Well two teams that really need a win are New England who have 4 straight losses and Toronto who have just one win in the last 2 1/2 months of MLS action. They will face off on Wednesday night at Gillette, in a showdown of teams who simply aren't that good this year.
Toronto FC at New England Revolution - 6pm MT - Direct Kick
The host Revolution have a -7 goal differential with 11 goals scored and 18 goals allowed. It has left the Rev's with a 3-7-4, the most losses of any team in the league, TFC is 2-5-8 this year with a -10 goal differential. TFC have 15 goals scored but a league worse 25 goals allowed, on the road they are 0-3-3, a total of 6 MLS teams still haven't gotten a road win. For New England their only constant on offense has been Shalrie Joseph who leads the team with 4 goals (2 of 3 on PKs), and no other person on the Revolution have more than a single goal, there are 7 with 1. No Rev's player has more than 1 assist either, their offense has taken a hit with the injuries to Benny Feilhaber and Mark Perovic, the question is who beyond Joseph can or will provide some offense for New England?
You just never know what Toronto team will show up, at home they get beat 6-2 by Philadelphia and then on the road they fight to a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy. Aron Winter probably had no idea what he was getting himself into when he took over as head coach, and his team haven't made his job any easier. I don't think anyone expected much when TFC got rid of their top two offensive weapons from last year, as clearly this team would be focused on rebuilding. They do get some individuals who step up and do special things, like Alan Gordon's two goals against LA to get the draw, but consistency has been lacking on both sides of the ball and I just don't see that going away anytime soon. I think this match ends up a 1-1 draw.
some thoughts about RSL after the jump:
Well between the call ups, the injuries, and the schedule that will keep RSL busy for the next 6 weeks where they will play at least 9 matches. So with the transfer window opening in a few weeks, it is no surprise that RSL has brought in a couple of trialists. One has to believe the action is to both evaluate players, but also to have enough guys for practices. Michael C. Lewis of the SL Tribune mentioned 3 guys who were new at practice today: forward Chris Agorsor, midfielder Sony Norde and defender Samir Bengelloun.
The name that stands out to me is Chris Agorsor who was won by the Philadelphia Union in a allocation draft but was let go as the Union felt that they simply didn't have a way to develop him. It comes to an issue of minutes and with the Union having a couple of young forwards who get minutes plus Le Toux and Ruiz, it is understandable. By releasing him they thought it would allow him to catch on somewhere that might be able to help him develop, could that be RSL?
RSL has a wealth of guys who can play forward, but 2 are on Gold Cup duty (Alvaro Saborio and Arturo Alvarez) both who advanced to the quarterfinals. Two are recovering from injuries (Paulo Jr. and Cody Arnoux), both were at practice today running but not taking part in drills. RSL recently tried a couple of experiments, moving Jean Alexandre to forward, which has not been as bad as many thought it would be. They signed Yura Movsisyian's cousin Artur Aghasyan and he has shown signs of life with the limited minutes of action, so it is easy to understand why the team would show interest in a guy who may be able to step in over the next 6 weeks and provide some depth and minutes. I am not sure how Agorsor will do with RSL, Jason is a fairly demanding coach and with team expecting all players to work hard on offense and defense it can be a change that takes some time for players to adjust to that style.
RSL has been able to count on one guy to do a lot of hard work up top, Fabian Espindola. Along with Nick Rimando, I would say Fabi has been one of the work horses for RSL this year and with goals in back to back matches we could see him just starting to start a fun and exciting run for RSL.
Hopefully more information will come out of the practices the rest of the week, but I like the team looking at a number of options and a willingness to figure out if some of these young guys have a chance to be a part of the RSL future. Forwards are the priciest players in the sport, so if you can work hard and develop them you get both their abilities as well as the potential to benefit from potential trades.
Anyhow thought that was worth sharing to keep everyone up to date on the forward situation.
OFF MY SOAPBOX