The first twenty minutes of the game at RFK showed TFC in rare form. Yes, in recent games, Toronto has had stretches of good play, (1st half against the Crew, many moments in Dallas) but this seemed to be a level above recent top gear. The passes were crisp from the back, the midfielders were moving forward with confidence, there just seemed to be opportunities in the air. And sure enough......
Carl Robinson hit a beautiful free kick and scored his second goal of the season. Sure, Perkins was faked, fooled and on the wrong foot, yet the flight of the ball was a thing of beauty.
After the goal DC worked their way back into the game a little. A shot from distance glanced off the cross bar behind Kenny S. DC was able to increase the pressure, but nothing came of it. TFC takes their lead with them to halftime.
Colin Samuel had a solid first half. He was moving with strength and speed, although he does frustrate with his bursts of clumsy ball control, just when you think he is putting his game together.
Marvell Wynne's speed kept getting him into dangerous territory. In the half time interview Carl Robinson said TFC was playing a 4-5-1, was Wynne the striker ??
Andy Boyens was patrolling the right side well, showing some speed and a good sense of position. Even when beat he would find a way to recover.
Well that was all TFC had for the night. All the flow and promise of the first 45 evaporated like the sweat on Dick Cheney's brow (like the way I work in the political angle for a game in Washington DC ?).
In the second half DC scored a scorcher in the 52nd minute from Burch. The ball started to look like it had a magical attraction to DC's feet. Fred added one in the 57th minute, finding the far corner as he shot from a good distance out to right of Toronto's goal.
These are the goals that Toronto never score, finding space and shooting while in the flow of the attack.
Mo makes a change- Jeff Cunningham on in the 61st minute, out goes Adam Braz.
Moreno proves in the 66nd minute that he can score when he sails in way offside and puts it away. Maybe it was expecting the offside flag to go up that contributed to Kenny S. looking less than stellar on the play.
Emilio makes it 4. Gomez hits the crossbar on a free kick and Emilio volleys in the rebound. Must I tell you the minute that this one went in ? Did you think I was standing around watching the clock in the same way that TFC seemed to be standing around watching the ball ? My new tradition must be that I will not report the time of the goal that puts Toronto down by three.
Was all this a result of sloppy defending or was it merely DC United asserting their quality and taking control ? They do know how to score...
Colin Samuel makes way for Andrea Lombardo with maybe 15 minutes to play.
Chris Pozniak off for Miguel Canizalez with less than ten to play.
What is left now ? This must be the moment where TFC finally has been eliminated from longshot playoff contention, isn't it ? Gerry Dobson tells us that "the game is starting to fade away just a little bit". No Gerry, it was fading away two goals ago. It has now left the solar system. Gerry recovers, sounds accurate when he describes the game as "whimpering".
This Toronto FC team has a cruel way of toying with you. The hopeful half precedes the bloody hopeless one. At least they are seldom boring. Next is New York at BMO on Thursday night. Will we get to see Gabe Gala ? How about Wynne and Boyens as strikers ? What new and sweet torture will TFC devise for that game ? Stay tuned.