HOUSTON VS. TORONTO
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM - SATURDAY 8:30PM ET
In a year of terrible headlines for Toronto FC, none may match those that followed the club's last visit to Houston for sheer farce. The arrest of three Reds - Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva and Nick Soolsma - may have been much ado about little but it sort of encapsulated the embarrassment of all things TFC. Stumbling, bumbling and only being famous for doing everything wrong.
On the field, the story has been equally lamentable. It was this very same Dynamo team who started TFC's current MLS winless streak (5 matches and counting) by defeating The Reds 2-0 at BMO Field and will push Toronto hard towards another road loss. Despite new faces and a new regime, TFC has returned to familiar territory and a loss to Houston coupled with a potential banana skin against Santos Laguna in CCL will have fans lighting torches. With season ticket renewal time around the corner, MLSE must wish its worst problem was at Club Escobar.
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "Escobar II: Luigi's Revenge"
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
HOUSTON: Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Cam Weaver
TORONTO: Richard Eckersley, Darren O'Dea, Luis Silva
- TFC setting player curfew for 1PM: 2-1
- Miguel Aceval found wandering shoeless at stadium: 3-1
- Nick Soolsma's case accusing the Houston Police Department of "Feline Profiling" leading to a cash settlement: 500-1
WHO ARE YA?
"Where are they now?" 'The TFC Three':
The case of Toronto FC's three most hardened criminals - well apart from Martin Saric (shoplifting), Maxim Usanov (horse punching) and Collin Samuel (death by chocolate) - has been well documented but what has happened to the three since that night at Club Escobar?
LUIS SILVA: The only job-survivor of the three continues to ply his trade in Toronto while wondering what bad karma led to TFC drafting him. He has scored a few goals against all odds while never giving up his dream of impersonating a young Freddie Mercury on Broadway.
NICK SOOLSMA: The ever-youthful Dutchman has gone back the The Netherlands with his cat tail between his legs. Met at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam by his trusted cat "Suarez" (who sprayed him in disgust), Soolsma has taken an oath of sobriety and has opened a cattery outside of The Hague for alcoholic kitties. He continues his work as the poster boy for "Dutch Boy Paints".
MIGUEL ACEVAL: While waiting for his eyes to go straight for the first time since his mugshot, the burley South American has returned home to straighten out his life and "work on his music". His famous left-foot has come in handy for kicking empty bottles down the lonely streets of Santiago. Wants to pursue a career in Chilean mining.
POST-MATCH HEADLINE: "TFC ON THE WRONG SIDE OF PLAYOFF VELVET ROPE"
And... Since it's Friday and we all love to watch dangerous behaviour, here's some footage outside of Nick Soolsma's motel room the last time TFC were in Houston. Pretty sure that's Ty Harden in the yellow. MAJOR LAMBZER!