Because I have no idea what to expect from the Union these days, and because Toronto FC is so horrible and nondescript that I know very little about them, I decided to see how Saturday's game at PPL Park (7:30 p.m., Comcast Network) would go in a FIFA 14 simulation.
As it turns out -- to no one's surprise -- the newest version of the popular game is incredibly realistic (my real prediction at bottom).
The game (which I just simulated, did not play) was incredibly boring and sloppy, and ended in a 0-0 draw.
Three plays were worthy of highlights.
A Conor Casey miss that sent virtual PPL Park into a frenzy:
[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/k_eLJVpD6qo service=youtube width=590 height=443]
Apparently EA Sports even made MLS refereeing realistic on this don't-call-it-a-handball:
[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/N94s_k8HwfM service=youtube width=590 height=443]
And finally, a play that perfectly describes the Union's home form of late:
[nbcsports_video src=//www.youtube.com/embed/2mOFeAOZf3k service=youtube width=590 height=332]
PREDICTION SURE TO BE WRONG
How will the game actually go? As boring and tame as the Union have been at home in the last three months, I don't think that will be the case on Saturday.
Toronto is horrible. But they have absolutely nothing to lose. So They'll have a few young guys coming in hoping to impress a coach or two, and will be flying high after a win over DC United's "E" Team last weekend.
(Speaking of that game, if you ever wanted to see a sports columnist go OFF on an entire franchise, read this.)
The Union MUST get three points. Anything less and they can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye. Red-hot Columbus, New England and Chicago are right on the Union's heels, and Philadelphia ends the season AT Montreal and home to a Sporting Kansas City team seeking revenge. If the Union can get three points here and three points next weekend in DC, any points at all in the final two games might be enough. Might.
I think the Union get the result they need on Saturday, but in typical nervy fashion. It won't be pretty.
Prediction: Union 2, Toronto FC 1.