Saturday, June 4, 2011

TFC still playing as strangers -Toronto 0 KC 0

I will start off with a collection of positives. This is an effort on my part. I arrived at the stadium feeling grumpy. I stayed grumpy throughout the game and left the place still feeling grumpy. The pounding Philly bestowed upon Toronto is a burden that fans do not shake off easily. I went to BMO Field without my joy, it was a mission to find some rays of hope. I have to give credit to TFC for going from allowing 6 goals to keeping a clean sheet in a week. Yet the talent level and the team cohesion are still blocking those rays of hope. I don't feel that the team had . Perhaps they can claim that they stopped the sinking, but when you are already under water (the TFC record is now 2 wins, 5 losses and 7 ties) holding your position does not seem

Positive 1 -Having Nana Attakora back on the field in Toronto was a welcome sight. He was competent throughout and seemed to grow more confident on the ball as the game wore on. Nothing spectacular, but the back four looked strong and the ball seemed to come out of the back without the easy give-aways that the Philadelphia Union feasted upon last weekend. The Attakora injury at the end of the game seemed to be on the serious side, but it could have been a conditioning question since his level of play has been close to zero

Positive 2 - Stefan Frei was back to his usual high standard of play. It was probably what everyone expected, but it was good to see.

Positive 3 - Eckersley continues to be a strong contributor at right back. Always an excellent individual effort, but there still seems to be a lack of "gel" when it comes to ball control and passing with Tchani and Martina down the right side of the field.

Now onto the questionable aspects of tonight's game. Why does Plata seem so isolated up front? The strategy seems to be to throw longballs in his vicinity as if he were the world's smallest target man. I am not a fan (yet) of the 4-3-3 formation and the isolation of the wingers would be one of the largest reasons. Martina did not fare much better in the first half.

Tony Tchani as the Man of the Match? I suppose that it was tough to select someone from a nil - nil game, but Tchani was a late starter in my books. His second half was much improved over the first. He developed some moves on the ball. His passes were finding Martina and later Soolsma out on the wing and Tchani did turn into the centre of the pitch and feed some through balls. Tchani and Yourasskowsky both had moments in the second half were they displayed a deft touch on the ball and were able to fool defenders with minimal, but deliberate ball movement. However this is a step or two below actually terrifying defenses with marauding, penetrating runs.
Nathan Sturgis and Yourasskowsky were both on the verge of moving into the good news category. Sturgis seemed to draw back into the defending role more in the second half

So what is ahead? Next weekend it's a road game in LA against the Galaxy, followed by a Wednesday game in New England. That seems like a cross continent jaunt designed to kick a team when it is down. Later in June we see Seattle visit BMO, then TFC isoff to Utah to play Real Salt Lake and then home again to host the Whitecaps. I would be thrilled with a point on the road in June, but it is a longshot. Stay tuned.

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