No Koevermans, no problem for Toronto FC. The Reds unlikely playoff push is back on track after a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. Al Dannity looks back on a thrilling performance from Paul Mariner’s team.
Do you believe in miracles?
The Reds started out playing like they were in the Aron Winter days on Wednesday. A missed PK in the first half was followed by Toronto FC going a goal down against the run of play. With Danny Koevermans done for the season, the Reds were left trying to make a comeback without a player that had a hand in half their goals this season. The unlikely revival under Paul Mariner took another step forward with a thrilling comeback at BMO Field.
Ryan Johnson got the show on the road as he equalised on 51 minutes. Then on 67 minutes Andrew Wiedeman was in the right place at the right time to score his first Major League Soccer (MLS) goal and give the Reds the points. That win means the Reds have now got three straight victories and points in eight of their past nine games. That isn’t the form of a team rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference. That’s playoff form, and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to believe.
Six-pointer on the horizon
Nobody could have imagined the word playoffs even entering the lexicon of Toronto FC after they started the MLS season with 9 straight defeats. Having gone 5-2-4 over the last 11 games, the Reds remain rooted to the bottom of the conference ladder but Paul Mariner has fans believing. It would be remarkable if Toronto FC were to record a first ever playoff appearance in a season that started so badly. After all even the Montreal Impact, who site 5 points ahead of the Reds, are seen as fringe playoff contenders at this stage.
Yet there is cause for belief. On Saturday July 28, the Houston Dynamo take on Toronto in a game that could make or break the season. A win for Toronto and suddenly the fifth and final playoff spot is no longer a pipe dream, with the entire bottom half of the Eastern Conference being drawn into the playoff picture. Defeat and the season would, effectively, be over. Belief is infectious. Kurt Larson’s column on Tuesday got people talking. Wiedeman’s goal has now got some of them believing. Another win on Saturday and the biggest turnaround in MLS history could be on the cards.