Wednesday, September 28, 2011
It was another beautiful September night at BMO Field Tuesday evening. As a fan, I got much more than I bargained for. The team showed some spine and some sparkle against a Mexican team that had ripped them to shreds in the first half of their south of the border (x2) game in the CONCACAF Champion's League. When you are bracing yourself for a thrashing, 1-1 with a lot of positive play is a pleasant surprise Going in we knew that Torsten Frings was not playing because of yellow card accumulation. If your crystal ball had let you know that Danny Koeverman would be subbed at half time (injury?) and that Richard Eckersley would have to leave the field due to injury, you would have been preparing for whatever lies beyond a thrashing. A waterboarding? Just as a bounce back from the dreadful night in Los Angeles against Chivas USA, tonight was a positive step. Just in time for the town hall meetings too. Julian de Guzman may have played his best game in a TFC uniform since his performance against Cruz Azul in the summer of 2010. He seems to clog and disrupt the midfield attack of visiting Mexican teams much more than he ever shows against MLS teams. He is still a pain in the passing department and shows a reluctance to go forward in a creative manner. TFC will never draw a foul if it was left up to de Guzman... Surprisingly strong contributions from Doneil Henry and Matt Gold. Henry threw himself into quite a few challenges with smart energy. Martina came on for Soolsma, but neither ever seemed to be a danger to Pumas' goal. Andy Iro continues to be an adventure all on his own. He deflected a shot that hit the Toronto post in the largest scare in the late minutes of play. Harden was a solid contributor. Ashtone Morgan was also active all night. If Plata and Eckersley are the top newcomers to the team, Morgan has to be their Canadian equal.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
I am thinking that TFC’s lack of a true nickname is a reflection of their lack of success over the years. Dan Dunleavy (announcing the game on GOLTV) was smart not to refer to Toronto as the “Reds” when playing against a team wearing red. It made me think that “Reds” will never take hold, it is just a place holder until something inspired comes along. If you were to name the team based on their characteristics in the first five years what would you have? Playoff missers, revolving doors, underachievers, sinking ships are the phrases that come to mind. If Chivas are the goats, could Toronto become the skunks?
Toronto FC in Los Angeles Saturday night showed very little in the way of entertainment or inspiration. The team may have been physically close to Hollywood, yet they instead displayed the glitz and glamour of Collingwood. No, that is unfair to Collingwood. They might have had a slim glimmer of a playoff chance going into LA, but losing has shut the 2011 playoff door for good.
JP Angel scored a first half goal that showed off his talent for creating a goal out of any half decent chance. Iro one on one against Angel was clearly only a matter of time. The Chivas second half goal was a matter of Toronto relaxing enough in their own gpal area to allow Chivas to find a way through the cracks. Morgan should have marked tighter, Frei could be second guessed for staying on his line, should have been better pressure on the player who crossed the ball to Braun(who scored) and Andy Iro was caught adrift. Then Angel scored again and buried Toronto. That phrase gives the impression that TFC were above ground up until that point.
The town hall meetings loom this week. The Saturday night loss will contribute to a sense of gloom amongst the fans who attend the meetings. I am not hopeful that the Tuesday night CONCACAF game against Pumas will lift the spirits of we long suffering Skunk fans.