Help! Help this team, they are in trouble deep and we are only two games into the season. Two losses would normally be something that you could imagine recovering from, but there was a serious sensation of sinking at BMO Field today. There were moments of hope, but there were too many ten minute stretches when they did not look like the home team. Glug, glug, glug.
Perhaps it is a cruel situation that Toronto’s recent success in the Champions League raised expectations for how their MLS season would start. On the road against Seattle was always going to be a tough match, but to suffer the same fate, a 3-0 thumping at home? I did not expect San Jose to look this good or Toronto this bad. I think we fans got what we did not want today. A confirmation of how much Frings means to this team and how little DeGuzman matters. His ineffective play continues to be an astounding story. He seems not capable of creating space for himself when on the ball, his passing is poor and his impact on his own team in the attack is so small. You could forgive his offensive limits if he was a defending powerhouse, yet he is always arriving too late and the other team flows around him.
I know I have been a broken record on the subject, but Winter’s formation and attacking system continues to frustrate me. I think that most MLS teams defend against it too readily. Since nothing of the Toronto attack is created in the middle of the pitch, a defending team only has to “Half” watch the likes of DeGuz, Dunfield and Silva. Eckersley and Morgan take the attack down the wings and it ends up with TFC torn apart on the counter-attack. On the second goal for San Jose, Aceval is trying to send a very long pass to Morgan, who really should be his defensive partner, not his far flung attacking option. Pass is intercepted, DeGuz comes up short on the challenge and all those enemy shirts in TFC's end becomes a quick goal.
It was one of those games where most of the individuals were contributing. If you choose to watch a player in isolation you can see the effort and the execution. The problem was the lack of cohesion and sense of a bigger strategy.
It seemed that as the afternoon became wetter and windier, the more the Toronto attitude was to get the ball into the heavens and marvel at the unpredictable nature of those aerial forces. I am trying my best to picture those Earthquake goals, but my memory is telling me they kept the ball on the ground.
So now it is truly a throw-away game against the Mexican side in the Champion’s League Wednesday night. Surviving the Frings injury hinges on the next two MLS games. Win at home against Columbus and on the road in Montreal and the fort has been held. Lose them both and it is shudder, shudder time.