Saturday, May 19, 2007

Toronto FC 1 DC United 2

TFC and their loyal fans were given a cold dose of reality today in the clear sunshine of a May Saturday afternoon. The second half was not all disaster, but an own goal, some lethargic play in the middle minutes and a very dubious penalty kick given against Marvell Wynne all added up to the worst stretch of play in this now concluded homestand. TFC had gone into half time with a 1-0 lead on Alecko Eskandarian’s first goal of the season. Life was all sunshine and tallboys at that point. TFC seemed capable of scoring again and there had been few serious counter attacks from DC. I was convinced TFC had it in the bag.
Here are the mistakes by the lake today…
It seems to me that one constant tactic used by DC United (Larry Millson in the Globe and Mail today wondered if the DC stands for Diving Club) was to save yourself from many lost challenges by dropping and getting a call from a ref who bought it everytime.
When TFC had the ball, Welsh and Dichio were taking a beating. You expect Dichio to be in the battle, but the ref did not seem to keep the situation level and under control. Andy Welsh’s ankles must have needed ice at game end as he was being taken out low time and time again.
Three games in a week is too much for this small squad. They cannot change the schedule, but they can increase their squad can’t they? If anyone can enlighten me on MLS roster limits I would be appreciative.
We lost the battle for the central midfield in the second half. Edu and Robinson were scrambling more than creating and too often balls played wide to O’Brien and Welsh lead to them looking awfully isolated.

Stayed for the first half of the Reserves game. It was not the messy afterthought of last week’s game. Having a concession open was very thoughtful. Buddle and Lombardo were the TFC Reserves strikers. They did not click together well in either their substitution time in the main game or in the first half of the reserves match. I am starting to suspect that they don't like each other. I can't put my finger on it, but a lack of cameraderie seems to be there.

The sightlines from my seats to the field are excellent when the play is directly in front of me. I am west side – upper deck. When I have to swivel to my left to watch play in the far half the traffic from people migrating to and from their seats in the aisle by the doorway is a constant distraction since you are forced to look through or around them.
I divide the folks of the world into 2 camps, fans and tourists.
The fans get there early and get their snacks and beverages in before the start of the game. They might do some coordination so that they have beer x in their hand at the start of play and might go and get beer y quickly at half time and not miss a minute of play.
The tourists arrive late and get up and down constantly. They think that they are attending a pizza slice festival and “oh, isn’t that cute there are some soccer players down there and now I have to saunter off for a coke and fries. Tourists leave with 10 minutes to play because they want to beat the traffic. You know what really helps you beat the traffic ? Not coming out to the game in the first place because all you are going to do is obstruct the view of those fans who truly are watching the game.
Tourists stay home.
Tourists, the Blue Jays love you.
And yeah, I would not be this cranky if that penalty kick hadn't been given.


D said...

I just can't agree with this. Aside from the Penalty that was gifted to United in the New England game, I have not had an issue with any of the calls since then. I am a biased observer, I admit that, and the penalty we got against the Revs was ridiculous (and I was happy to call it out at the time) but this one was legitimate. Wynne took down a player after the ball was cut back, and the penalty was the correct decision.

Look, there will be dubious calls this season against everyone, so I'd save real outrage for one of them. This official was one of the best I have seen this year.

And honestly, while I know I'm inherently biased, I am trying to view this as objectively as I can.

arsenalist said...

I haven't watched much MLS action at all until this year but the feeling I get about the refs is that they let things slip out of control too easily. It's not that they're biased or have an agenda, they're just not very good at controlling emotions and putting out fires.

Paul said...

Thank goodness Soehn pulled Erpen when he did--he was cruisin' for a second yellow.

Anonymous said...

It seems that a lot of tourists are already showing up at Blue Jay games.
Tourists need to stay away from sporting events and go see The CN Tower or Casa Loma, where they don't sell refreshments and beating traffic is never a concern!!!!!! GO TFC!!!!!

PPP said...

Lombardo is probably still miffed that Buddle shot instead of laying it across for him on that breakaway against Houston.

And Buddle was surely not very impressed with Lombardo's overly enthusiastic and long waving of his arms following that chance. It was a rookie mistake to make his teammate look bad like that and I would not be surprised to learn that Buddle didn't appreciate it.