Where have we seen this scenario before? FC Dallas faces Toronto FC tonight in a game where Dallas needs to win or draw to move into the WDW Pro Soccer Classic Championship game. Dallas and Toronto are tied on 4 points at the top of the group, but Dallas has the tiebreaker in the instance of a draw due to superior goal differential.
FCD heads into this third group game on the high of defeating Orlando City 4-0 on Tuesday night while Toronto had an equally impressive 3-1 victory over Swedish side BK Hacken in the last round of games.
TFC is enjoying a nice pre-season as they look to build on their nice second half to 2011. They face Los Angeles Galaxy in their massive CCL showdown next Wednesday and will likely play most of their starters tonight in final preparations for that game. Toronto boasts Dutch forward Danny Koevermans, Jamaican Ryan Johnson and Ecuadorian Joao Plata up front, guys that gave Dallas fits in the Champions League game. Part of their midfield punch comes from a familiar name, Eric Avila, while the defense is anchored by former German international Torsten Frings.
For FC Dallas, this should be the stiffest test of the pre-season so far. The Orlando City game quickly lost it's punch as the home team was reduced to ten men just minutes into the game, so this Toronto FC battle will be a nice indicator of where Dallas is at. A few things on my mind for this game:
What kind of lineup will go out there? If there's any time in this thing that Schellas is going to send out some backups to start it's tonight. Unless Dallas loses by many goals, they're guaranteed another game on Saturday, so it wouldn't shock me to see maybe Villar or Warshaw start tonight as well as possibly Wiedeman or Scott Sealy.
Castillo's hot streak I can't wait to watch Fabian Castillo play some more. He really is getting better with every game he plays and the insertion of Ferreira back into the lineup has taken Castillo's game to the next level.
Who plays on the left? Will Geoffrey Tulasne get another shot to impress tonight or could perhaps Castillo be moved left if Wiedeman is inserted on the right?
The game kicks off at 5PM and will be streamed on MLSSoccer.com. It will also be shown live at Trinity Hall as FC Dallas debuts the 2012 jersey.