Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rebuilding pains TFC 0 Dallas 1

I tried to stop myself from expecting too much from tonight's game against Dallas. I suspected that whatever the individual qualities of the players, old and new alike, that developing a coherent smooth squad was a matter of time. Toronto played five new players and three of those were playing their first games in MLS. Iro has only played in a handful of games and Eddy Viator only signed today. The fact that they lost a 1 goal game and were always in the hunt could be the positive spin. The mishmash of dazed newcomers thrown in with the overplaying desperate holdovers (fighting for their jobs) might be the more negative take on the night.

I usually avoid player ratings, figure that they reveal bias and/or ignore criteria and bounce off into popularity contests. Yet since all eyes were on the new players I offer my stab at it.
Frings - except for the missed tackle on Shea seconds before he scored, he looked strong while defending and showed some patience on the ball and was willing to go forward and hang back depending on the situation B
Koevermans - showed flashes in the first half, faded away in the second.  C-
Iro - seemed to be rusty and rough on the ball. He might be a strong foundation in the back, but something tells me that he and Harden will not be the partners of the year. C-
Viator - he might have been the best player wearing red tonight, smart, fast and tough on the ball whether attacking and defending B+
Johnson -  He might have tried to do to much , don't understand why he had to give way to Soolsma. C+

So Saturday night in KC Toronto fans will be cheered when they see the return of Eckersley. I wonder if there will be more new players brought into town by then.


Franco said...

Watched the game last night. Have to say, Frings apart, the new additions were pretty poor. Iro seemed to have problems just standing up right and please, please Frei don't give him the ball. His distribution was awful. Viator wasn't much better. Seriously lacking any defensive ability and couldn't cross(not sure how you rated him so might want to take a look at the game, again!!). Koevermans clearly has some ability but he looked slow and ponderous. Given time and training he should be more athletic but the miss from the offside position when he was only two yards out was alarming!!! Johnson was adequate....Dunfield was ordinary at Vancouver; that's all he'll be in TO. I know it was the first game and it takes time for players to blend into a team but the sheer inability of Iro and Viator to perform even the simplest of passes makes me think they are not long for this team. Without Eckersely, who is far and away the best defender on this team, the defence looks fragile at best!! Frings is clearly a class apart and showed it all night; but at what point will frustration take over from professionalism for him? The playoffs are not going to happen this year and Frings has, maybe, one full year left in him. Can Winter surround him with sufficient talent for a Championship run in 2012....we shall see.

stillkicking said...

I guess it is the expectations game and the formation that made me give Viator higher marks than Frings (hey it was late when I wrote the blog post). Yes, Frings was better than Viator, but all Frings had to do was play as expected and dominate more than JDG and we all would be happy. He accomplished that and I look forward to the contributions ahead.
What I liked about Viator was that he looked lost in the first half and I thought he found himself in the second. Winter forces his outside backs to play as wingers when trying to get back into a game. I think that he handled the attacking side well, Soolsma was getting service down that side. I think that the ball skills of Harden and Iro get exposed because of how Winter spreads his attack from the back. If Iro or Harden have to make precise passes under pressure or hoof it long ball, TFC should just let Frei hoof it long ball. I think that Iro will show more in the games ahead, but Winter is either going to find defenders of a quality the MLS has never seen to play his system or he is going to have to change his system.
As for Koevermans, I agree with the miss being a concern, but I also feel that he should have been subbed at 60. It felt that Winter was still putting his old players on trial (Yourasskowsky, Sturgis, Soolsma and Zavarise) rather than easing in the new guys. Is that WInter arrogance? Thinking that a Dutch player will need no learning curve for MLS?
Thanks for the thoughtful comments, I hereby reverse my ratings and give Frings the best player B+ and Viator shifts down a notch. I still think he shows promise and versatility in the back. In the first half he tried a through ball pass to Sturgis, Sturgis had no idea. Next time the same situation appeared, Viator instantly took the run deep himself.