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Moving on and moving up as Dynamo eye Toronto

This piece of genius was courtesy of Dom's Disciples' Nigel Brooks.
This piece of genius was courtesy of Dom's Disciples' Nigel Brooks.

So it would appear that someone seems to have let some Canadians come into town, and we all know what goes on when that happens.

Now, to be fair, the three Toronto FC players who got arrested after a drunken bar fight in Houston last night (My favorite part of this story was that one of them ran and then was caught up to by an HPD Officer! Already, I would put the Dynamo's speed as an advantage Wednesday night.), were not actually Canadian. Miguel Aceval is Chilean, Luis Silva is from Los Angeles and Nick Soolsma is Dutch. They only play in Canada. So perhaps my opening remarks should not be construed to mean that Canadians are foul-mouthed, drunken troublemakers. We all know that Canadians are among the nicest people on earth. They only become foul-mouthed, drunken troublemakers when a hockey match is on. So, like I said, fair is fair.

Anyway, it has been almost two days since the Houston Dynamo dispatched the Frisco ISD Best XI not once but twice on Saturday night. (Shame, shame. Did you neglect to see that the reserve teams played after the varsity were done? The Orange back-ups stormed back from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 on a Cam Weaver goal in stoppage.) And now we turn our thoughts to our next game, 48 hours hence, as the Orange host TFC at 8 p.m. Wednesday here at The Cage.

Toronto is on their second manager of the season, Paul Mariner, a man with whom we are familiar, as he was Steve Nicol's assistant during the New England Revolution's run as MLS' answer to the Buffalo Bills. Wednesday's game will be Mariner's second as TFC manager. Let's take a quick look at how the first one went.

Well then. I guess Aron Winter may not have been the problem after all. Still, as the saying goes, you can't fire the players, so Mariner is the new boss.

TFC has really been the league's worst team overall since they entered back in 2007. I actually have no stats to back that up, but other than the Canadian Intra-mural Championships, they really have done absolutely nothing other than sell out just about every game to a group of fiercely loyal (or possibly just masochistic) supporters. No other team except for las chivitas and the last three expansion sides have failed to make the playoffs since 2007. So, when it comes to TFC, the song before the US anthem Wednesday should instead be rewritten as "Oh Canada? Oh, brother."

Still, the team is not without some quality as they have lumbered their way to a 1-10-0 mark, amassing three points in 11 games. In ConcaChampions League play, they ousted the LA Galaxy, exposing them as overrated, before falling in the semifinals. In the Canadian Intra-murals, they beat Vancouver to earn a berth in the next ConcaChampions tourney. So again, not without highlights.

Still, looking at Toronto's last three games, including the win over the Phunions, which got Piotr Nowak canned in the only other MLS manager sacking this season (and really, who couldn't see that one coming?), you can see some patterns that the Dynamo will need to exploit Wednesday night:

Very cute, mentioning before that game that Winter was looking for "Win No. 7," though of course, at this point, they were 0-9-0 in MLS. It's good to be positive. Still, after this game, both managers got the axe, which is fitting, since after watching these highlights I feel like I took one to the eyes.

And here's some more nastiness, TFC's 3-1 loss to DC United.

If you're not having your tongue lolling around as you await the guys in white suits to come get you after watching those last three highlight reels, then I think you might just see that Dynamo have a very winnable game coming up Wednesday night. There'll be some more tactical breakdowns as we get closer, but right now, the only true storm cloud on the Orange horizon is that Calen Carr will be out 1-3 weeks with a hamstring injury he picked up at the end of the first half Saturday night.

I am wary of trap games, and so should we all. But right now, Dynamo is way overdue a beat-down game, and tuning up for this Saturday's game at Stade Saputo against the L'Impact, I am expected a 3-0 Dynamo win. Dynamo are 3-1-1 in Houston over the years against the Reds, outscoring them 9-3. What is your pick?