Sunday, April 19, 2009
Spine displayed, but then a bum steer in Texas - FC Dallas 3 Toronto FC 2
Well, just what are we fans supposed to make of tonight's result in Texas? It was not a resounding defeat, although there were times in the first half when the game seemed to be heading towards a TFC pounding. The first Dallas goal (Drew Moor 25) was another Toronto speciality, the haunting moment of confused defending. Frei stayed on his line when perhaps he should have come out and up and claimed it (hindsight, I know). It appeared that the two Dallas players were unmarked in plenty of space in front of TFC's goal. These "easy pickings" goals have to stop. The second FC Dallas goal was a solid strike from Kenny Cooper(44). A quality shot, but the Toronto defenders were still too roomy. Adrian Serioux's surprise goal (46+) in the final seconds of that half seemed to banish thoughts of capitulation. The ship was leaky, but it was not sinking.
In the second half Toronto displayed more energy and teamwork and it paid off in the 59th minute. Coach Carver had stuck with Chad Barrett as his striker for the first five games and (lo and behold) Barrett paid off with his first goal of the season. It was a combination of good speed in getting into the clear and then showing cool under pressure as the defender was closing from behind and the keeper was in full flight.
TFC had climbed back into the game and for moments was playing it's best since Kansas City. Even after DeRo left (the hamstring problem resurfaced) and you thought they were going to sag, they didn't. There were flashes of clockwork ball control and movement with purpose, both on and off the ball. The Dallas keeper, Burse, looked stressed and the pressure on him was building. Dallas had a counter-attack and Marvell Wynne was caught on a handball, when David Ferreira flicked the ball upward as Wynne was turning. A tricky fluke of a play and it would have been nice had the ref just waved it off, but no TFC fan was expecting that sort of fortune deep in the heart of Texas. Cooper buried it on the pk (84)and that was the end.
I had hoped to see Vitti and Velez. They did not start, but both came on as substitutes. DeRo's injury gave Vitti his playing time and it is unfortunate, but now DeRo doubtful for the next game could give Vitti his chance for another start. Guevara did not have a strong game, Robinson was steady. Cronin was too often giving the ball away in the first half, but looked stronger in the second. Fuad Ibrahim had plenty of room to roam in the first half, I began to suspect that Dallas was happy to let him streak down the left wing all night as they knew it would amount to little. Ibrahim began to look more skilled and strategic with the ball in the second half.
I was hopeful going into this game against Dallas. It seemed that there was an opportunity to put the Toronto negativity behind them and get beyond the two flat home performances. Now there is little time to rebound, TFC play again Wednesday night. As a good blogger/fan should I will let this loss percolate through my dreams and add some thoughts in the morning.