Santos Laguna vs Toronto FC, Part 2: More Handbags Than the Real Housewives
After a heated affair in Toronto last Wednesday, we’re ready for round 2 of the CONCACAF Champions League semi-final between Santos Laguna and Toronto FC. Much has been made of the officiating by the Mexican side, with the word “gringo” being thrown around like it was beads at Mardi Gras including at the American referee Ricardo Salazar.
And let’s not forget about the post-match handbags which resulted in one of Santos’ top strikers (and the same person who sank the Montreal Impact three years ago) Darwin Quintero getting a red card in an altercation with Ashtone Morgan…a definitely edge that Toronto FC can exploit tomorrow, except we will not have Danny Koevermans, who is suspended after a yellow card in the first leg; we will however still have Ryan Johnson.
The first match may be in the books, but boy oh boy has the handbags not stopped. Santos’ American striker Herculez Gomez is one of the biggest parties to it, with a number of tweets warning Toronto support not to get too excited. He’s now taken to imploring Santos faithful to be present at tomorrow’s match in Torreon. Needless to say it’s taken to the local newspapers in that city, with tickets as low as US$10…clearly, a sign that Santos wants to replicate a Rogers Centre-like atmosphere tomorrow night.
Soccer-wise, TFC will be up against it — Santos will be wanting to capitalize on their away goal that they obtained from Gomez in the 30th minute last week, while Toronto will be wanting to keep him at bay, while trying to push forward. Joao Plata is on a cold streak so far, but this could be the match where he shines…ditto Luis Silva, who hasn’t scored since his debut goal at the Rogers Centre almost a month ago.
League form be damned, this IS the match we need to win. We’ve held our own without Torsten Frings last week (not so much in the league…but that’s another story) — no matter if you are on the #MLS4TFC bandwagon or not, tune in any way…this Mexican-Canadian handbag war is just about to get started for reals!