T.O. needs to rack up big score against Montreal tonight to win first title
Two years ago yesterday, Toronto FC scored its biggest victory in team history – a 4-0 thumping of FC Dallas at BMO Field.
A repeat is what's required tonight in Montreal as TFC closes out the Canadian Championship against the Impact.
A win by at least four goals gives TFC its first trophy, the Voyageurs Cup, and a place in the CONCACAF Champions League against the top teams in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Anything less and the other team in the six-game competition, the Vancouver Whitecaps, takes it.
"We're going to go out there all guns blazing," said striker Danny Dichio, who scored one of the goals in that game against Dallas in 2007.
Dichio, TFC's all-time leading scorer with 14 goals, backed up his argument that "anything can happen in soccer" by recounting the game in 1997 when his Queen's Park Rangers came back from a 4-0 deficit at half time to tie an English first division game at Port Vale.
"We know what we've got to go there and do," Dichio said. "It's like a carrot dangling in front of us. ... If we want to advance, we've got to get four goals."
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
TFC, Canada's only Major League Soccer team, was in control of this year's competition. They dominated both Vancouver and defending champion Montreal in two home games but a lack of finishing touch around the net meant they could only claim 1-0 wins each time.
That poor scoring touch came back to haunt TFC when they dropped a 2-0 game in Vancouver. The Whitecaps, who beat Montreal by a combined 3-0 in a pair of games, ended up with three wins and a plus-four goal differential.
TFC, with two wins and a zero goal differential, must win by four to edge Vancouver by virtue of more goals scored in the tournament.
"Everyone I've spoken to and I've heard from says we can't do it," said midfielder Carl Robinson, who also scored in that 2007 game against Dallas. "I like that because I like to prove people wrong.
"If we can do that then I think everyone will have to eat their words."
"I don't care what other people say," said defender and captain Jim Brennan, who is expected back in the lineup after missing Saturday's win over New York with an ankle injury. "We know we've got guys in that dressing room who are hungry and want to get to the next round."
"I don't think people expect us to get anything out of the game, so the pressure's off a little bit," said coach Chris Cummins, noting TFC needs to average a goal every 22 minutes.