Saturday, April 28, 2007

Toronto FC 0 KC 1

That was fun. As a starting blogger, you are aware that the two large traps to fall into are either becoming a relentless fanboy or a perpetual grumpy griper. I think my thoughts about the stadium, the atmosphere and the total experience transcends the fan level. I had moments today when I was dealing with that rare state, what do you do when you find a dream coming true? The game I love being played in a place designed for it, in my home town, by a team that wants my support. Who would have predicted this?

A bitter result; we were not outplayed and KC did not deserve the points, but they did take their opportunity and exploited it. It happened so quickly, I'm not sure where the breakdown came from.
ps. cheers to the fans who threw their beer at the celebrating KC Wiz. Why were the players trying to get as close as they could to the crowd? I saw Eddie Johnson gesture towards the crowd. Considering the price of beer, the shower was of a quality he did not deserve.
Now that I have seen them in the flesh - allow me to throw around some TFC verdicts.
Sutton played well and it was wonderful to see him go down field twice in the final moments. Thanks MoJo for showing that this was a big game in your eyes too.
Robinson and Edu are gems, tireless workers, confident with the ball. They were the heart of the team today.
Danny Dichio and Esky were showing signs of figuring each other out - stick with them, I say, and the goals will come.
Wynne and Boyens had their shaky moments moving the ball for sections in the first half, but Wynne started finding his space down the wing more and more as the game progressed. Where was his link to the midfield in the second half ? Nagumura seemed to go missing in action and poor Wynne would find himself surrounded by a horde of KC defenders.
Welsh was moving down his wing and was a positive force all day. I was not happy to see him come off. I wanted Nagamura off. When finally he gets pulled, I have to groan because on comes Buddle. Where does Ronnie O'Brien fit into this midfield when he gets healthy ? Maybe Nagamura is best in a central role ?
We need some attack down the right side !
Boyens and Brennan were a solid pair in the middle.
Overall the team did seem to tire in the second half. Wonder how the ref enjoyed the game seeing as there were moments when he seemed to have never encountered the sport before in his life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

KC 3 Toronto FC 0

Got home from the Open House in time to catch the second half. This TFC continues to struggle and wiggle and shake in their defense. I understand the need to be patient and positive. Playing both Wynne and Goldthwait meant there were two new faces trying to find their places - adding to the chaos of it all.Just felt sorry for Sutton, sometimes he looks too lonely out there.Thought Edu showed some speed and looked ok. Esky was the determined dynamo late in the game and I thought he was going to be rewarded. Welsh made some runs down the left and seems to be making progress. I thought the general scrappyness of Toronto FC towards the end was a good sign.I am not looking forward to seeing Buddle play live. I am looking forward to seeing him on the bench. Paul James on The Score said it straight - there are some players who look out of their depth. I guessed that Buddle was in that category. Expansion team and job security don't often stick together much.Boyens as a second half substitute seemed to play much better than last time, but then he had nowhere to go but up.

The Score begins at a disadvantage with their score band across the bottom of your screen. Then when you throw in the supplied Kansas City commentary...I can't decide whether to turn off the sound or just sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
Have you ever seen a television broadcast of a sports event where they informed you of the location of the aftergame party ?
Have you ever seen sports on tv where the broadcast team and the home team coaches are wearing the same uniform warm-ups ?
Were you surprised after seeing the broadcasters in uniform to hear them use the term "we".
See you Saturday for the home opener.

BMO Field Open House thoughts

It was an intimate gathering at the new place. I came away with a smile on my face. The food coupon was a nice touch and the food was fine. I went for the Kobe beef burger and the missus went for the sushi. Saving the chip butty for Saturday.
I think the view facing the city's skyline is the better view, just hope that staring off at the great view does not become a habit -looking away from the product on the field. The sight lines seem superb, I felt that I was looking down nicely on the south net. I don't expect to be a fan of Field Turf, but I give it marks for being a solid shade of green.
Worried about the sound system. I fear that it will be used to dominate every spare second a'la Raptors. Trust the fans to make the noise, I say and save the music for when the game is not being played.
The west side of BMO stadium seems odd. No entry gates, only the VIP entrance which is not marked in anyway.
Everyone seemed cheerful and friendly. Having staff(Security? Food? Plumbing?) walking around with bluetooth earpluggers gave the place a slick MLSE feel. If I stumble across one guy talking to himself I think I have witnessed something important. If I see a dozen I just think they're showing off. But that could just be me.
Bring on Saturday !

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New England 4 Toronto FC 0

Yuck, that was a thumping.

Hard to pull something positive out of such a night. Don’t want to hang the loss on any one player when it was a total problem. A reminder was sent out clearly tonight - this is an expansion team. I repeat - this is an expansion team.

Too bad it came on the heels of getting the season ticket package. That was fun. The idea of wearing your scarf with ticket attached to the first game is a great one. It promises a sense of fun and an awareness of futbol tradition.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

First game - meet your FC

Who are these guys ??

Just thought I would write my random observations in honour of the very first game. Overall I was more impressed than put off. Craig Forrest called the fan reaction " pleasantly surprised" and I will give him that to some extent.
It seems that years of cheering for Canada has been the best prep for Toronto FC fandom. The great Canadian tradition continues - great goal keeping, solid defenders and a midfield that are dogged defenders, but not thrilling when they have the ball. Then you cap it off with strikers who are often missing in action.

First half impressions....

Sutton looked solid and strong. The Chivas goal was a surprise and came from a quick pass rather than sustained pressure. You get the feeling that Greg Sutton will win some games all on his own..

Andrew Boyens looks like a hell of a player. Putting a rookie at right back when you are only playing with 3 in the back is either crazy or shows courage. Boyens pulled it off well.

The midfield looked crowded and they did not seem to play together well. Welsh had some runs down the left, but Carl Robinson was on the invisible side. Nagamura contributed a great shot.

Buddle and Eskandarian were speedy up front and both had real opportunities to score.

Second half

Miguel Canizalez was booked result of a smart foul that only lead to Sutton making a smart save.

Even when Chivas had the majority of play, you did not feel that the FC back three were being stretched out of their positions or that Chivas had any attacking tempo.

Conor Casey comes in for Welsh, so Mo goes with 3 strikers.

Casey with his shaved head, could he be Dr. Evil ??
Edson Buddle did not seem to be making runs into space to get passes.

Marco Reda played a good game. It was worrying to see him go off. Jim Brennan will need to be strong.

Nagamura was booked for a knock that the Chivas player treated like a savage attack.

Buddle looked worn out and a step out of position whenever the ball was in his vicinity. Eskandarian (call him Esky - he has a talkative and friendly blog on the official FC site ??) had a burst of energy and a wild shot late in the game.

Then Chivas broke through with a thunderbolt. What was that celebration by Kljestan, pulling at the blades of grass- will anyone try that with Field Turf ??

Next game Saturday April 14th against the New England Revolution.