|A pic from those who travelled - envy from this end|
Within the first minutes of today's televised TFC game it was clear that something special was being delivered by the visitors in grey. This was not a squad hollowed out by the many players missing, but shaped by the skill and determination of those on the field. Toronto took the game to Columbus early and Michael Bradley's first goal for TFC was the result. Even when the Crew started to have more of the play, TFC was never scrambling or dominated.
It was a total team effort. DeRo surprised me with effort, hustle, speed and the willingness to track way back once Toronto had the lead. It looked like the 4-5-1 of my dreams at times.
The central defending pair of Bradley Orr and Nick Hagglund were just as important to keeping a clean sheet as was Julio Cesar. It was as if we were watching an episode of the vet and the rookie. Bloom and Morrow were smart and patient defending the corners and both showed flair down the attacking end too.
Bradley was king of the midfield in the first half, but Kyle Bekker played his best game yet.
Give credit to Ryan Nelsen and his coaching staff today. The defending awareness that was missing last week against Real Salt Lake was evident all game long. The substitutions were well timed and seemed to lift the confidence of all. Hall joining Bekker in the midfield to give Bradley a rest paid off. Nakajima-Farran in for DeRosario turned out to be brilliant as Issey N-J scored that important second goal.
I felt that Gilberto was not on the same page as his team in the first half. The second half was an improvement. Jackson seems to find Gilberto with the ball from everywhere and Gilberto's best scoring chance came off a nice set-up from Bloom.
I had said out loud in Section 220 that I was willing to be patient with this team and go through some growing pains, but that I put patience aside when TFC meets Columbus and Montreal. Only crushing wins mattered.