Saturday, April 26, 2008
Toronto shows perpetual offense, defeats KC 2-0
There is something sweet brewing down by Lake Ontario. That once wonky home team is showing signs of coming together on a fast-track schedule that not even the crazy optimistic few were ever predicting. We fans spent the winter complaining about the lack of ingredients going into the stew-pot, but if this continues who cares about the slow cooking method that got us to this point ?
Toronto FC won their second home game today, defeating the Kansas City Wizards 2-0. Amado Guevara scored both goals and if the first one was just taking advantage of bad KC defending, the second was brilliant and inspired. He curled in a high free kick, over the wall and under the crossbar. The build-up to that goal was worth the price of admission. Robert and Guevara both over the ball and deliberating to the point that Robinson ran back with what seemed to be an offer to mediate. No need for intervention, it was just part of the drama.
TFC have yet to allow a goal in two home games and have created their very first three game winning streak. Greg Sutton in goal and the back four are working together smoothly. Although you were always aware of KC’s ability to counter-attack, even the eventual Marco Velez mistake was corrected and countered. It is unfair to mention the Velez scary moment, he has looked strong and steady at BMO Field to my eye.
Every midfielder made a complete contribution. I am willing to give a huge salute to Carl Robinson who may have played his best ever game in a TFC uniform that I have witnessed. He was everywhere, tracking and disrupting the KC attack and distributing the ball crisply and smartly when Toronto had the ball. He seemed to know the Wizard attacking strategy better than they did. Lauren Robert had a productive first half as Toronto did everything short of scoring. Robert does tire in the second half and I am hoping that his stamina can improve for the hot months to come. I was silently willing John Carver to sub Robert for at least 15 minutes before he did. But Carver's delay meant that Robert was there as a free kick threat/decoy on the spectacular second goal. There is no doubt that the burst of energy that Jarrod Smith brought to the left flank was startling and we should see more of him, possibly earlier.
Maurice Edu played well,, but he seems to be still adjusting to the new trio around him (Guevara, Robert and Ricketts). Speaking of adjustments, Ricketts and Wynne seem to be on different pages. The potential to be mined there is considerable. I liked that Carver switched his wingers, Ricketts and Robert, from time to time.
Danny Dichio continues to work hard, but looks surrounded by defenders most of the time in this new alignment. Guevera seems to play a fluid role, but I think he is more connected to the midfield than he is to Dichio. Danny Dichio is still a big part of this team, but if the rumours of a summer Designated Player striker signing have any truth to them, his days as a starter may be numbered.
PS- I have to share my bleat on the release of Tyler Hemmings. You have to hope that it is a situation where he goes somewhere to get playing time and a bigger paycheque. The TFC record on developing Canadian talent is crappy and needs some attention.