Thursday, May 7, 2009

TFC 1 Whitecaps 0 - Still searching for the finishing touch

"Oh when the Reds
(Oh when the Reds)
score more than one
(score more than one)
Oh when the Reds score more than one
I will need resuscitation
when the Reds score more than one"

I guess it is better to come away from a game humming, rather than steaming. Sure, I was soaked and TFC late minute lapses are becoming a tradition, but there was no steam. Thanks to Stephan Frei.
Against Vancouver at BMO the home side scored (Kevin Harmse!!!) in the opening minutes of the game and I admit I was hopeful. Hopeful that at long last the floodgates were about to open and the long awaited TFC scoring frenzy was about to begin. This was the 6th home game of the 2009 calendar and Toronto has scored five times. They have yet to score twice in a home game. Toronto had shots (many from Chad Barrett) and opportunities galore, but the scoring touch continues to elude this team.
So my scoring frenzy hopes were dashed. I can delude myself that they are saving them all up for next week against Montreal.
DeRo was quoted in the pre-season that it takes time for an offense to gel, for players to get to know each other well enough that moves are anticipated and things fall into place. Toronto has a lot of players that have been added to the mix (DeRo, Vitti, Cronin, last night Harmse back in the midfield) and the need for patience continues. In the second half there was a brilliant ball back and then pass threaded through moment between Guevara and Robinson where you could tell that they have played together and they are on the same page.
Let me run through the players and give you my thoughts.
Vitti -subdued, when Guevara figures him out there will be more, but perhaps not on slick, rainy nights
Barrett -effort and energy, but rewards still escape him
DeRo - a constant threat, owned the left for most of the game
Guevara and Robinson - more themselves than Saturday
Harmse - scored the goal, but second half passing was off, tangling with Whitecap defender Charles was eventful
Attakora and Velez- surprise central pairing, had plenty to handle with Vancouver's big,mobile strikers
Wynne and Brennan- a few forays, Brennan's overlap with DeRo was a highlight, seemed to place priority on defending
Frei - surprised that he got the start over Sutton, his status as No.1 keeper beyond question - Rookie of the Year candidate without a doubt..
Dichio and Ibrahim were late substitutes and both had chances. Everytime Ibrahim takes the field my first impression is that this gangly teenager is going to get hurt. But Fuad me once, and now Fuad me twice (to quote a wise fan), he finds a way to show a burst of speed and some ball control. I am still not sure why Dichio played the ball back to Guevara in the late going when it looked like he had a clear shot. If Guevara had gotten over the ball and made something of the opportunity, Dichio would have been the hero. It was that sort of night and the victory was an important one.
This 8 pm start time for a game is not a favourite of mine, I live an hour out of town so I was home and writing a little blog blurb just past midnight.
There are two items that I need to vent on.
Weather Reports
This city has grown soft and I can blame it on the domed stadium. Somebody inform the weather forecasters that TFC fans will be sitting in the outdoors for a number of game time hours and we want to know the conditions. I was prepared for steady rain. I dressed for those potential conditions, but all the reports I heard were for scattered showers. It was a steady rain, sometimes tapering off to a steady mist, but there was nothing scattered about it. I will be complaining to the Weather Network and if I don't like their response I will be pulling the little weather blurb from this blog. That will teach them a lesson.
Toronto ticket obtainers
You notice I am not calling them fans? There were a lot of faces in my section that I had not seen before. They appeared to be tourists that came out to BMO last night to buy pizza and wear t-shirts. The moment it started to rain, they headed to the concourse. All night there was a steady stream of traffic up and down those stairs. Unless there is play directly at the south end penalty area, traffic in aisles blocks the view of the game for many in the lower part of the section. Either dress properly, eat early, watch the game most of the time and act like a visit to the concourse is a lightning fast rarity or stay home. Don't saunter, this is not a baseball game. I swear that there were two young ladies who arrived at the game around the 60 minute mark. Section 221, single digit row. I know that they could have been in the beer garden until then, but they looked awfully dry. They proceeded to huddle under their umbrella.
The RPB and the USector had one of their finest nights last night. I would be happy to spread their noise throughout the stadium, but I am more interested in spreading the attention and devotion to simply WATCHING THE GAME. I am wondering if it is time to start a supporter's group in the bottom of my section to deter tourist traffic, to somehow let the oblivious casual know that they are not the centre of the universe. They need to know that the game is on and being watched. Below, for your consideration.
1) West Side Gory,"watching games and taking names"
2) Lower Section Psychos "you need pizza, we take blood"
3) X Ray Viewers "obscure the view, it's taboo"

Now, I feel better.

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