Saturday, July 19, 2008

TFC ties San Jose, lost momentum and direction

Toronto FC 0 San Jose Quakes 0

Well it was tough to walk away from the stadium with a scoreless tie, but it could have been worse. It is a sad indication of this floundering season that the levels of disaster had been created and ordered before the game against San Jose had even begun.
I do not claim to be fully trained in risk assessment (although being a TFC fan may one day gain you a credit in this area) but here goes....

Deepest disaster
This would have been “San Jose clobbers Toronto with Darren Huckerby and Ronnie O’ Brien scoring multiple goals.”

Deep disaster
San Jose somehow wins

A Disaster
Either Huckerby or O’Brien score no matter what the result

A Slight disaster
Toronto with a scoreless tie
Toronto with a come from behind tie

So Toronto, by this deeply scientific measurement, comes away with a slight disaster today. TFC continues to boast an undefeated home record in MLS play this season, but boast is not the operative word here. San Jose is the expansion team of 2008 and Toronto needs to establish themselves with a team such as this and grab some points. The expansion aspect is one reason. The other reason is that Toronto will play the final league game on the road in San Jose. I guess it is a sign that I still have hope for the season that I am calculating the impact of the rematch way off in October.

But back to the present. The first half began with energy, Toronto had more shots in the first fifteen minutes than in any other game that I can recall. Ibby Ibrahim even had a goal that was called offside (my sources say that the television replay indicated the call was wrong). The turning point came when Amado Guevara had the ball off of a bouncing corner kick and seemed to have the net wide open. He managed to miss.

TFC always had the upper hand in today’s contest. Excellent ball movement and growing control in the midfield. Tyler Rosenlund was a starter and I think it was mistake to substitute him in the second half. It seemed that there was less driving forward from the centre of the field once he was gone. Of course it does not help that his replacement was Jeff Cunningham (Cunningham to striker, Guevara back into the midfield and Rosenlund off). I was not happy to see JC 96 take the field. Not happy is putting it far too mildly. I was mad, I see his arrival as a gesture of throwing in the towel. He is not going to be late game hero. Jeff Cunningham has been given more opportunities to be an anytime hero and has botched them all. He qualifies for villain status. This is not a positive, not a “Heath Ledger explores the human condition through evil “ kind of villain. This is get out of that uniform, get out of town and get out of my life kind of villainy.
I am getting distracted by my anti JC 96 rant and I do not want to place the lack of scoring punch problem at the feet of only one player.
Guevara had a matching miss in the second half as he had a penalty kick saved by Joe Cannon of San Jose. Missed the rebound too...
When the pk was awarded I started to scan my memory for the last time TFC had a penalty awarded to them and I ended up back with Collin Samuels in Columbus. . So it was not a total surprise that these chances are squandered in the TFC universe. The miss in Columbus ended Samuels time in Toronto. It is unfortunate that Jeff Cunningham was not on the field at the time of today’s pk miss.
What lies ahead ? Edu did not play today because of his yellow card accumulation, but he and Marvell Wynne are gone for a month on their Olympic journey. Mistake by the Lake land wishes them well. TFC will struggle to replace Wynne (although it will be an opportunity for Julius James and Olivier Tebilly). Edu has had a woeful season, always seeming to be playing against the memory of his rookie success
and has been developing a concrete touch.
It appears that he is playing as a defender not a midfielder for the American Olympic team. I am not sure that this is a positive development. I am even hopeful that TFC acquires enough offensive talent that Edu could become a depth player rather than a starter. I am not holding my breath on that front.
Random thoughts
- happy that Darren Huckerby looked ok at best and will take time to adjust to MLS play
- thought that Ronnie O’Brien and Laurent Robert were both going to boil over in the first half. I did not see what sparked their displeasure, but think that Robert was lucky to avoid a yellow

-Trout FC observes that Rohan Ricketts may miss Marvell Wynne more than most as their play making progress has been encouraging.
-No mistakes in the back four and Greg Sutton has another shutout to his credit. It is funny that defensive success depends so much on offensive output. Only one goal for Toronto and we would be a thousand times happier with keeping San Jose off the score sheet.

- Montreal on Tuesday for CONCACAF title, All Stars vs West Ham,Real Salt Lake on the road, home to Dallas, away to Colorado and that has us well into August.
- I did get a box of the free sample whole wheat pasta but missed out on the razor offer. I guess that is symbolic of the whole day now isn't it ???

1 comment:

Trout FC said...

I'm just glad they saved the razors for after the game. Imagine what the league would have done if Huckerby had been pelted with hundreds of safety razors...