Saturday, March 27, 2010

Columbus 2 TFC 0 - A defending lapse and a kick to the gut, but recovery possible


The more things change, the more things stay the same. Now who said that? Willie Shakespeare? Al Einstein? John Carver?
Toronto FC visited the Ohio park they have never won in and never put that streak in danger. It was not the disaster that we fans feared, but too many of the same old weaknesses were there for anyone to be comfortable. I don't want to kick and complain and declare the season a dead duck. It is a team that in the midst of a makeover, there are players on the roster who arrived only hours ago. There could be more on the way in the days ahead. I am hoping that a new DP rule expected to be declared by the Garber in the week ahead will mean that TFC spends cash on a striker...
But c'mon what does Nick Garcia have to do to find his place on the bench? That second goal was due to a combination of disasters, the uncalled foul to Frei's gut and Garcia's ability to clear the ball by firing it at his injured keeper. Ty Harden used his size and strength to keep Lenhart off the score sheet and I can see Harden as being the hard nosed big guy in the back four.
The defenders get the brunt of the criticism, but you know old coaches say you win or lose games in the midfield. Toronto is getting better at negating in the midfield, but still lacks in the creating department. This team still depends way too much on the mobility and ball skills of Brennan and Attakora coming out from the back.
Gabe Gala- had a few runs down the wing, but is he the attacking/crossing winger the team needs? Not in my opinion. He was the first player substituted and that seemed right.
Martin Saric+ Sam Cronin - this was Saric's first MLS game, so it might be too early to get a sense of his contribution, but playing the two of them together seemed to be a recipe heavy on the tackling football and light on the passing and ball control.
J DeGuzman has yet to have his breakthrough game for TFC. He has flashes of ball control, but most of the time he looks like a tourist amongst strangers. Cover DeRo and swarm JDG and Toronto had no attack in the first half. Sure you could say that bringing in LaBrocca and Sanyang to the midfield for Gala and Saric sparked the attack, but by then Columbus was pulling back, protecting a lead and playing for the counter-attack. Cripes, if Rogers had been able to pull the trigger at least twice, this game would have been that disaster I mentioned earlier.
DeRo was DeRo. TFC needs another striker to let DeRo exploit the spaces that a second striker would create. O'Brian White would also benefit from another attacker. It is too bad the OBW lost Andy Iro on the first Crew goal. White shows promise, he just can't be the big threat at this stage of his career.
Two weeks to wait until the game in New England. A roster change or two still to come and some time to let the dust settle, though not enough time for anyone to use the word "gel".

8 comments:

Casual Soccer Fan said...

The score doesn't need to be 0-4 for this game to be declared a disaster. It was horrendous - an example of how not to play as team. Harden and Garcia are both liabilities. Why didn't LaBrocca start the game in place of Gala? Why didn't Garcia get pulled for Gargan?

TFC is still re-building, but Mo has had 4 MONTHS of off-season to already do that. I don't believe that uncertainty around the CBA was so debilitating that TFC couldn't put together a decent roster more than 48 hours before First Kick - other rebuilding teams (Wizards, Red Bulls) don't seem to have this problem.

Preki said on the Fan 590 he wants to play good football, keeping it on the ground. We saw NOTHING of the sort today - same fruitless long balls crap.

I've not seen one iota of evidence that Preki's plan is working. He now has one less game to make his case.

Trout said...

The thing that I find really disturbing about the whole game was that the old feeling was gone. Now it might just be me, but there wasn't too much to get excited about. In fact the most exciting moment of my soccer afternoon was a hurried call to (insert name of telephone/tv company here) to subscribe to Gol tv when I discovered that Match centre wasn't carrying the game live. By contrast, the NYRB vs Fire game was much more entertaining, I could almost cheer for Collins John. Didn't seem like too much passion on the field of Crew stadium either, although I did enjoy that "blondy haired fella" getting kicked around by TFC. Good Drama.

Trout said...

The thing that I find really disturbing about the whole game was that the old feeling was gone. Now it might just be me, but there wasn't too much to get excited about. In fact the most exciting moment of my soccer afternoon was a hurried call to (insert name of telephone/tv company here) to subscribe to Gol tv when I discovered that Match centre wasn't carrying the game live. By contrast, the NYRB vs Fire game was much more entertaining, I could almost cheer for Collins John. Didn't seem like too much passion on the field of Crew stadium either, although I did enjoy that "blondy haired fella" getting kicked around by TFC. Good Drama.

Anonymous said...

I thought White had a good game but he needs a partner up front. Get rid of Garcia and maybe Frei won't have to play Goalie and Defender at the same time. It could have been worse, and actually for a while there I thought they might steal a point.
But the reality is we shouldn't be rebuilding at this point.We all know who's responsible, don't wait fire Mo now !!!!!!

SECTION220

stillkicking said...

Oh Section 220,
I can't wait to be debating this at BMO - two weeks from this Thursday.
"Fire Mo" can be a little like the queen in Alice in Wonderland crying "off with his head". Soon it just becomes a reflex statement and you lose the passion behind it.
I think MLSE does not fire anyone at this stage. Mo got his contract extended and he has this year minimum no matter what happens on the field- I think that depending on that contract he is more likely to be kicked upstairs as a consultant rather than fired down the road. MLSE learned from having to pay a series of Raptor coaches to sit at home, that you don't pull the trigger over short term bumps in the road. Besides, right now it would be too early for MLSE to have decided whether Preki is their guy or not.
But if TFC looks horrible in the home opener - MLSE will be judging Mo under increasing fan pressure.

Anonymous said...

Well Stillkicking,

I believe your right the big difference between Leaf fans and TFC supporters is they won't put up with bad management. At the home opener I'm sure the south end will let their feelings known and the chants will spread across BMO until we see the last of Mo.But that said I'll still be cheering and hoping for a win.

SECTION220

Anonymous said...

Is it me or is anyone else asking why Nick Garcia is still sent out on the pitch? Nothing personal, but I see him as a huge liability by way of his 1-2 seemingly panic driven defensive blunders each game. Witness him firing the ball at Frei on Saturday when there was 10,000 better targets in the stands? Earlier his tap back to Frei that didn't quite make it? I remember several similar incidents last year. Did management pay/give up too much to acquire him and thus must give him 1000 chances to turn it around to avoid looking foolish?

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers
Christian, iwspo.net