Sunday, July 21, 2013

Disaster averted, but no firepower NYRB - 0 TFC - 0

Game time and east stand looks empty as usual
I had toyed with the idea of not blogging until the transfer window closes or Payne made a signing...

TFC arrived back in Toronto with a thud. Yes, I was not alone in questioning the spirit and lack of heart to the team.

So, had NYRB come into Toronto and torn the place apart, few would have been surprised. Unhappy yes, surprise no.

Yet TFC never looked all that shaky at BMO in the sunshine. They looked the better team, if you ignored the lack of finish. Caldwell and Henry were firm and steady in the back. Bendik contributed some saves, but overall was underworked.
Brockie and Braun were the striker pairing and I think they are a rough patch. I am puzzled as to why Braun's always shifting out to the wing. It's not that he doesnt get by  his man and sends in a cross, its just that their is nobody the other end to finish. Shouldnt he be the guy at the end of the play?

The other night I was emotional about the loss to Chivas and wrote of sending a few players to the minors for seasoning. Of those I mentioned, Agbossoumonde and Bekker were on the bench all game. The other player who I thought had played his way back to the Bench in LA was Morgan, but I see that Coach Nelsen has more patience and understanding than I. Morgan was ok, but the Convey- Eckersley combination was always the better one.

Osorio and Hall have both played better games. Laba just seems to be smoother each time. Some think that Nelsen won't play a diamond formation, but a midfielder out in front of Laba who can drive the attack forward would be a sight to see.
So in total, the defending seems to be in good shape and the lack of scoring is a growing concern.

Now we return you to your regularly scheduled TFC summer transfer window silence which we join in progress.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ugly tactical incompetence, lack of creativity and skill, shocking lack of pride - Chivas USA -1 Toronto Effing Crap - 0

Osorio was robbed, too many team-mates were criminal
Shame, shame is what I feel today.When the worst team in the league, a Chivas USA team without a win in months, goes down to 10 men in the first half and they still manage to beat you, that means you are clearly the worst team in the MLS. I believe in supporting your team through thick and thin, but right now I think they should get an earful when the take the field on Saturday.

Before my tirade reaches fever pitch, allow me to list my positives.

1. Laba and Caldwell contributed (yes, Caldwell did deflect the shot that went in behind him, but bad defending by a host of others had allowed Torres to waltz into that sweet spot).

2. Bendik was not at fault on the Chivas goal and played a good game.

3. Osorio created all of TFC's true chances. Convey put out an effort and deserves honourable mention.

I am sorry, but Ashtone Morgan and Kyle Bekker just played themselves off the field and do not deserve to sit on the TFC bench. Perhaps I could go as far as saying they do not deserve to be on a MLS pitch for the forseeable future. Richard Eckersley was horrible. All week TFC fans have been concerned that players are being let go before replacements have been secured. Then the team plays a game where, instead of seizing their opportunity to show their worth, Morgan, Bekker and Eckersley make a convincing argument that a few more should be loaned to the Ukraine. Morgan and Bekker might be suffering from lack of playing time. Loan them to wherever they are going to get playing time and coaching.

In extra time it was clear that Osorio had been fouled in the box and the ref made no call. Yet, I am still furious at TFC, they knew that they could not depend on the ref when he pulled out that too-quick red on Avila in the first half. Or when he yellow carded Braun for being out of the play. Why is Justin Braun always out of the play? Was it a gesture of fairness that Nelsen put on Braun for the second half? Chivas had been given an unjust red card, so play Braun to make the teams even?
This team lacks creative attacking skills and tactics.
This team lacks pride and cohesion.
This team lacks coaching.
This team deserves to struggle to attract quality players to play for them.

See you Saturday.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Another night devoted to the invisible plan SKC 3 TFC 0

Toronto FC asks a lot of their dedicated fans.

Trade Silva for allocation and mist.

Retire Califf.

Transfer O'Dea on the day of a road game.

Put in a terrible, weak, bush-league, disconnected show against Kansas City.

They had a better game against Kansas City back in March when they were still learning names.

There had better be something to restore hope soon. Some move to put the air back into the balloon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Danny Califf retires.

Danny Califf retired from Toronto FC today. He writes a classy letter - read it here. It is too bad that he did not get a chance to contribute, but it has been a season of change.

He has taken on the role of scout.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Luis Silva traded to DC for allocation money

This trade had better make sense in a week or two. Yes, Silva has stalled somewhat this year. He has scored zero goals and had not established himself in anyone position. However he was a young player that TFC fans were willing to give time. He was the sort of player we figured would be enhanced by new talent, not dislodged by new talent.

If it is true that players arriving would have sent Silva to the bench, maybe this is an acceptable move. Today it just feels wrong.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Forlan to TFC says Globe&Mail Paul Attfield

So, it is yet to be made official, but I would say that Paul Attfield of the Globe and Mail is a very credible reporter. So when he says "Forlan to TFC" I am ready to believe.

Here is what I wrote on the Globe and Mail report page.

First Tim Leiweke signing and it brings star power. It is not just a "name" grab, he makes sense in the team building TFC has undergone this year. Improvements in the back, Laba as the holding midfielder and now Forlan as the threat and link.
TFC has some moves still to make, youth and skill in the forward spots and action from the wings on the shopping list.

TFC fans, after the Torsten Frings years, have the right to hope first for healthy months ahead for Diego Forlan. At 34, Forlan could be past it. Even if that is the case, the high profile signing strategy  does not seem to be a "one-shot" deal. If you go by Leiweke's style in LA, signing a big star is justified partially by on the field success and also by credibility established for future signings.

Wow, the July 20th game, the next home game vs New York, just became a Hollywood event.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fool or faithful? TFC 3 Impact Montreal 3

I delayed writing this blog post. It was a roller coaster experience at the Big Bank Field Wed. night.
Within seconds of the game's start Montreal had scored. TFC came back within that half and scored 3, that's right 3! The second half started well for Toronto, but Montreal was able to strike twice. They pounced at the smallest of mistakes in the back and moved as hot knives through cheap margarine.

The other day at my Sunday morning soccer game, a fine fellow on my team mentioned that he had been at BMO for the TFC vs RSL game the day before. Not very entertaining was his verdict. I replied quickly, " I don't go to games looking for entertainment, I look upon it more as a form of worship".  I did not intend to be debating, but I think that suffering and misery should be a part of being a fan. I was once a season ticket holder with the Raptors and I admit that the always happy, happy approach turned me off. No matter how far behind the Raptors fell in the third quarter, the break between quarters 3 and 4 was always loud music and dancing girls. The team was stagnant for years and yet you were expected to dance to the loud music and be energetic if the cameras caught you.
To support and cheer for your team, you need to arrive at the stadium with belief and hope. However you also have to retain your membership in the world of global sporting observation. You don't want to be a fool who cheers for his team no matter their quality.
So I question myself today. Do the positives I see mean that the direction of TFC is positive? Or am I deluding myself and making the best of a bad meal?
Laba is looking better and better. I am hopeful that an attacking midfielder of quality will be landed by TFC, because Laba will prosper. The wings continue to be a concern. Convey may hold down a spot until help or Christmas arrives.
The summer transfer window opens July 9th. Hints abound that new players are on the horizon. This fool remains faithful.