Well, I almost wish still kicking had not invited me to write the blog while he is enjoying his weekend, because, at the end of it all there were very few positives to write about. Really, there was nothing in this game that hasn’t been in a number of other road games. Poor defending, rash challenges, ineffective passing, inadequate attacking were all features of this 2-0 loss to Kansas City.
What bothers me about this loss is not the performance itself, because I’m used to that by now, but the attitude of the players. Before the game John Carver expressed a sense of urgency about getting a win and scoring goals. I don’t know what happened between his talks with the press and his talks to the team, but one of the two groups didn’t get the message (and the press corps didn’t lose 2-0 to KC). If anything it seemed as though he said to the players “Take it easy boys, only a few games left now and you can take off for the rest of the winter”. A number of players mailed it in tonight, most recognisable for me were Carlos Ruiz and especially Amado Guevara. Guevara’s passing was poor and he really didn’t seem too interested in running after balls that he had a chance of winning. Sure, he had a good opportunity from a free kick towards the end of the game, but in the end it was a wasted ball in a wasted season. Certain individuals in the team apparently have been training for new careers, as members of the defence on occasion looked more like construction workers on the 401, you know, one working while four stand around watching him (yes, it’s an old joke). Carver might as well say, “You know, Tyrone, they’re building new highways in Jamaica, I found an application form for you. Please, use me as a reference on your resume”. Everyone seems frustrated, the team, the administration and the fans. The players who don’t seem frustrated don’t give a shit. We have a number of those.
For me the players who deserve kudos from this game are Barrett, Wynne, Robinson and Freeman, who will be playing this winter and therefore has something to prove. Barrett seems to care, and continually works hard, even though he might not be the most talented striker. Wynne (who might be playing this winter if the transfer rumours are true) gives the game his all, too. Robinson is so talented I can’t believe he isn’t making big bucks in Europe. He just absorbs pressure without really breaking a sweat, a real pro. I also don’t want to forget to mention Ricketts’ hard work.
If I had the chance to rebuild this team for next year I would keep very few of these guys around. My short list includes Barrett, Ricketts, Robinson and…well, that’s about it. It’s painfully obvious that the entire defence needs to be redone, and Tyrone and Marco should be plainly told to f*** off. Again, new careers are in the offing for these guys. For those of us who enjoy the personnel turn over of the off season, we have interesting times ahead.
I could go on now to talk about the size of the pitch in Kansas City, and the lovely pitcher’s mound just outside of the touch line, but when your team plays this consistently badly, complaints about the state of the MLS are irrelevant.
I defended this team to my friends for a long time, saying that all they needed was a striker, or opposing teams are packing the defensive zone to frustrate us. But no team with so much attacking ‘prowess’ (as it seemed earlier in the season) could go so long with out a positive result. One of the other lowly teams in the MLS was bound to cough up a laugher to a team that could kick it around the way we do. But this hasn’t happened. It tells me that there are two possibilities, either these terrible teams, who have many bad performances just play well against us, or, it’s all our fault. I’m starting to believe it’s the latter. If you see someone in 120 chanting “It’s all your fault” at Tyrone Marshall (or any other TFC players), just come up and say “Sit down Trout”.
Oh, I almost forgot about TFC's playoff hopes, well...you can.