Saturday, May 31, 2008
TFC 2 LA 0
The arrival of Julius James has been a long time coming, but the first round draft pick of TFC last winter made sure that his delayed debut was a memorable one. The Toronto defense has become a tough line-up to crack and none of the fans have been complaining. The foursome of Marshall, Velez, Wynne and Brennan had been intact until the injury last Saturday in DC to Tyrone Marshall opened the door for Olivier Tebily. Tebily played centrally for the remainder of that game and continued in the contest against Montreal. Tebily picked up an injury in the first half today against LA and along comes James. He took a long shot from half that tested the LA keeper Cronin. Whether this was a flukey flyer or part of a master plan was hard to judge from my angle. It was a sign that good things were going to happen.
Early in the second half Julius James scored on a strong header in the box on a ball that was sent in by Rohan Ricketts from a dead ball situation. I cannot report whether it was a corner kick or a free kick, I suspect it was a free kick. Man, it was raining, people were streaming back to their seats and trying to wipe off these soaking seats. I had not budged throughout the half time, I seldom do. Yes, I am a hardcore purist and do not want to miss a minute of the game. Still I am not the tallest of fans in the upper deck so vision was obscured.
Is this the second time this year that a TFC rookie has scored on their debut ? I think that Jarrod Smith scoring in Los Angeles was also his first game in red.
Los Angeles without their stars Landon Donovan and David Beckham is not much of a team. It was a close game in the first half, but that must have been due to Toronto's patchwork line-up (Cunningham, SMith, Edu, Harmse, Ricketts, Dunivant as strikers and midfield ) that has enough strangers to each other to be far from the "gel" stage. The conditions were also a factor. The game started in a soft rain and it went into monsoon territory as the half ended.
The ref seemed ok for a while, but the yellow card against Maurice Edu was the start of his downfall. He seemed to buy it everytime a Galaxy player fell to the ground. Nothing as dramatic as the Columbus Crew performance of a few weeks ago, but it was a predictable parade.
Brian Edwards looked comfortable and confident. Greg Sutton has the number one job still, but Edwards is everything TFC would want in a number 2 keeper.
More to come...tune in later