· I mean seriously, it’s starting to become a theme for the Dynamo to limp into the play-offs and make the finals. Dom Kinnear just turns the heat on at the right time and these guys win play-off games…well not finals but still. On paper it looks like this team should bring the same type of fight to the table. Same back 5 they’ve played for the last two years (Brunner will likely start for Jermaine Taylor). Brad Davis, Boniek Garcia and Will Bruin spearhead a solid (if streaky) offense. Ricardo Clark as the holding/box-to-box option, and the only major changes in the XI are upgrades, Giles Barnes for Calen Carr and Andrew Driver for Adam Moffat (yeah, you may argue Creavealle or Carrasco could also start and yes that would be a step down but still). These guys have been here before and having been denied a championship two years in a row they will be hungry.
2. Can Di Vaio get any help?
· Don’t get me wrong, he does just fine by himself. Marco Di Vaio has made me a fan this season by his ability to create shots out of virtually nothing. But outside of him, Montreal is starving for goals. Felipe is #2 on the team with 5, but he hasn’t scored since August and only has 2 since June 20th. Bernier is #3 with 4 but all have come from the penalty spot. None of the other Forwards on this squad have proven a significant threat, Andrew Wenger’s only goal came in May and Daniele Paponi scored both of his goals on June 29…now I know this team pretty much rode into the play-offs on the back of Di Vaio, but they got very lucky with a big result from New York on the last day to knock Chicago out of the last spot…had they had another goal scorer, this team may have won the shield. They may be able to eek out a few results in the play-offs but priority #1 in the off season, find another goal scorer
3. How much will the weather be a factor?
· Home-field advantage is one this, but with torrential rain anticipated on the night, we can expect random loose balls, poor touches, rebounds and more. Which team will take advantage of that? Di Vaio nearly won a golden boot by taken advantage of defensive missteps, and he toes that offside line so closely…on a slippery field he may be presented with several opportunities. On the other end, Brad Davis makes a living whipping in crosses and with a wet ball and potentially soggy field how many loose balls in the box will Houston get?