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  • New England v. TFC Preview: The Walking Dead


    ccs-54-140264009636_thumb.jpgSo they stole a point in LA over the weekend, just like I suggested they could.

    Now, TFC turns right around and heads over to Foxborough, Massachusetts, home of the New England Patriots. Oh, and also the Revolution of MLS.

    The Reds meet the Revs on a short week with cross-continental travel, and they'll be missing a number of players due to injury and/or international duty.

    Adrian Cann and Elbekay Bouchiba (remember him?) are out for the season. Nicholas Lindsay didn't even make it to training camp. Tony Tchani, Jacob Peterson, and Nana Attakora are all "questionable" for the match -- in other words, don't expect to see them. Julian de Guzman was with Canada, and while he would be technically available for Aron Winter, he just put in 90 minutes on Tuesday night so he's as good as unavailable. Dicoy Williams is also at the Gold Cup -- with Jamaica -- although he has the distinction of being the only TFC player who is both on international duty and out injured.

    So who the hell starts for this team Wednesday night?


    Well, folk hero Alan Gordon should get the nod based on his heroic performance against his old team over the weekend. Health pending, of course.

    And we've heard that Alen Stevanovic was back in training yesterday, so that's something.

    If anything, expect roughly the same rag tag group that fought so valiantly on the west coast on Saturday night. But be weary of expecting the same result.

    As mentioned before, Toronto just picked up some serious Air Miles over the past few days, flying out to Southern California and back, before hopping on a plane again Tuesday for the hour-long trek to Boston. TFC generally doesn't do well on the back end of a two-games-in-one-week road trip. Hell, they usually don't do well on the front end of such trips, but it's hard to be too negative after Saturday's exciting performance.

    But let's not get too carried away here either way. The match against LA was a good one for the Reds, a true tooth-and-nail away result that can lift a team out of the doldrums. On the other hand, it's hard to be too happy about a draw against a disinterested opponent, league leaders or no.

    Now the focus turns to the Revolution, an uninspiring foe if there ever was one.

    To be played in what is sure to be an empty Gillette Stadium (and that was before taking Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals into consideration), the match at New England has all the makings of a "you dreamers get the hell back down to Earth" reality check for TFC fans.

    Crap opponent? Check.

    Little rest / lots of travel? Check.

    No atmosphere in the stadium? Check.

    TFC riding the high of an unexpected moral victory? Check.

    Little to no depth due to a plethora of absences? Check.

    The Revs are actually worse than TFC in attack, having only scored 11 goals thus far in the campaign. Even worse, New England's only player with more than one goal in 2011 is Shalrie Joseph, the talismanic captain who surely wishes he had moved on after the Revs' "glory years" of losing in every MLS Cup final a few years back.

    So with all of that in mind, it only makes sense that Toronto would crap the bed against such a dire opponent, right? We all remember the DC United home game back in April, after all.

    I don't actually think it'll be that bad. First off, this year's TFC seems to play better on the road than at home. Perhaps it's the bonding experience of traveling together, but the Reds seem to fight for one another far more when away from BMO Field than when within it.

    Not that they are world beaters at away matches, but if they can replicate some of the urgency they displayed in LA and Colorado, they could grab all three points against a side vastly inferior to the Galaxy or Rapids.

    New England Revolution v. Toronto FC

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011. 8:00pm EDT.

    Gillette Stadium. Foxborough, MA.

    Watch: TSN

    Listen: FAN590.com

    Rudi Schuller occasionally contributes Toronto FC and Canadian national team content to the 24th Minute. He manages the Euro File here at Canadian Soccer News, and is MLSsoccer.com's beat writer for all things concerning Canada's men's national teams. Follow Rudi on Twitter, @RudiSchuller.

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