MLS Preview: Toronto FC - Montreal Impact

Thomas Floyd
MLS Preview: Toronto FC - Montreal Impact

Toronto FC's hopes of a playoff bid are long gone, but Ryan Nelsen's side can still play spoiler and help keep a Canadian rival out of the postseason.

Going into Saturday's trip to face TFC (5-17-11) at BMO Field, the Montreal Impact (14-12-7) are in third place in the Eastern Conference but just one point ahead of the Houston Dynamo, who are the last team out of the postseason field. While a win over lowly Toronto will clinch a playoff berth, a loss or tie could drop the Impact into the knockout round or out of the playoffs entirely.

Toronto enters the game mired in a 1-7-3 stretch, during which the sole win came against a D.C. United reserve squad. The Impact, on the other hand, ended a crippling 0-5-1 spell with a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union last weekend.

The match could prove critical in the awards race as well, with Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio (20 goals) tied for the Golden Boot lead with Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee. If Di Vaio can get his side into the playoffs, it also will enhance his MVP credentials.

Montreal will be without veteran defender Alessandro Nesta, who suffered a calf injury against the Union. After missing last weekend's loss to Chicago with an ankle ailment, Toronto midfielder Bobby Convey is set to return for this contest.

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