Monday, March 8, 2010

3/8/2010: Crew vs. Toluca Showdown Draws Near



A mouthwatering Crew vs. Toluca preview by CONCACAF. Many more from both sides of the border after the "El Cheepo."


No really that is what they call the Toluca Coach, "El Cheepo." (Pic via: Club Toluca)

Toluca Coach Jose De La Torre is happy that the weather is better than expected and is looking to put his best eleven on the field on Tuesday against Columbus, from miedto tempo:
"The opponent is a strong team and trained, like most competition in this tournament. Precautions must be taken, but we must target our business and exploit our conditions. The field is in good condition, a little rough, but acceptable for play."

De La Torre was clear to mention that it was gratifying to meet with a favorable climate, contrary to what was expected in previous days, because although there is snow, the surrounding temperature is quite bearable and the sun shines in all its glory.


Picture from Crew front office:


De La Torre:
"It's not part of what we planned, which was snow, but the weather is very comfortable and the group spirit lives on and is enjoying our surroundings."

Toluca coach stressed the importance of the encounter, but it was clear to mention that the degree of difficulty and desire to win is the same for any matches for Deportivo Toluca, as the biggest game ever will be the next one.

"Every game is important and of great demand because it is not an instance or another no longer of which is the most important game, there are circumstances that we have taken into account and always according to the last game we try to have the best eleven in the field .


While the Toluca side is gleeful to be sunning themselves in the 60 degree temperatures expected Tuesday at CCS, the Crew side is bummed to see there last good advantage go to the way side. Discussed more here by Craig Merz.

Further, Crew headman Robert Warzycha does not seem too confident on the task ahead that the Crew face, from the aforementioned Merz article, especially in regard to Toluca's mid-season form:
"That's something that's very difficult to counter," coach Robert Warzycha said. "The best we can do is to be very organized and get the ball off our feet quick and make them chase. They have a preseason behind them plus nine league games so whatever they have to do to fix things they've had the time. We're at a pretty good level but come on, you can't be at the same level they are. Hopefully the home stadium will help.

Brunner is a wee bit more confident despite the injuries, "It's nothing new," defender Eric Brunner said. "We dealt with it last year. We had a lot of injuries, suspensions and national team call-ups. We had guys step up."

Also the Crew might have a distinct advantage if the Toluca side knows as much about the Crew as the Mexican Press...

CHECK OUT THIS WHOOPS:
from diario de yucatan.

While the American table presents this series with many doubts, because due to the timing of the MLS preseason in full view to the next campaign begins next month.

This situation undoubtedly is against the team coached by Brian Bliss, who must try to resolve it somehow, since it is imperative they get home advantage.



ANOTHER (MORE PLAUSIBLE) ADVANTAGE FOR THE CREW?:

Toluca has been in poor form over there 2010 Clasura Season with only 2 wins out of there 9 games so far, for a 2-5-2 record. Toluca has been especially dreadful away with only two ties and three loses. However, Cruz Azul was coming off a Red Bull-esque season in the 2009 Clasura but still pounded Columbus twice both home and away, so we'll see if it really makes a difference. Nevertheless, it is good to know that Toluca is not coming into this game red hot.

Here are all there Clasura statistics from ESPN Soccernet:




Who Is Toluca's Targetman? Well, Only One of World Cup side Chile's Strikers:

So far during this Clasura campaign the player on the hottest run for Toluca scoring-wise is Hector Raul Mancilla, who has netted 4 goals in 8 appearances for the sausages (yeah apparently according to a Mexican guy I know who is doing a documentary tomorrow of Crew fans, that is usually what Toluca is made fun of for, I guess a sausage dish is popular there and most other Mexican fans call them the sausages).

Anyways, a depleted backline for the Crew will have to deal with Mancilla and company to come out with a positive result. The sausages are only missing defender Edgar Doudas while Toluca's strike force will come in pretty intact.

Here's a couple days out on the pitch for Mancilla, who has 44 goals in 66 appearances for Toluca since 2008. Brunner and Iro are going to have fun with this guy (or not):

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