GarganNow I know that there was a bit of resentment from Dan Gargan (if Twitter is to be believed) directed towards Toronto FC management upon him hearing that he was traded from Toronto to Chicago earlier this season. But I hope that Dan’s feelings have softened towards our club since then. After all TFC was the club that plucked Gargan from the footy obscurity of the USL and got him back into Major League Soccer. Toronto was the club that renegotiated his contract over the past off season, giving him a deserved raise and providing him with what has been his largest paydays since becoming a professional soccer player.

And Wednesday evening is the exact time that I hope Dan remembers the good times here in Toronto. You see his Chicago Fire are playing FC Dallas Wednesday evening at Toyota Park in a match that has a lot of importance for TFC. Dallas if you can believe it has still not officially locked up a MLS playoff position. They could finish anywhere from as high as third in the Western Conference to as low as eleventh in the league overall, which could theoretically see them miss the playoffs altogether.

And this is of huge importance for Toronto FC. Without a doubt the reality in this league is that getting into the playoffs is the number one priority. Everything else, and that includes the Champions League, the Voyageurs Cup, the US Open Cup and the like are all secondary considerations if they are given an “either/or” choice. And every second at this late stage that Dallas has to face worrying and fretting about the MLS playoffs are seconds they will not have to plan for TFC’s trip to Texas next week to decide which of these two teams get into the knockout stages of the Champions League.

And losing or drawing the match Wednesday evening to Dan Gargan’s Chicago Fire would make it even better for Toronto. The Reds have a meaningless MLS match on Saturday afternoon away to Philadelphia in which really the only considerations for Aron Winter are to get the rust shaken off some players who have not played for ten days since the International break started, making sure players do not pick up injuries (if that is possible of course) and maybe giving Dallas scouts who might be looking on an odd look or two tactically that they might not have seen before that might make their planning for the Champions League game next week all the more complicated.

I Tweeted a few little tidbits about Dallas and the situation they find themselves in earlier this week that I think are well worth sharing here that might put their recent struggles into some sort of context:

  • FC Dallas has scored 36 goals in MLS play this season. TFC has scored 33
  • In last 10 MLS games Dallas has a record of 2-2-6. TFC’sis 3-4-3 in the same time frame
  • The Chicago Fire have lost once in their last 9 MLS games
  • 3 years ago this week, TFC drew Dallas 2-2 at Pizza Hut Park. Marvell Wynne’s hand ball cost TFC the win late in injury time
  • Dallas have lost their last four straight MLS matches
  • TFC is a rested club. Dallas is far from it

Wednesday evening the Fire have a real chance to not only help keep their playoff hopes alive but they can also do a real favour for Toronto FC if they get any sort of result out of the Dallas match. Anything that keeps Dallas from clinching a playoff berth ahead of the Champions League game next week is nothing but a good thing.

So often in the short history of this club former players have come back to bite TFC in the proverbial ass. For once wouldn’t it be great to see a former TFC player help rather than hurt the club and its chances to succeed? Certainly Toronto FC must be due for that run of luck to change.


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