Saturday, September 13, 2008

TFC 1 Columbus Crew 1 - Just beyond our grasp .....

Those slim TFC playoff hopes still mathematically exist, but emotionally I watched them start drifting off into the fog today. Calling this the blog of hope and fog is meant to describe my own mental state (most of the time), but the team is playing in my style of thinking. This is not a good thing.
TFC now have 6 remaining games, two at home (Houston and Chicago) and four on the road (KC, NY, Dallas and San Jose). Depending on how the Red Bulls and DC United fare today, the best deficit for Toronto will be 5 points. Making up that many points will require a winning streak and some help. KC did not help by beating LA and moving ahead of Toronto in points. It would be wonderful if Toronto grabbed all of those 18 remaining points, but I do not see anyone expecting that level of fortune to grow out of today's performance. Winning the home games and beating NY on the road would make things interesting. That maybe too wild a hope.

TFC has some suitable individual parts, some building blocks for the future even, but they have not meshed into a true team. They play often like the strangers that they are. Ruiz and Barrett were unaware of each other most of the time. Ruiz showed talent today but not much in the drive and desire department. I admit I have low expectations for Ruiz, he is a rent a striker. I can't remember Chad B getting a shot on net today. Freeman and Ricketts were both capable enough wingers and Guevara and Robinson were pushing up through the middle of the field, but overall the passing touch is what's missing.

Today was sour enough that it sparked thoughts of such roster implications. If the 08 playoff run is not to be, you might as well start trying to figure out who is on your 09 roster. That must be what Mo is doing in Brazil right now. Remember there is another expansion draft in the off-season, so someone may go through that process.

Let me moan about the Columbus goal (Pat Noonan - 40). What exactly was Tyrone Marshall trying to accomplish on that play ? It did not even look like a rash attempt at a sliding tackle. It looked more like he was trying to get out of the way so that the attacker had a clear shot on goal.
I can remember on the March drive to Columbus talking about how Toronto was going to improve in 2008. Their target should be to pass the Crew. Well the Crew have turned everything around and are beyond all expectations. Now having watched them play 3 times this year, I cannot figure out exactly why this is.

Greg Sutton saving a penalty shot
Rohan Ricketts always active, controlling passes and trying to attack down the wing even as conditions fell apart. Progress was being made with having Ricketts and Wynne on the same side of field, that level of understanding was missing today.
Amado Guevara and Carl Robinson combined for a great early goal. I think subbing both of them was in honour of their
recent heavy World Cup workload.
Hunter Freeman his cross from the right wing in the final minutes of the first half that was begging for a finisher, must have surprised his team - he is another rent-a-player who is Europe bound

The turf.

More thoughts - will share later

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