Sunday, June 12, 2011
Alan Gordon shines in the LA night - LA 2 TFC 2
I will admit it freely, I was getting tired of hearing about how the injury to Alan Gordon was affecting TFC. It felt like a feeble excuse. I thought he had been a very good player for Toronto, but rather than lament his loss we should be expecting others to raise their game. He was a smart acquisition, but he was not the answer to TFC's scoring woes.
Well, after last night when Alan Gordon scored twice, I have to eat my words. Gordon was the difference and his last second goal made the tie feel like a victory.
It was a game that started badly, LA scored in the second minute and how many times have Toronto crumbled after the poor start?(DC United and Philly spring to mind, to answer my own question).
I always hesitate to dwell on tactics when I have watched the game on tv. You just don't see what you need to see. The runs off the ball, who is tracking back, why the pass went astray and a thousand other things are missed as the camera zeroes in on the ball. Yet I felt that there was a tactical shift. TFC did not seem to spend the night with the ball at the feet of the central defenders stuck in their own half. Henry and Harden were the central pairing and I thought they held up well. Henry may wish that he had caught more of the ball on his attempted clearance seconds before the Angel goal, but he was part of a larger crisis at the time. Borman and Eckersley both played strong games, with Borman making the diagonal cross that resulted in Gordon's first goal.
The injury list grew. Peterson and Tchani could be serious and longer term. I think that Beckham gets away with far too much (eg. the tackle that put out Tchani). Does he have a clause in his contract that says he owns the refs? He seems to make a rash tackle, pick up a deserved yellow and then never settles down. He throws himself about as if he is sure the second yellow cannot be produced.
I thought that Nathan Sturgis continues to look useful and energetic, both on the attack and defending. Mark that down as reason number 78 why DeGuzman is done. JDG is away at the Gold Cup, trying to figure out how to break down 10 man Guadeloupe.
It is too bad that these spirited games have been on the road, but then again a tie on the road can raise your spirit and a tie at home can fall flat. Next game is on the road in New England. It would be nice if some of the sheer joy from the LA game's final seconds carries over to the next game.