tBG: TFC is hanging on the edge of a playoff berth and this match could be the catalyst for either a leap into the much fabled post season or a late season collapse. What is your gut feeling about TFC' s post season prospects?
WtR: It's difficult to say anything with certainty. Lost a little in the current down slide is that they are still in the playoff spots, still have a game in hand on most teams, and have a decent schedule remaining - though a trip to LA at the start of October is poorly timed.
If it is a collapse, it would be epic. If they squeak in by the skin of their teeth, will they be in any shape to compete - as we all know, in MLS, it's an entirely new game once there.
If I were a betting man, I'd say they right the ship and do enough to get in - but optimism has not always ended well.
tBG: Define TFC this season in 5 words.
WtR: This could be alrig-oh sh*t
tBG: Speaking of new coaches, is Vanney the guy or just a place holder? If you could advise him on which players to let go this offseason, who would make that list?
WtR: Again, uncertainty reigns supreme in TFC-land these days. There is a sneaking suspicion that when Tim Bezbatchenko brought Vanney in for the academy, he may just have been getting his guy in house to get some first-hand knowledge to be ready for when he eventually fired Ryan Nelsen - a little conspiracy-esque but makes sense.
It is nearly impossible to predict what Toronto will do - heck, they could fire the lot of them and bring back Mo Johnston for all we know. That said, Vanney does have a lot going for him, an MLS guy, knows the league, all that sort of thing. I wish him the best of luck, but will be surprised if we are talking about him as manager of the year next season.
On the personnel front, there's not a whole lot to really clear out - they did a lot of that this past season. I'm not sure I see much of a future for the likes of Jeremy Hall, Andrew Wiedeman, or Chris Konopka, with a pair of highly-touted Canadians in Jordan Hamilton and Quillan Roberts around the club and ready to step into bench roles.
Not sure how much Dwayne De Rosario has left in the tank or whether Dominic Oduro was a one-season addition. Plus there is the whole expansion draft prior to next season that will shake things up.
My advice would be, whomever they choose to bring in or have exit, get it all done well before preseason so the team can grow as a unit - and one can never have enough defenders.
tBG: Projected Line Up?
Hagglund Orr Henry Bloom
Oduro Warner Bradley Lovitz
WtR: An optimistic 3-2 TFC win - my prediction of goals for the first match was thwarted by some fine keeping, but both Joe Bendik and Zac MacMath are young, so consistency will falter in a barn-burner.
And if Toronto must lose, I'd selfishly rather be entertained.