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".