Thursday, May 29, 2014

V Cup, V Cup, we'll give it to thee Cup - TFC 1 MTL 1

The game last night had me wondering just how little TFC management wants the extra games of Champions League on their 2014 schedule.
Joe Bendik was in net. It would not surprise me to see Chris Konopka get the start in Montreal.
The back four was strategic. Play Morgan (rest Morrow- late sub), play Hagglund (rest Bloom), play Caldwell (red card in KC means he can't play MLS game vs Columbus this Saturday) and play Henry in order to rest him Saturday. Orr and Hagglund had success against the Crew earlier this year. I expect to see them playing centrally Saturday, flanked by Morrow and Bloom.

The midfield is a concern. Playing Hall and Orr as your central midfielders sure seems to be giving up on offensive drive. Neither of them will dribble the ball into space much and their passing is often on the shaky side. Lovitz is a promising rookie, but not yet a solid MLS starter. Rey seems to be playing his way out of Toronto. He can't expect to hold onto his international spot on the roster with a total of zero goals. He is a puzzle. He seems to have the skills to create opportunities, but does not seem to create the momentum to turn his chances into shots or crosses.

Up front they went with Gilberto and DeRo. Gilberto deserves a blog post of his own. I am holding off, saving myself for the retrospective. DeRo worked hard and had a chance or two. I felt sorry for him past the 60 minute mark. He needed to sit and make way for fresher legs.

Justin Mapp accomplished Montreal's mission in just seconds. Found some space, weaved and twisted, beat a man, created just enough space to get his shot off and grabbed the Montreal away goal. I would have preferred to see Bendik at least diving in a vain attempt rather than standing frozen. Based on last night's play (and assuming the same TFC line-up, though I suspect that Wiedeman and Richter will find spots) I just don't see TFC scoring in Montreal.

It is funny that Nakajima-Farran tweeted on the day after his trade from TFC to Montreal that maybe he should have hit the post on his penalty kick in Vancouver. At the time I thought it was just a part of the thought process of shifting his loyalty from one team to the other. After seeing TFC look so confused in their finishing against Montreal, maybe he was picking up on TFC's lack of interest in the V Cup this year.

Sure, I will watch the Montreal game on tv. Of course I will be cheering if TFC finds their spark. However if Montreal scores and scores and shuts Toronto down, I will not be surprised.

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