CONCACAF Champions League | Toronto FC vs Colorado Rapids | Three Takeaways | February 27, 2018

The second leg of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League saw the Rapids hold Toronto FC scoreless on their home soil. TFC advanced to the SCCL quarterfinals thanks to a 2-0 aggregate over the two-legged tie.

Here are three takeaways from the match...

Rapids fans should support Toronto FC (or maybe just the league)…

Hear me out here. If Toronto FC goes on to become the first MLS side to win the Champions League in the current format it would be a positive for soccer fans in Colorado. It would be a good thing for MLS and good for soccer in North America. Ultimately that’s a good thing for fans of the sport and of growing the game in this region. MLS is on par (and gaining ground quickly) with Liga MX in many metrics. Now it’s time to prove it on the pitch by beating a Mexican team for a major trophy. So, no, I’m not saying supporters of the burgundy and blue root for TFC. But I am saying that over the next few months, fans should throw their support behind an MLS side to hoist the Champions League trophy in late April.

 


 

The trilogy of Rapids/Reds should be fun…

Greg Vanney’s side returns to the Mile High City in just six-and-half short weeks for an MLS meeting at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. Personally, this date just went from an important early season home fixture to must-see, appointment viewing. Between the two Champions League matches, things got chippy, physical and heated on a few occasions. That’s mostly because Anthony Hudson’s side didn’t back down or give an inch over 180 minutes. Toronto was a heavy favorite in this tie and Greg Vanney chose a first-choice lineup on both occasions. Ultimately, Toronto took their two chances in the first leg, the Rapids didn’t. Aside from that, both teams looked evenly matched with great one-on-one battles at almost every position. That’s promising for Hudson and fans of the Rapids. At such an early stage in the Hudson era, the Rapids went toe-to-toe with a side that will end up going down in MLS history books as one of the best ever. With six more weeks for new players to acclimate to their new surroundings, I’m excited to see the third installment of Rapids against Reds on April 14.

 


 

Danny Wilson impressed in his debut…

On the road? In Canada? In February? Against an attack that torched MLS defenses for 74 goals last season? Not exactly an easy scenario to make your club debut, but the Scotsman has clearly earned the trust of his new manager and teammates in just a short time. Giovinco, Altidore and Vazquez have the ability and freedom to create chances against every defense in this league. And, yes, the home side left a few on the table Tuesday but Wilson, along with his backline partners Tommy Smith and Kortne Ford did a magnificent job of limiting mistakes and clear opportunities. The trio leaned on Zac MacMath to make a pair of big saves late in the match, but in all, they were organized and communicated well in an extremely tough environment. Any idea how many times TFC was held scoreless at home during the regular season in 2017? Once. One time did they fail to score. In the end, the Rapids leave BMO Field with a result they can use to build momentum ahead of the March 10 season opener in New England. It’s a result that may leave fans asking for more, but these 180 minutes are a great start given the circumstances.

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