Saturday, September 15, 2007

TFC 0 Real Salt Lake 0

It was pathetic today. I deserve better. Well, I mean all fans deserve better, but I am taking this miserable play personally. Must have been the cold winds off the lake that soured me. TFC needs to find a half dozen players for next season. The goal scoring drought has taken on a life of it's own. Yes. there is an element of rotten luck, but there is also a lot of flaws being exposed.
Real Salt Lake was reduced to 10 players late in the first half. It had been a close, but chippy game. Esky went down like a ton of bricks to trick the ref into the yellow on Boyens. The Real Salt Lake players spent a lot of time talking to the ref and he was putting up with it. You felt they were reviewing their take on the laws of the game and all the ghastly (ghost) fouls that he was missing. In the early going with the man advantage, there were some close misses, but somehow there was a lack of optimism in the air going into half-time.

The critical exposure of the TFC lack of depth started with the second half when a half-time injury to Marvell Wynne meant that Adam Braz was put into the game at right back. Perhaps the Wynne injury was connected to the foul on him from behind that led to the red card? You can go ahead and tease me, I did name Braz my man of the match last week in Dallas, but you got the feeling that Salt Lake's defending stategy was leave Braz unmarked because they wanted him to have the ball. Braz would work the ball up to his winger Miguel Canizalez who would look scared with the ball, go nowhere and manage to lose the ball or scramble it back to Braz. Maybe I am too harsh on Canizalez, the TFC roster on the website lists him as a defender. If that is true, what was Mo thinking ??
So instead of dominating the midfield, Carl Robinson was playing way back to give Braz an option to pass to. If he was needed back there to anchor the d, maybe Andy Boyens should have been sent forward. It seemed defeatist to be playing with five in the back.(Did Caninzalez make it 6 ??)
Hey, how about an overlap Carl Robinson ? He could have been penetrating the right wing, but instead he seemed to be a central gatekeeper, always channeling passes from Braz to Brennan or Brennan to Braz. If a Robinson supplied a pass forward to Edu he was always surrounded by the Salt Lake midfield. How about a give'n go Robinson ?? Follow your pass or make a run. I think I saw Robinson come forward once and that was when Braz came up a with a power pass that flew over everyone into the stands.
The TFC attack down the left (Brennan and Dunivant) did break through and supplied some hopeful crosses. This duo work very hard and try to come up with something- but they are defenders playing out of position.
Andrea Lombardo either has incredible bad luck or has no touch around the net. He does seem to head goalward with the ball, showing little awareness of Colin Samuel or anyone else for that matter. RSL did have veteran Eddie Pope covering Lombardo a lot of the time, so that there was little room for vision. When Jeff Cunningham came on there was more interplay between he and Samuels in a few minutes than we had seen all day between Lombardo and Samuel. A healthy Cunningham must pave the way for Lombardo to spend the rest of the season on the bench.
So a tie and another non goalfest for TFC. The air has gone out of this season. It started leaking in July, but it is gone now. It is next year's squad that is being formed now. I wish that TFC players would stop playing themselves off of that squad, but that is the nature of growing pains.


stillkicking said...

Mo and I are on the same page for next year's team.
Mo's quote after the game.
“We need to get stronger as a group, I am looking for 6 or 7 guys, and there is a lot to be done here. I want a high-class goal scorer that can score me 15-20 goals a season.”
Well two of those new players will be first round draft choices - will another be a DP to provide the 15 -20 goals ??

arsenalist said...

Agree on Carl Robinson, he was trying to generate wing play instead of just passing it ahead and threatening for himself. Canizales is really a midfielder and a decent one if given time, you can't ask him to do much when he's paired up with Braz on the left side...

What didn't make any sense was the Lombardo for Cunningham substitution. They're too similar IMHO to play together and complement each other. I thought playing Lombardo and Cunny might've made more sense. Besides, Samuels sucks.

I gotta get me to a game one of these days...