What you see on television has such an impact on your opinion of the game. Seeing that turf (astro turf ??) takes me back to a very terrible time. Long ago the Toronto Blizzard played at Exhibition Stadium, the old mistake by the lake, and the ball used to skid and slide all over the place. This RSL-TFC game had a little of that off-kilter, "ball runs too fast for humans to keep up with" style of those old NASL nights at the EX. It was hard for me to cope with the flashbacks and keep a focus on the present. Salt Lake City is such a beautiful part of the world, it is a shame that their playing surface looks so awful and plays wild and bouncy.
First half gave us the two players involved in the trade between the two teams providing the goals.
Jeff Cunningham 19th minute
Alecko Eskandarian 44th minute (penalty kick)
It was great to see Cunningham finish one of his breakaways. Seeing Esky go down (with the help of Posniak's clumsy tangle) and then score, eliminated any former TFC loyalty that remained in this corner. Nothing against Esky really, it just sealed the deal.
The second half began with Cunningham getting a knock/twist/twinge on a challenge on the RSL keeper. It then seemed that the camera was going to stay on the injured Cunningham until an intimate moment was broadcast. As my dad used to say upon hearing of a player's groin injury " that will hurt his performance both on and off the field".
Collin Samuel shifted to striker and Andy Welsh came into the game for Cunningham.
TFC always seemed to be the team in control, if not dominant, through the second half. RSL had some speedy counter-attacks, but did not have prolonged pressure or control.
I'm not convinced that the challenge on Samuel in the box was truly a foul, but the penalty kick was awarded and he made no mistake on his shot. Certainly TFC was more than overdue to have a borderline call go their way.
Andy Welsh made sure that the fans back home had one final heart attack as his pass back almost gave RSL something they did not deserve.
The injuries did pile up- Welsh getting a turf rash to the face, Cunningham with his pull, Sam Reynolds had to be replaced with 5 minutes to go. Mo will have some worries ahead.
But allow me to end with a Swirsky.....
TFC win, TFC win, TFC win !