Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Toronto FC 1 Houston Dynamo 0 (May 16th)

Sometimes a team has to eke out a victory with a minimum of force and style and tonight the TFC did just that. It was a wet and windy night and although some of the sellout were there disguised as empty seats,those who were there were in finest voice.
Andy Welsh got his head perfectly to a ball off of a free kick in the first half and the goal had to stand up for the duration. Houston were neither dominated nor dominating, if you know what I mean. They always retained a sense of danger when they were on the ball, but the Toronto defense was able to bend (and slip and stumble) but did not break. Canadian MLS star Dwayne DeRosario looked average for want of a better term. Watching his team had me questioning the team name - Dynamo. They did not seem dynamic. More of a chippy team that flopped at every passing wind and benefited from a ref who could have been auditioning for the role of Mayor of Houston.

The Esky and Buddle combination up front looked rusty. They do not seem to be on the same page often, if at all. Buddle was a force going forward and Esky displayed his usual high energy - but as a pairing or individually they never had that sense of lethal finish. When Andrea Lombardo came on for Esky he was able to stay active and keep the Houston defenders from joining the attack. Lombardo was furious with Buddle when the best scoring chance of the second half went awry. Buddle had a clean break at goal and Lombardo had worked his way in the clear trailing at the far post. I think the anger was a little after the fact, Buddle had every right to take his shot in that situation. But I think Lombardo's annoyance might reflect a touch of impatience that is growing both on and off the field.
The slippery conditions were not doing any favours for Greg Sutton. He might have had moments where the handle was hard to find on that slick ball. To keep a clean sheet in those conditions was worthy of a salute.
Maurice Edu remains one of my faves and had a solid game. Robinson was involved in some tackles and did the unsung work in the midfield, but did not look as strong as Saturday.
So happy to report that no projectiles were thrown, no showboat drunks on the field and the south enders were at a new height in their musical performance. The songs were clear. the clapping and the coordination thereof was top quality. From the west stand you can see the support spreading and it seems to have started jumping the gaps- in other words the fans in the sections(both east and west sides)that are closest to the south end are starting to participate in clapping, singing and chanting along with the Red Patch and U Sector. No tribal drum group tonight and I think that was a good thing. Oh and the TFC Superstar song seems to be really catching on. The one to the tune of Jesus Christ Superstar that goes T O R, O N T, OOOOOO TFC. It sounds beautiful ringing out on a night when beauty was in short supply. But that is a weather comment - we have our first winning streak so rejoice !!!

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