|This should read....Timberrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr|
I often complain that you won’t capture the essence of a team’s performance when you watch the game on television. Too often you are in the hands of some mystery tv director and strange camera angles. How often have we been sitting at home watching a close up on some player because the announcers want to talk about how his granny bakes cookies for the team? The game and the performance of the players get lost in the “show”.
I am happy to throw that criticism away when talking about the Saturday night broadcast from Portland. It certainly helps that Dan Dunleavy handles the play by play perfectly. He knows the team, knows the game and you never feel that he is talking down to a mythical audience that has no understanding of the game. I also was happy with the camera angles. You had a good view of the game, you did not feel that you were watching through a tube.
Portland had gone in front 2-0 and had fully deserved it. The first goal was a matter of taking advantage of Toronto’ sloppy defending and the second was a pk due to a clear cut take down by Andy Iro. I should be careful using a term like clear cut when talking about a game in Oregon. Toronto fought back all second half and goals from very new guy Marosevic and still new guy Koevermans brought Toronto a draw on the road.
So, not only are the TFC players looking stronger as individuals, but that team “gel” we have been wishing for seems to have arrived. I was also pleased with the substitutions. The tv crew can talk up the contributions of JDG, but all I will concede is that his play is a step up from the “lost at sea and doesn’t really care” JDG and that’s not saying much. He had nowhere to go but up. Replacing him with Dunfield was the second step of the comeback. The first step was replacing Soolsma at half time with Peri Marosevic. Soolsma is always making an effort, but Marosevic bagged a goal from open play within his first half hour and Soolsma has yet to do that in half of a season.
Koevermans and Frings continue to be the spine of this team. Eckersley and Frei get to be part of this mythical spine too. Plata was a sparkplug all night.
Then when Harden could not continue, the shift of Martina to the front line, Johnson to the midfield and Frings to the back line was the final smart move. I must also mention that Winter’s starting of Ashtone Morgan and his willingness to stick with him despite some shaky moments out on the left. The two streams of TFC development must be bringing in superior talent and developing Canadian youth. I give Winter full marks for this one.
Now it’s on to Central America!