Greetings from Toronto, and one of the finer views from a soccer stadium in MLS, if not the world.
Happy Thanksgiving! (Canadian style). The holiday here is Monday, so the vibrant city on the lake is buzzing with folks enjoying a long weekend. Enjoyment hasn’t been a word spoken often at BMO Field, where Toronto FC is wrapping up another miserable campaign. Not that TFC has nothing to play for. As Coach Paul Mariner said in the Toronto Sun, he expects “blood, snot and fire.”
Meantime, in my politically flavored match preview, D.C. United understands it controls its own future and, with the right set of results this weekend, could essentially secure a playoff berth and claim a tie for second place with two matches left.
The game-time weather outlook: 54 degrees, partly cloudy, 18-mph wind.
My travelogue shout-outs go to Porter Airlines, which flies into City Airport, located on the ribbon of islands that are a Michael Phelps butterfly (or a short ferry ride) from the downtown waterfront, and Yummy Yummy Dumpling, a dozen-booth, subterranean hole-in-the-wall on a side street in Chinatown.
It’s a homecoming for two DCU players: Dejan Jakovic, who will remain in town for Canada national team training camp this coming week, and Dwayne De Rosario, the injured attacker, who drove here from Washington with his family for an extended stay.
Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET.
TV: Comcast SportsNet (D.C.), TSN and RDS (Canada), Direct Kick and MLS Live (subject to blackout). Tony Limarzi and John Harkes on the CSN call.
DCU: Hamid; Najar, McDonald, Jakovic, Korb; DeLeon, Saragosa, Kitchen, Pontius, Neal; Pajoy. Subs: Willis, Russell, White, Chabala, Boskovic, Salihi, Santos.
TFC: Kocic; J. Hall, Eckersley, O’Dea, Emory; Lambe, Dunfield, Maund, Johnson; Silva, Amarikwa. Subs: F. Hall, Cann, Williams, Henry, Avila, Wiedeman.
Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in our comments section.