While most of the Eastern seaboard has closed down in preparation for Hurricane Irene, Toronto FC’s home match against the San Jose Earthquakes will go on as planned. Weather should not be an issue for the game tonight (4 p.m. PDT, Comcast Sports Net Plus) as both teams desperately try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with a victory. The Quakes won their last visit to BMO Field, a 3-2 victory last season that featured a hat-trick of scoring from Chris Wondolowski, and have never lost at Toronto FC. While not mathematically eliminated, a draw or a loss edges the Earthquakes closer to the point of being realistically eliminated. TFC rides precariously in the same boat.
San Jose and Toronto pulled off a big trade last July that sent Ryan Johnson north of the border in exchange for Alan Gordon, Jacob Peterson, and Nana Attakora. While the jury is still out on which team got the better of the trade, it must be noted that Johnson has been playing regularly for TFC, while the Quakes trio have all had set-backs due to injury. Peterson is the only one of the three that might see the field tonight against his former team.
The Earthquakes will be without new forward Edmundo Zura this weekend, as the Ecuador international remained in San Jose. Visa issues were partially to blame, but so was the lack of fitness Zura brought to MLS. Head coach Frank Yallop suggested earlier in the week that his new striker would need until the home match against the Chicago Fire to be more prepared for the physicality and pace that are the hallmarks of MLS.
San Jose will try to avoid a "baker’s dozen" of winless games tonight at BMO Field. Given the line-up illustrated below, can the Earthquakes earn their first three points from a match since a road trip to DC United in June? Share your opinions and comments below.
Chris Wondolowski Simon Dawkins
Bobby Convey Joey Gjertsen
Ramiro Corrales Rafael Baca
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