A Saturday night game during the CNE should have been show time. I know that Real Salt Lake are defending champions and a quality side. Maybe the fact that Toronto will have to play RSL the extra two games in Champs League pushed the game to the cagey side, but it was not inspiring.
Defending was solid. It was good to see Ty Harden smoothly pair with Adrian Cann in the middle in place of the suspended Nana Attakora. The trouble with the back four, notably in the second half, was that too much attacking is relying on them. Nick Garcia and Dan Gargan must have had the lion's share of Toronto ball possesion. They both played well, passing was strong, they both made solid runs forward and each had at least one good shot at net. This suits the opposition too well. Blanket Toronto's strikers, muffle their midfield and suffer whatever Garcia and Gargan can throw at you from distance seems like a recipe for scoreless results.
Speaking of a muffled midfield,Labrocca looks better weaving through traffic in the middle of the park. Saric is a few things, but an attacking winger is not one of them. A flavour expert in my part of the stadium has branded Jacob Peterson as "Vanilla Peterson". As I am found of the vanilla flavour, I wonder if he also might be described as "unscented". He patrols his wing and gets to the ball from time to time, but nothing dangerous ever seems to happen. I think that this series of failed experiments on both wings has a direct impact on Deguzman in the middle. He is never going to be a dazzling creative force, but if everyone on the planet knows that he must forever find a way to work the ball to DeRo... a stale attack is guaranteed.
O'Brien White played the second half and he continues to be brutal. I just can't recall him taking a shot at net. He makes an effort, but with limited speed and a lack of anticipation it amounts to nothing. When can Chad and Maicon Santos return?
Frei was solid, although in the late going there were two Salt Lake shots that hit the crossbar and the post. A good keeper knows when to be lucky and it saved TFC last night.
The playoff picture has to be fading at this point. The away games in Dallas, Houston and Seattle are going to have a huge impact. It might be mandatory to win all three home games and the three away just mentioned. Plus there would be away games to Chicago, DC United and Chivas USA in the mix. It seems a very tall order this morning.