Sunday, March 22, 2009
Toronto FC road victory in 2009 season opener KC 2 TFC 3
Toronto FC started the 2009 season on a winning note, defeating Kansas City on the road Saturday night. This was an historic result. Toronto had failed in their first two campaigns to gain a point from opening games. Jim Brennan scored the first goal, the only of the first half, on an overlapping run and a powerful shot. DeRo had set the play in motion, when he goes forward with the ball TFC is a sight to behold. The off season hope that DeRo would make an offensive difference for this team was reality early in Kansas City. Chad Barrett had taken a variety of solid shots in the first half, but he did seem to fade in the second half. He was replaced by Danny Dichio in the 87th minute.
Amado Guevara was the TFC story of the second half, scoring two goals. His first was a matter of turning and finding the space to take a superb shot. The second was Guevara benefitting from another great DeRo run. Both Guevara and Cronin had KC keeper Hartmann at their mercy.
Later in the second half KC was called for a hand ball in the box, but DeRo drove the penalty kick just over the crossbar. Kansas City was never completely out of the game. They scored two goals, both were mid range well struck shots. The Wizards were not able to show much beyond those two flashes of potent offense. KC had a lot of passing around the back and flanks, but Stephan Frei was seldom tested and the TFC back four were solid. Serioux and Harmse contributed games where they were positionally strong, efficient without being flashy.
It was too rare that the tv cameras gave us glimpses of the travelling Toronto supporters. One of those in attendance, who calls himself The Traveller, was able to report back to this humble blog on how the night unfolded.
There are four things in the neighbourhood of the stadium and other than that it's miles and miles of mid America nothingness. There is the Kansas Speedway, which is massive; there is a Country Inns hotel, where most of the TFC fans are staying; there's the Legends shopping area, one of those outdoor throwback malls that's quite impressive and the Community America Ballpark, a fairly new park that's home to the reigning Northern League champion something-or-other T-Bones. After a half an hour of play the travelling fans decided to mock the locals with a couple of verses of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
There were about 100 TFC fans in section 228 and everybody was keen to see where DeRosario would play and who would be in goal.
Nobody seemed to think the 1-0 lead was safe at half time. Too many of the road regulars had seen too much too often. Similarly there wasn't a lot of confidence that DeRosario would score his penalty. Everyone remembered last year's miss by Collin Samuel in Columbus.
After the game the visiting fans were detained by security for 10-15 minutes. Apparently it's a new league rule, make sure the away support doesn't get jumped. So they were all led back to the hotel, even through some of them just wanted to go to the Pin-Up Bowling lanes.
I am hopeful that a hotel was as good as a bowling alley for TFC celebrating (although it would be a fitting salute to President Obama to spend some time at the lanes).
It is impossible for a TFC fan to avoid elation with the lofty status that comes with a season opening win. I keep on checking the standings webpage to make sure that those three points are still there.
There is still work to do. The need for a central defender continues. How does Vitti contribute and Barrett become more than a brave shooter? The next game is without Carl Robinson. That next game is in Columbus and it is time for me to prepare to join the TFC travellers. That hardy 100 should be more than a thousand next Saturday in Ohio.