|Clearly playing the ball not the man|
Gantar, the ref from hell, botched another TFC game last evening. Late in the first half he red carded Justin Morrow. Hell, he tried to red card Damien Perquis, which is a clear indication that he is not up to the job.
Yes, I have the luxury of hindsight. I have watched the video multiple times. I chose the above screen shot to underline how hopeless the assistant ref had to be to support Gantar. He is in the top of the picture with nothing between him and Morrow with the ball at his feet. He deserves to be banished along with Gantar.
You can't call a foul on a defender in this situation. He is playing the ball. It is not even a situation of one leg going for the ball and the trailing leg fouling the attacker, he had BOTH legs ahead of the attacker. Even if the back of Morrow is being kicked by the attacker, Morrow has position. He has precedence. Any contact in this spot is a foul to the attacker. If he (Ethan Finley) makes contact with the back of the defender's legs WHO IS PLAYING THE BALL and then goes to ground HE GETS BOOKED FOR SIMULATION. It is not even a 50/50 ball, not even a shoulder to shoulder situation. Morrow probably felt he could not risk a shoulder to shoulder stance as last man back, so he won the ball.
Up until this moment, it was a game that hung in the balance. I can't bring myself to dissect the TFC defensive lapses that made the Columbus goals possible, since the Gantar decision created an unbalanced second half.
It does underline the need for TFC to establish themselves early. Giovinco had some shots that were worthy. Cheyrou played well. I am still not sold on the TFC midfield as a central block and letting Creavalle and Morrow be responsible for all wing play. Having an overlapping back works best with an element of surprise. Vanney's TFC uses it as a steady diet item.
I am most worried about Ashtone Morgan, who took over as left back with the banishment of Morrow. I have been a fan of Morgan's, often attributing his mistakes to youthful exuberance. Last night he was gambling and losing balls in open field, failing to get goal side when Altidore was back helping defend Morgan's section of the pitch. Just awful.
Two weeks until TFC play away in Utah (Real Salt Lake). Hopefully the sting of this cruel outcome will fuel some fire for that next game. Stay tuned