NICK LEYDEN - Friday, January 28, 2011
For the second time this season Tony Taylor and Greg Garza will hope to take the field against Portuguese giant Sporting in a cup game on Saturday evening.
After being eliminated from the Taça de Portugal by Sporting in October, Os Canarinhos have a chance for revenge when the Lisbon squad visits the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota again, this time for the Taça da Liga.
The matchup will be the final group game of the third round for both teams. Sporting are already guaranteed to advance having won both of their previous games, while Estoril will need to earn a victory and hope for a positive result in the other Group D game between Naval and Penafiel.
Both of Estoril's Americans will have reason to believe that Vinícius Eutrópio may call their number when announcing the lineup.
Florida native Taylor played the full 90 in Estoril's last Taça da Liga game, a 2-2 tie with Naval, while Garza's debut appearance came in the first game of the round.
The fullback's chances of being named to the roster will also be improved by the recent loan of first choice defender Luiz Alberto to Belenenses.
The odds are certainly stacked against the home side, as Sporting currently sits in third place in the first division and have won six of their previous seven games. Os Canarinhos, on the other hand, have not won in their last six outings and are fighting to stay out of the second division's relegation zone.
Estoril will not enter the game without confidence, however. The first matchup between the two ended 2-1 for Sporting, although Estoril dominated for large portions of the game.