Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let's go to the Ex! Toronto FC 2 Montreal Impact 1

Photo Credit - ZippyR
It was one of those victories that you'll take in a heartbeat. TFC had sections of play were they looked confident and coordinated. They also had a ton of luck on their side. There were too many times when Montreal seemed to be messing up goal scoring opportunites, rather than TFC shutting them down. Recalling 2014 and how many times Oduro could not finish his chances for TFC had us smiling as he continued to mess and miss for Montreal. When he did score late, the thought crossed my mind that the next time Toronto meets Montreal they could be facing Didier Drogba. He could make a huge difference (as would the return of Piatti).
You have to be concerned however that TFC did not finish strong against a Montreal side that was down to ten men AND had lost probably their best defender.

But time to look on the bright side. TFC goal #1 - Osorio to Bradley as they slip a goal by the keeper. TFC goal #2 - This time Bradley to Osorio who thumped one off the cross bar and full marks to Jozy Altidore who turned the rebound into a goal.
Some worrying moments - Cheyrou off with injury, Giovinco off with injury and even Lovitz off for Morgan (injury or tactical?). Then the hanging on at the end - some ghosts of TFC past were hovering in the air.

So that was the final game of August and TFC are in a tie for fourth place with New England. A Red Bulls hosting DC game on Sunday is only going to change the points of teams ahead of Toronto.
Looking back on the months of 2015 so...
March - 3pts from 3 games
April - 3pts from 3 games
May - 10 pts from 5 games
June -  7 pts from 4 games
July - 4pts from 4games
August - 9pts from 6 games

9 games left in the season. To have a better than 50% chance of finishing in 2nd place (and therefore being assured of missing the first round playoff knockout game), TFC would have to finish with 54 points or better (currently 37)
5 games in September (Road Seattle - Home New England - Road NYCFC - Home Colorado Chicago)
4 games in October (Home Philadelphia NYRB Columbus - Road Montreal)
I can see points coming out of September - perhaps even duplicating May and getting 10 points from the 5 games. October looks tough though. If TFC are chasing 2nd place, no better way than actually facing NYRB and Columbus, the two other teams most likely to be battling for that spot.
If I had to predict right now I would say TFC are a playoff team but finishing second seems just a step beyond them. They can really only afford two losses in the rest of the season. On the road in Seattle next weekend may determine expectations. Seba Giovinco will head in the other direction, his callup to the Italian team takes him away for the Labour Day weekend.

I will miss having the EX going on all around the stadium at the next game. The weather was perfect, if winds and temperature were your concern. The skies did become dull as the game wore on, but rain was avoided.
Next home game is New England Sept.13....until then - think red and grey...

1 comment:

Mark Kennedy said...

Looking ahead to the MLS Cup playoff schedule.
The knockout games (teams finishing 3rd and 4th vs teams finishing 5th and 6th in both conferences) are October 28 and 29.

The conference semi finals (the winners of the knockout games versus the seeded 1 and 2 teams in both conferences) - Leg 1 Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 Leg 2 Nov.7 or Nov.8

Then a weekend off for the FIFA International date.

The conference finals (the winners of the semi finals) - Leg 1 Nov. 21 or Nov. 22 Leg 2 Nov. 28 or Nov. 29

The MLS Cup will either be the weekend of December 5/6 or December 12/13 Remember the Cup finalist with the best record in the season hosts the Cup. If second place in the East is a long shot for TFC, increase the long shot for TFC to host the Cup on a cold December weekend....but one never knows...