|sunset Saturday night|
Just when I was entranced enough with the early success and defensive promise of TFC 2016 that I was thinking of retiring the blog name...along came the Whitecaps. Was it a matter of Vancouver's dazzling, lightning quick attack abilities just could not be denied or TFC's defending was an audition for a horrible movie "Turnovers in Statue Park"?
There were millions of Saturday night stories in the big city last night. TFC fans were stuck with the story of watch a team dig a hole for themselves, climb out of it, dig another hole for themselves, almost climb out of it. At least TFC play again Wednesday night, a wonderful opportunity to put this clunker behind them.
There are a headful of "ifs" that arise out of any contest, but I hope that TFC is haunted by the sheer multitude of "ifs" from their loss to Vancouver. If Altidore scored on his penalty, if Babouli had pounded the ball low on his golden chance late in the game, if Perquis had chosen a different game to play horribly, if Vanney had benched Perquis at half time, if Irwin had come up with a spectacular save in one half or another, if Endoh had not had an off night...
Jozy Altidore must have heard the silence. He had the spectacular misfortune of missing his penalty kick and hobbling off injured in the same sequence of play. He has yet to score in 2016. He continues to be an enigma, which just might be a polite way of saying he's a multi-million dollar designated player on a team that only has one proven scorer (and it's not him).
Walking to the stadium I overheard one loquacious fan citing Altidore's scoring record for Sunderland to his friends. When Altidore was being helped off the field one fan booed and another chided the booing fan. "Don't boo him, he's sensitive" was the corrective comment. No "cheer up, Jozy, get well fella" sort of applause from the crowd at all. Jozy Altidore must have heard the silence.
Could this be the end of Altidore in Toronto? I am guessing that his injury is the recurring hamstring problem. I am also guessing that he would target the Copa America USMNT games of June 3, 7 and 11 for his return. After that the summer transfer window, trades and MLS moves must be opportunities for moving Altidore. Altidore playing with good friend Bradley is not working out. Altidore on another roster south of the border, say Philly, DC or Houston, could sell tickets. He is not selling tickets in Toronto. A few sets of ears in the TFC box must have heard the silence.
I could be developing a bad case of sympathy for Coach Greg Vanney. So many doubts about just how coachable Bradley, Altidore and Giovinco must be. The bench for TFC is dominated by defenders and overall seems designed for injury protection not game changers. With Altidore's and Osorio's injuries TFC went to Babouli and Lovitz. Chapman came on too (perhaps for Perquis?). Vanney is forced to send out hope and potential. It is nice to have hope and potential, but it does not strike fear into the heart of the opposition late in the game.
Blue shorts - never want to see them again. Whatever the motivation for adding blue to a team that has had ten years of red and grey, it just does not work. It makes as much sense as trying to add blue to the Raptors uniform. Never want to see them again.