By Ryan Fleming
A few thoughts before I head off to Toronto later tonight.
1. The game itself: It might not be the flashy, more glamorous teams of the MLS, but either way, I see these two teams matching up well against each other.
Kevin Hartman has the ability to be a game changer in goal for FC Dallas, but the midfield will be the key to the game, and with my playoff MVP, David Ferreira, commanding the midfield along with Dax McCarthy, I’m giving the upper hand to the Hoops.
Don’t be surprised if the Colorado Rapids can pull it out, though. If Omar Cummings played in a different league than the MLS, he would be getting more attention for his play. Colorado sure has a gifted player on their hands, and Dallas better be weary. The Jamaican international is a game changer.
2. My upcoming 12+ hour Greyhound ride: You might think I’m crazy, and even resort to names that would go against my better judgment. But believe me, I’ll endure the possibility of not sleeping, getting lost in Buffalo – where I’ll transfer at 3 a.m. – and the idea of missing my trip completely, rather than spend another $500 dollars I don’t have on a flight that frankly takes too long.
My anxiety over not sleeping – unable to close my eyes because I’m too excited – is because I am a hockey fan too, you know. The Hockey Hall of Fame is in Toronto, yes? I will be making a visit.
In my mind, I’m sure there will be the everlasting nervousness of dealing with public transportation, making sure I’m following all the local customs and the other aspects that come with traveling.
If I sleep? Game on.
3. Meeting others: It is not often a person of my experience (or lack there of) gets to be in the company with such recognizable journalists. Grant Wahl, author John Doyle, Kyle McCarthy and, I am assuming, the t.v. personality Alexi Lalas will be present at some point.
But never mind the writers, what about all the supporters who will be around?
I’ve recently been introduced to Boris Aguilar, the President of the Red Patch Boys, Toronto FC’s biggest supporters club. The Boys put together a heck of a list of events for media, supporters, and every other soccer fan in the area for the MLS Cup final. The groups of Colorado and Dallas supporters will be in full, anticipated force.
For a little known blog like The Soccer Guys, this is truly a chance that we probably wouldn’t have got if it wasn’t for Lizz Summers of the New England Revolution, providing us with an opportunity to cover the Revs on a weekly basis. Giving us a chance was the greatest thing anyone has done. I’d like to thank her on our behalf.
Even in Toronto, Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org