Wynne often brought the BMO crowd to its feet with his remarkable closing speed, but also elicited groans from the faithful at times because his soccer acumen could not match his athletic gifts.

Still, despite those deficiencies, Wynne remained a popular figure.

The case is quite different for FC Dallas striker Jeff Cunningham.

Cunningham, brought in by the Reds in 2007 to finally solve the club's glaring lack of a scorer up front was the biggest bust in team history. Yes, bigger even than invisible designated player Mista this season.

Unlike Mista, Cunningham was a proven finisher in MLS. Cunningham is two goals away from becoming the league's all-time goal-scoring leader and had tallied 93 goals before coming to Toronto.

In 32 games at his previous stop, Real Salt Lake, Cunningham scored 19 times. In 32 games with Toronto, reportedly unhappy in Canada and distracted by off the field issues, his production fell to just six.

Lest one would think Cunningham was washed up by the time he got to Toronto, the evidence says otherwise. Since joining Dallas, Cunningham has averaged a goal every two games--33 in 66 matches.

Cunningham has been reviled by TFC fans ever since he failed to put in a ball sitting on the goal line that would have taken the team to the CONCACAF Champions League--the clearest example of his shoddy play while in Toronto.

Reviled in this town more than any other MLS player, Cunningham scored the only goal of a Dallas triumph in Texas late this season after being roundly booed in Dallas' only Canadian visit of the campaign.

Expect more of the same on Sunday.

Another high-scoring ex- TFC striker, Conor Casey will also be on hand.

A Red for two games before being dealt away in what probably was the worst transaction of former TFC general manager Mo Johnston's career, Casey was not around long enough to generate much of a reaction.

He certainly won't draw the ire of the crowd the way Cunningham promises to.

What a stake to the heart of long-suffering TFC supporters it would be to see Cunningham holding the championship trophy aloft in front of them.

Odds are, that's what comes to pass.


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