Last night’s game had everything that TFC’s entire season had, except that it ended positively. Maybe I’m a sucker for all the positive stuff that has happened this week, the Tueseday academy win over Arabe Unido, the personal nature of the town hall meetings and the victory against DC, but I feel that the my faith is restored in the club. Corporate damage control has worked, I can’t wait for next season. I hope the boys in charge don’t screw it up again.
The story of this game is the line-up. What we saw out there was a squad which represents our hope for next year. With the exception of Nick Garcia, all the players that stepped on the pitch could feasibly be there next year too. Yet, there are many of those players who might not be here or will be pine riders. All indications point to Julian de Guzman staying, as both Earl Cockrane and Jimmy B. both were apologists for his play and role this year. Also, the play of both Nick Labrocca and Jacob Peterson of late has been wonderful. The Lindsay to Peterson to DeRo goal was the best we’ve seen all season and had me up and shouting expletives of joy at my tv.
Another line-up story to be considered is the absence of Stephan Frei. My pet theory suggests that he is being rested so that he won’t pick up a knock before the January transfer window. But his absence could be that he has a knock, or that Dasovic wants to share the playing time, or that the club wants a look at the reserve keepers with an eye to next year. It could be for any of a thousand benign reasons that Frei has been out the last several games, I just prefer the conspiracy theory.
The single player story, and this has been for the past few weeks, has been Nicholas Lindsay. He seems to be the rapidly maturing winger that we expected Jacob Peterson to be. Last night he was effective on both ends of the pitch, being involved in the second DeRo goal and saving a goal as well. He is the pride of the academy, the poster boy for what could happen when things are done right and, at this point, he helps to bring all the warm feelings back.
The game contained all of the things we want to see as fans, and all the things we have come to expect from TFC. An early goal by the opposition on a horrible defensive play was typical of all the bad we’ve seen over several years. A penalty score from Jamie Moreno in his last game in the league, gaining him top scorer status again, is typical of TFC’s penchant for giving goals to famous and former players. But then the good goals arrive, thanks in large part to Maicon Santos, who’s play has been a boon for the team. His arrival may have been the only good thing Preki did for the club.
Overall the final game of the season, unlike the last few years, has left us with positive things to dream about. There will be changes for next season, possibly as dramatic as this year. Hopefully all the changes that come will build on the positive changes that have happened this week.And, just as a parting shot, by my calculations MLSE could have paid every season seat (that’s seat, not season seat holder) $62 for the salary they paid Mista. I won’t hold my breath for my $124 refund cheque from him. Congratulations Mista, you rank with Denilson and Louis Angel Landin as one of the worst designated players in league history. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.