|Section 220 salutes the Naz and Wally Sports Hour on am740|
The weather forecast had predicted rain all day. A huge morning thunderstorm had TFC fans expecting the worst for the afternoon.
Game time weather was blue skies and soft sunshine, a few fluffy clouds dotted throughout the sky. Perhaps the nicest weather TFC has experienced in the city all year.
TFC looked like a team. They seemed to be anticipating one another, moving off of the ball with skill and intelligence and creating opportunities. Instead of suffering through those games where it seemed that TFC could not sustain possession, today they owned the ball. Kept defensive positioning too. Joe Bendik was never really tested.
Yet, we should not forget that Chivas USA is a team on the ropes. Of their last 10 games, in 9 of them they have been held scoreless. It appears that MLS will not find an owner for this Los Angeles orphan team in the near future and could be putting the team into storage for the 2015 season. They looked like guys who had nothing to play for and were wondering who they would be playing for in 2015. Will MLS have a dispersal draft? Seems strange that you would have an expansion draft and a dispersal draft in the same span of time.
Jackson, Toronto's Brazilian winger, displayed the first touch skills that he has been lacking for much of 2014. He scored the first Toronto goal and dominated his side of the field. He was smooth and energetic on the ball and did not neglect his defensive duties either. He may have been playing his best game in a Toronto uniform.
Jackson, Toronto's Brazilian winger, the player that Dallas fans warned us was always on the brink of a red card, picked up a red card. He was having such success down the left wing in the second half that he drew a double team and felt that one of the Chivas players had caught him in the head. He took the first opportunity to go in high and hard against Nigel Reo Coker of Chivas (I think Jackson felt Reo Coker had fouled him). I saw Reo Coker make contact with his right hand against the side of Jackson's head. I suspected that Jackson was red carded for the reckless tackle, but other reports had him striking Reo Coker.
Michael Bradley had no downside today. He was the spine of the team, his passing was strong and his positioning excellent on the defensive side. He played well back, the deepest of deep midfielders. Sometimes hanging back to gather the ball, but often slipping back into a back four role.
This game was the one that simply had to be a victory or you could put playoff dreams to bed.
The Portland game next Saturday is yet another must win....
TFC 2014 is now 3 home games (Portland, Houston and Montreal) and 3 road games (LA, New York and New England). Finish the year with a winning streak and I think the playoffs are a lock. Scanning the reports of Sports Club Stats , the site that tells you your team's chances of making the playoffs, it looks like 3 wins and 3 losses may put TFC short of a playoff spot. It seems that winning 4 and losing 2 would put them in. Cross those fingers now. I am honestly not sure which is the harder task ahead. Winning all three at home or winning 1 out of 3 on the road. Come back Jermaine Defoe , all is forgiven...