There have been a few games in recent weeks that have inspired me to write a ranting and raving blog of anger. Then I have not posted the blog. I figure I am reading the team incorrectly or seeing only the bad side of the coach or might be too hasty in declaring the season a disaster brewing. I have been thinking of combining the rough draft of these unmade posts into a composite essay.
Toronto FC stunk tonight. They are a team with no punch, no finish around the net. In the first half they outshot DC by a wide margin, but their shots were either wild or mild. Eddie Johnson scored for DC almost as if he were taunting Toronto. Attack down the wing, cross it perfectly and the unmarked striker puts it in like this....
If this performance was an indication of a prolonged tailspin, you can wave goodbye to the playoffs tonight. In a matter of days the first and second place teams in the East have defeated TFC. Not much point in having games in hand compared to the other teams when you are going to go on a losing streak. Now the teams below Toronto have caught them as both Columbus and New England are tied with Toronto for third spot. New York is 2 points back and Philly is 3.
I am just a fan who blogs, no special qualifications, no playing credentials, not even a journalism background. Here's what I am thinking...
One segment of Toronto fans are part of the problem. They are the bandwagon fans looking for the next big thing. They do not commit, they would rather be fashionable than fanatical. They create a cosy atmosphere and it becomes hard to create a sense of urgency around a team when that segment has bought into the glitz and glamour. I am afraid that MLSE better understands the bandwagon fan than the knowledgeable ones. It is strange because those fans in the soccer know have very high hopes and high standards and TFC understands that when they sign a Bradley, a Defoe, a Gilberto and acquire Cesar on loan. Then TFC loses sight of that when the gritty games are on the line and the tough work needs to be done.
Ryan Nelsen is part of the problem. I think his players are fond of him, too fond of him. I suspect that he creates a cosy atmosphere and showing up for big games has just not been part of cosy lately. I think Nelsen is too recently a player and has too much patience and not enough vision. I don't feel that he understands the high standards of the dedicated fan and demands enough. If TFC is to become a big club, performances like tonight's demand a reaction.
Tim Leiweke is part of the problem. It is his face that is prominent when TFC sign a big name. It is his name and face absent when we stink in Washington DC.
I know that wins in Montreal and Columbus will turn this slump around rather quickly. I am fed up with the limp performances of too many players on this team. I think that Nelsen needs to step up and get himself thrown out of a game the next time a ref costs us a scoring chance. I want to be proud of this team. Skills are nice, but energy, determination, urgency, sacrifice and working together need to appear. I am leery about what version of Toronto FC is going to be on display at Montreal this weekend. Stay tuned.