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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Galaxy not far, far away

Keane: Will appear pending wife's approval

While the Los Angeles Galaxy will have their sights set squarely on the MLS Cup Final in a couple of weeks, TFC are more concerned with their following fixture. This afternoon, somewhere in the lilywhite, corruption-free bowels of CONCACAF's New York headquarters, the draw for the Champions League Quarterfinals was made and The Reds will indeed face their MLS counterparts Galaxy.
There are a few ways at looking at the draw from a Toronto perspective. On the negative side, LA doesn't offer that "special" continental attraction of a team from outside our league. Besides familiarity, there is also the argument that LA could be considered MLS' strongest side right now - if they don't win the MLS Cup, it will be an upset.
On the other side of the peso, Galaxy are on a relatively fair playing field with TFC and do not come with the overall skill level that Santos Laguna and/or Monterrey may have offered. Also, early March (when the fixtures take place) will be during the MLS pre-season and Galaxy, along with TFC, will not be in mid-season form while likely bleeding in new faces. The advantage may go to the club who does a better job of preparing themselves during the off-season.
Whether Galaxy provides the "big name" opponent that MLSE may have hoped for if they choose SkyDome over BMO Field is another question. While LA will still boast the likes of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and cough, cough, Chad Barrett - they will probably be without David Beckham who looks most likely to join Paris St. Germain or Tottenham Hotspur in January. Not likely a draw that will put 50K into SkyDome unless MLSE drops ticket prices to $10 (we hear you laughing) but much more importantly, a draw that gives TFC a fighting chance to progress to the semifinals against the Seattle v Santos Laguna winner. We'll take an away leg to Carson, California over Mexico any day.

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