Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Toronto shows some fight and pride - TFC 1 Pumas 1
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.