Toronto FC vs. San Jose: Previewing Toronto's Home Opener This Saturday

Kyle Degab@@kdegabContributor IIIMarch 23, 2012

Toronto play host to the San Jose Earthquakes this Saturday at BMO Field.  This will not be Toronto's first home game this year, but their first home MLS competition. 

Toronto will be without captain and star player Torsten Frings this Saturday as he suffered a hamstring injury against Seattle last week.  Frings will be absent from the squad for about six weeks due to this injury.  Julian de Guzman will wear the captain's band for The Reds in Frings' absence. 

Toronto will likely field a young and very inexperienced back four again this week.  Frings had been filling in at central defense the past few CONCACAF and league fixtures due to past injuries to Adrian Cann and Dicoy Williams.  With Frings' injury, Toronto's back four will likely read: Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden, Aaron Maund and Ashtone Morgan.  

Hopefully, Aron Winter chooses to employ much safer tactics for this match as he has been deploying a very nervous and ineffective high offside trap in the past few fixtures.  Toronto escaped lucky against LA Galaxy. However, a speedy Seattle team forced Toronto to pay for running their chances with the offside trap.  

San Jose will come into town with a home win against New England and a road loss in Houston thus far this season.   

Toronto will look to reestablish BMO Field as a fortress, as their home winning ways all but completely subsided during the 2011 season.  

Winter will have some difficult decisions to make in the upcoming weeks, as Toronto will play five games in 14 days, beginning with this Earthquakes match.  

 

Players to watch:

Ryan Johnson, TFC

Ryan Johnson has been the offensive leader for Toronto so far in 2012.  He has scored in all three of Toronto's last three competitions.  Look for Johnson to be a creative spark-plug in the offensive third. 

Chris Wondolowski, San Jose

Former Golden Boot winner Wondolowski has punished Toronto in the past, he already has one goal to begin the 2012 season.  Look for him to be a threat early and often.  

 

Forecast:

Despite unusually high temperatures this week in the greater Toronto area, Saturday holds a 70 percent of precipitation with a chance of thunder showers.  Temperatures should be ideal a cool 11 to 15 degrees Celsius.  

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