Saturday, October 11, 2008
FC Dallas 2- Toronto FC 2 - reaching the heights and then stumbling on a rock
On the morning after the night before, perspective begins to seep in. The result of a tie in Dallas is honestly what I was hoping for after the joy of victory in New York a week ago. TFC in the playoffs has been a long shot for months now. We fans (and John Carver) knew all season long that all those home ties (7) were playoff points squandered. Last night's tie was TFC's first on the road all season. Still, it is encouraging to see the team, after all this grief, produce effort and counter attacks and goals. It is wonderful too to see Marvell Wynne go from potential status to a true creator and contributor. There is just no way that he can be sold off to Europe now. Just no way. He is the foundation of the team and therefore Designated Players and draft picks and trades are moves to build on the base. Without Wynne there is no base. Enough future, back to Saturday night in Dallas - Pizza Hut Park.
It was in their grasp. TFC was winning 2-1 in Dallas with only minutes left in the game. John Carver made a smart tactical substitution and put in an extra defender. Julius James. It was hard to be sure from the broadcast, but it looked like James' grip on Serioux's shirt is what prompted the penalty kick. Kenny Cooper's first shot was wiped out on an encroaching call. His second shot was in, although Sutton sure had a hand on it.
Is this as close as TFC is going to get to the MLS Cup in 2008? Will this moment haunt players and fans alike all winter long?? This result tonight did not eliminate TFC from the playoff. However, even if they win their last two games, they have a very slim shot at a playoff spot.
After falling behind to Kenny Cooper's goal in the first half, TFC climbed back into this match in the second half. Marco Velez scored the first one. A throw-in from Wynne and a flick on header from Dichio set him up.
It became more and more TFC's game (although Dallas did continue to take long shots at Sutton). Then Marvell Wynne scored. This was a wonderful moment. Honest to goodness comebacks have been rare in TFC history. Then the penalty call....
Remote though the chance may be, it is a comfort to the TFC fan that the final home game will have the Reds still in contention for a post-season spot. This is historical too. I look forward to this one. The recent road games have produced five goals. Please let the goals continue, it will be a treat to win one convincingly at BMO.
The Happy list.
Jell Cunningham did not score.
Nana Attakora-Gyan played well. He is more than a depth player and could allow TFC to make some off season moves with other defenders.
The Sad list.
Did I mention the penalty call?