Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016 Road game #1 vs New York Red Bulls - Oh, one could learn to love this efficiency and attention to defending...

Those frigid and bleak months have rolled by. The winter storms have howled through. The driveway shovelled and shovelled, salted and shovelled again. Dog walks became my offseason interest (when conditions allowed). The calendar tells us that spring is only days away and therefore a new TFC season 2016 must be upon us. Can this be?

Have we tamed the memories of the stunning, stumbling mess of those two games in Montreal that brought 2015 to a close? A long winter of long walks might do that for you. Heartbreak was the theme when we last gathered to cheer for the grey and red. I owe this space a blog to just capture the offseason but allow me to sum up.
Goodbye Joe Bendik and Chris Konopka,  Jackson and Robbie Findley, Luke Moore , Herc Gomez and Collen Warner. Almost forgot Ahmed Kantari..
Hello, hello to Will Johnson, Steve Beitashour, Drew Moor, Clint Irwin and Tsubasah Endoh.
Got it?

A pre-season game or two caught from Florida on somebody's youtube channel gave me a little glimpse of TFC 2016, but it was nothing to blog on about. I have always struggled with blogging about games watched on television. Blah - camera angles are deceptive as they vary from stadium to stadium. Blah, blah - your ability to watch formations or match-ups or developments well off the ball gets compromised. Yet, it will be two more months before we head to our seats (now covered). Oh the tyranny of construction.

Today's game turned out to be a treat, a tonic for the wailing "can't wait for May" true blue TFC fan (did I just use the colour "blue" to describe a fan of the red and grey?).

The first half was clunky and creaky. TFC struggled to find any passing tempo, but their defending held up. Perquis looks better with Moor around and Irwin behind to steady things (I'm a fan of Perquis, but he does have a terrible habit of removing himself from the action COMPLETELY when he makes a claim for offside). The tactic of Bradley well back in the midfield and Giovinco well forward seemed to work. At least I hope it was a tactic, what if it was just a sign that the two of them are not getting along?
2nd half had early signs of good ship TFC battening down the hatches and hoping to hold on for 45. K.J. on the broadcast had it right when he called for Lovitz out and Delgado in on the left side of the field. Once the substitution was made, then the counter-attacks began to click and the goals were scored. TFC winning in New York (technically New Jersey), next weekend they get to try it again with the NYCFC group that treated them badly last year.
2016 TFC off to a great start. There are so many pairings and partnerships that are straight from the factory new on this team (Endoh out to the right with Beitashour behind him, Bradley and Johnson down the middle, Moor and Perquis behind them, Irwin as the new keeper) that you need to expect rust and clunk and setbacks and time to gel. That aspect makes the victory that much sweeter. Thanks for reading...

The roof just up on the south end (some weeks ago)


Ste Brierley said...

True Blue!Would that be the Evertonian in you?

Mark Kennedy said...

Oh dear, things have been so dire and dreadful in Toffee land this season. I admit to making more time in my footie watching schedule for those Foxes...