Thursday, May 8, 2014

TFC 2 Whitecaps 1 - Much missing from the TFC mix in May

Cool and gloomy, it should have been Toronto scoring weather.

Coach Carl Robinson of the Vancouver Whitecaps must be smiling today. He threw together his youth and his bench players for their game in TO last night. These Robinson irregulars both held TFC to a one goal victory and they scored a goal on the road. Now he has most of his regulars rested for their league game on the weekend and they will have something to play for when they meet Toronto again in the Cup game in Vancouver.

When you consider the Vancouver inexperience, (I read this morning that the Whitecap keeper is 17) TFC's domination of play seemed to be a minimal achievement. It was a cool and windy night but the rain held off and it might have been the best playing conditions so far this year. TFC has had the affliction for years, players move into dangerous positions and then look for somebody else to take the shot. Trouble is that player after player lay the ball off to the next and nobody looks like scoring and the opportunity is lost.

It was Joe Bendik's first start of the season and he played well, came up with some great saves. I felt the goal scored against him was a defensive miscue that left him high and dry.  It was Caldwell, who had been fine until that blooper attempt at clearance resulted in the late Vancouver goal. Caldwell's arrival last year put an end to the run of TFC late game goals allowed. Why is this still a problem? Henry bounced back from the blunders of Saturday and was solid in the back. While thinking about TFC defenders, what has happened with Gale Agbossoumonde? He seems to be amongst the missing, not weak enough to be sent to Wilmington (the farm team) and not strong enough to play a Cup game vs Vancouver?

Issey Nakajima-Farran had a strong on game, not sure why he came off as a late game sub when he had outplayed Rey.  Rey, Bloom and Morrow were all below their usual levels.

Gilberto continues to confound. I think he made contact with Bradley preventing him from scoring in the first half. Toronto's Brazilian million dollar player was unable to score against Vancouver's no-name defenders and teenaged keeper. I am not sure if Designated Player contracts are different, but MLS players lock into a full year contract when they reach July 1st. TFC have three more league games in May, two in June and at least one more cup game. Does Gilberto make it to July in a Toronto uniform if he continues to be scoreless? I suspect that he is more likely traded than cut, perhaps the TFC pipeline to Dallas will be in operation this summer.

Bradley came on strong in the final twenty minutes. Defoe scored the early TFC goal and Bradley scored the late one. Those two goals should have been the bookends to an onslaught. The next Toronto game is the return cup game in Vancouver next Wednesday. I fear that the happiness of Carl Robinson will be displayed on my tv screen that night. Until then....

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