Toronto FC: Backs To The Wall In The CONCACAF Champions League

Fred NockContributor IAugust 4, 2009

CARSON, CA - APRIL 13:  Edson Buddle #14 of the Los Angeles Galaxy plays the ball off his knee as Marco Velez #4 of Toronto FC defends the play during their MLS game at the Home Depot Center on April 13, 2008 in Carson, California. Toronto FC defeated the Galaxy 3-2.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Toronto FC needed a big win to get into the CONCACAF Champions League tournament.  They beat the Montreal impact 6-1 and secured their berth. 

Now they need to win or get out.

With their 1-0 loss last week to the Puerto Rico Islanders and the second leg of the home and away two game series kicking off tonight (8pm EST GolTV), Toronto FC again have their backs against the wall.

Here are the possible scenarios: 

1. If Toronto FC win and score at least two goals, then they will move on to the next round.

2. If Toronto win 1-0, then the teams would then play a 30-minute overtime, followed by penalty kicks if the teams remain tied.

3. If Toronto FC plays to a draw with the Islanders, or if the lose then the party is over and TFC is out.

The keys for Toronto are pretty simple in my opinion. 

First they need to continue to press the advantage they had in the first game.  They were the better team despite the score.  They won 11 corner kicks to zero for Puerto Rico.  They had many more scoring chances.  They did not finish well. At all.

Dichio's header that went wide still haunts me.

The strong play of Cronin, Gerba, and De Rosario, must continue to dominate tonight for TFC to have success.  The way the Islanders collapse on their goal it will take some creativity to get the ball in there under control and to score.

Second they must keep their heads on defense.  Puerto Rico scored on the counter attack, their only really strong chance of the match.  TFC must stay sharp.  They must stay hungry. 

They must win, or go home.