Struggling Reds to Battle Mexican Power Santos in CONCACAF Semifinal Play

Kyle DegabContributor IIIMarch 28, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 24:  Toronto FC fans take in action against San Jose Earthquakes in MLS action at BMO Field March 24, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

Toronto FC will host a very tough Mexican side, Santos Laguna, at BMO Field tonight in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Finals.  

Toronto drew Santos after a great victory against MLS Champions LA Galaxy just a few weeks ago.  Santos demolished Seattle in their quarterfinal, winning 7-2 on aggregate. 

Coming off of a high from two well-played fixtures against LA, Toronto FC has come crashing down in league play, losing both their league and home openers to Seattle and San Jose with disappointing play. 

Not only is Toronto playing terrible football, but they are also suffering with injuries to captain and star player Torsten Frings and goalkeeper Stefan Frei.  

Toronto's defense has been terrible in their two league fixtures, giving up three goals in both of their MLS games.  As if their defensive problems were not enough, Santos is a high-scoring side.  

Hopefully the crowd at BMO can be the difference in this match; however, Toronto should be considered huge underdogs in this CONCACAF match. 

Toronto should aim not to concede in this match; if they can squeeze out a 0-0 draw or 1-0 victory, this would be a great step towards the second leg. 

The second leg in Mexico is going to undoubtedly be extremely difficult; however, Toronto must focus on keeping a clean sheet and not conceding any away goals. 

This game might be a tough one for the Toronto faithful; however, Canadian and MLS pride rides on this side as they are the last remaining MLS team in this competition and first Canadian team to reach this stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.