Thursday, August 12, 2010

NYRB 1 Toronto 0 - grasping onto positive signs

On the morning after the night before, I am strangely serene about the TFC game in New York.
Toronto was fortunate to play NYRB with Rafa Marquez off on international duty and Henry still easing into the team. Still Toronto was missing Dan Gargan to suspension, Maicon Santos to injury and they didn’t have Chad Barrett for very long. Perhaps it is in comparison to the last time TFC went to this part of the world (Oct. 09), but I felt that the team was in the game and it is possible to feel somewhat optimistic about the return game on August 21.
Still there are worries ...
Scoring – If you tally up the scoring of White, Peterson, LaBrocca and de Guzman as the team approaches the two thirds mark of the season, you come up with a total of 3 goals. The LaBrocca goal was that wind blown adventure, O’Brien White has scored two and the other two have contributed zero. My “Coach from Hell” tactic would be to gather them together to point out that last night in New York, Nick Garcia came closer to scoring. I can see the benefits of two-way contributors in the midfield, yet two-way implies some offensive results. O’Brien White is just playing his way to a deeper spot on the bench. Mista set him up in the box with a wonderful pass and White squandered it.

Defending- Preki continues to play Nick Garcia ahead of Raivis Hscanovics, the seldom seen International. It must be the advantage of MLS experience. Garcia was okay in New York. Did I mention that he had a shot at net? New York’s net? Hscanovics is 7 years younger than Garcia and he is not the first Toronto International to be more of a future prospect than a 2010 contributor. However, with the 6 CONCACAF games thrown into the mix, the days of Garcia as the only choice at left back can’t go on much longer.
Usanov in place of Gargan was a move that did not punish Toronto too much. Maybe Usanov has an upside, but to use one of your few International roster spots for a somewhat adequate back-up seems shortsighted.

Random thoughts
It was good to see Greg Sutton get a start for New York and the shut out would have been better had it not been against Toronto. Canadian considerations aside, is there a TFC fan who would still prefer Sutton ahead of Frei? Mista has a great touch on the ball, but his running seems to indicate that his role will be a late game substitute for some time to come. Mo was saying that he is about to sign a winger. He said it in July. Looking at the roster on the TFC website, there is no mention of Emmanual Gomez. Does this mean that his season ending injury (he has not played at all in 2010) is now reflected as an open roster spot? I dream of the day when Toronto FC actually communicates to the fans the roster basics. I fear I know more about the strategic considerations behind the war in Afghanistan than I do about the Toronto FC roster, trade deadlines, injury timeframes and signing windows.

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