Monday, July 28, 2008
Real Salt Lake 2 Toronto FC 1
“It is easy -- terribly easy -- to shake a man's faith in himself. To take advantage of that to break a man's spirit is devil's work.”
"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience."
George Bernard Shaw
Sorry to start with deep thoughts tonight, but I think my faith in TFC 2008 took an earthquake shake as TFC went down to RSL and I went off the Google deep end looking for quotes to reflect my state of mind. I don't think Shaw was writing about football teams, but I need profound thinkers to help me understand why I continue to be a witness to this same mess. Twice now this month TFC has had a tie on the road with less than ten minutes to play and they were unable to defend it. The numbers in Salt Lake City, and this pains me to write, were Guevara ties the game at the 83rd minute and then Findley puts RSL ahead in the 87th.
Isn't this soccer 101 ?? You have a point in your grasp (when points have been scarce everywhere of late) and the TFC pattern of struggles on the road have been cruel and persistent. Yet, instead of marking your man and defending beyond the call of duty, Toronto then allows one of those scrambles in the box with waves of RSL midfielders coming along uncovered and the ball ends up in the net. As Brennan and Marshall lay sprawled on the ugly Utah turf on my tv screen, I'm thinking that this TFC version of Groundhog Day must be brought to an end. (That this train of thought began with George Bernard Shaw and ended with memorable Bill Murray films must be a reflection of that mental earthquake shake I suffered)
Hindsight is cheap, but Carver needs to make more changes, notably when these road results beckon. Although the bench is short, fresh legs and some tactical shifts have to be tried. Perhaps making a substitution to replace a striker with a defender or replace Robert with a defensive midfielder or something. Are the rumours that Tebily has left the team true ??
Guevara's goal from a direct kick was a thing of beauty. It has to be frustrating for that effort to go for nothing. Sure it was against the run of play, but that enhances the beauty in my books.
The arrival of a flock of strikers seems to be on the horizon, Barrett from Chicago, Dickov from his period of indecision and then a Designated Player ?? Jeff Cunningham as the second half substitute was the same old story. Is he coming on for his offensive potential ?? Well, mission accomplished, I was offended.
I must curtail my bitterness. I could make snarky observations about how television enhances the bizarre field markings of Rice-Eccles stadium. The new stadium for Real Salt Lake awaits in October and not a moment too soon.
All is not lost in TFCland. The standings have a logjam in the East with three teams joining Toronto with 22 points. The points lost to home ties and road losses may haunt the team still, but Bill Murray did learn to put the repeat cycle to his advantage eventually. Could he prove to be our designated player ?