Friday, August 30, 2013

CNE soggy TFC 1 NE Revs 1

What am I doing here? It is the Friday night of the last long weekend of the summer and I am sitting in the rain watching the carnival lights beyond the soccer stadium. 
This puzzled state of mind is only enhanced when within the first minutes of the game Toronto allows New England to score. If this is going to be the football on offer, I will be in the Food Building by half-time.

To TFC's credit, they managed to calm the waters, shut the door and New England never looked as potent again all night.

Toronto wasted many a free kick and cross, but managed to score a goal from a goal mouth scramble to head into half-time with the score tied.

I was better off at the game than at the Food Building. Later I learned to avoid the Roast Beef on Weck. The picture looked great, the product was beef slices thrown onto a hamburger bun. I should sue and defend the reputation of a Buffalo delicacy.

Being of baby boomer vintage, I am able to remember when the CNE was a big deal in this province. It is looking more than a little shabby, to the point where I think the added value of CNE entrance is possibly the smallest value of the season. That is a harsh evaluation when you consider the gloom and suffering that TFC 2013 has been.

Back to the game. There were glimmers of creative play and a sense that they are becoming a team more aware of each other. Convey had a good game, it was fun watching Henry manhandle Revs, Laba was missed, Caldwell showed some bursts of surprising speed and skill on the ball and Weiderman scored the goal.

New England played the game in a state of constant whine. They were at the ref on every call. I do find them a team hard to like.

Now there was a twist in the tale, late in the game. Rather than the old goal against, TFC scored one from a corner, but had it disallowed. It must have been a foul called off the ball. I did not see it. 

So it ended a draw, grabbed from the jaws of victory. Next home game is Montreal on September 11. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Season sinking TFC 1 Seattle 2

August has a "time's up" quality to it in Ontario. You grab your summer moments while you can, knowing that fall is brief and winter's long.

Last night TFC had an "August" performance, perhaps a sense of doing what they could before the inevitable changes hit. Of course, doing what they could involved coming up second best in a lot of departments.

If you based your view of the game on the highlights, you might think that it all hinged on a simple fact. When TFC needed a second goal, Earnshaw hit the post. Earlier, when Seattle needed a second goal TFC knocked it in for them.

Although that was true, the differences went beyond that own goal and post. Seattle were in a comfort zone that Toronto has not experienced all year. The visitors were fluid and economical, very aware of each other to an extent that TFC can only envy. There were too many times when Toronto's attack is either singular or looks like a group of strangers trying to combine into some cohesion.
You had to worry even more when Clint Dempsey came on as a late first half sub. He might not even know the names of half his teammates yet. Despite that he had quality moves and created shots out of little space. He will only get better as he meshes with his new team.

The TFC subs were the expected upgrades, Earnshaw for Weideman, Rey for Lambe. Instead of following that pattern with Elmer for Morgan, the last sub of Braun on for Eckersley was a bit of a head-scratcher. Perhaps TFC is showcasing Braun for a trade because the Payne promised two signings involve a striker?

I felt that Laba had an off night defensively. The silky smooth approach of Seattle forced Laba to chase the ball too often. You do forget that he is facing teams for the first time.

Osorio was chosen as Man of the Match, which was fair enough, but I thought he struggled too. Seattle seemed to be able to pin him back when attacking and then clog the middle when he tried to go forward.
Now 11 games to play and 10 of those against Eastern teams. I am hoping that signings and trades bring in some new faces. Last night's team seems to have maxed out their potential.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

TFC wins! TFC wins! NE Revs 0 TFC 1

As the ol' blues song goes "been down so long, it looks like up to me". You accept winning ugly more readily when your TFC has suffered so many times in games of this ilk. The comeback against Columbus last weekend started something. Protecting a lead in New England was a more important challenge to my mind, considering the shape of season 2013. It is nice to grab a victory out of the blue, but holding a game you have the lead in was the test. TFC passed it tonight.

It looked like a total team effort from what was onscreen. Caldwell and Henry seemed to handle the Revs, despite the whining and complaining and general dramatics of their players. Ecks was strong. Morgan seemed to respond well to his starting opportunity with a new international LB on the roster, Lambe not so much.
Brockie and Wiedeman are not the striker partnership of the ages, but they were active enough.

Laba. What can you say about Laba? He is looking more and more comfortable with the team, on the ball, tracking and tackling. Now he has a game winning goal to add to his TFC exploits.

I will not be attending the Roma game, but will watch it on the television. See you soon...