It is possible to be riding along into the day after on the elation and explosion of joy that the late two goals for Toronto FC brought to team and fans last night.
I prefer to chew a bit on the foul mood and frustration that dominated most of the night prior to Altidore's breakthrough. Tension, anger and frustration are the elements that were swirling around me as TFC took on NYC. Toronto always looked the better team and NYC hardly looked like second place in the East finishers. I am going to avoid adding football club to New York's name as I am of the opinion that fouling club would be a better tag. It was not the first time that I have felt that the New York group went into a contest with a "mug Giovinco "strategy and not much else.
Sebastian Giovinco had an off night. First the fouling throws him off, then the lack of calls protecting him and then when he gets the calls (well into the second half, by my recall) he compounds the frustration by firing wildly on free kicks. Vanney was wise to sub Giovinco off in the late going. The attempt of the NYC player to start something with Altidore at the final whistle might have been what Vanney was saving Giovinco from.
Ref Silviu Petrescu was the wrong man for the job. He is just too lenient, too willing to listen to players and never seems able to establish a firm sense of justice to his calls. The wrong guy to take the steam out of a "mug Giovinco" strategy.
When David Villa, who had kicked out at Armando Cooper's legs after a collision, refused to back off and was standing over the prone Cooper and lecturing him, I thought Petrescu had lost control of the game and it was still fairly early in the first half. Petrescu was practically pushing Villa away from the confrontation and Villa was still eluding him and getting back at Cooper.
Sorry, but Villa was showing a shocking lack of respect for the ref, plus a lack of respect for a Toronto player here in Toronto. I am so pleased that Villa was kept off the score sheet and left the field to a chorus of boos.
Can you tell that I am still steamed?
I want TFC to bury these bums. Unleash Giovinco from the start and push for the early goals, the away goals that will build a mountain that NYC lacks the guts to climb. I am convinced that Giovinco can score a hat trick in the first half. I am also convinced that Clint Irwin can make more saves at the Toronto end than NYC can even if they are allowed to have double goalkeepers.
Shut them down, fill their net and send them to the offseason they so richly deserve.
And make sure that David Villa gets a message, if you are not going to give respect, TFC will extract it from you.
I will now pull myself together and try to end on positive notes.
Michael Bradley. The man was fantastic. A true star. He abandoned the hang back with Moor approach and was a full box to box midfielder. His passing was superb, his moving forward with the ball at his feet even better than superb and there was no let up in his defensive positioning and tackling.
Nick Hagglund. A rough start was worrying. He and Moor just seemed to be unable to complete a pass to each other. Hagglund's plays forward were just as shaky.
Then he found another gear. It is fitting that the second Toronto goal was from a ball sent into the goal area by Hagglund. He was solid.
It does not show up on the highlights, but I think special mention needs to go to Marky Delgado for his role in the second goal. He had just been subbed into the game and suddenly he was bossing the midfield. The ball just seemed to be drawn to him. When Hagglund sends in that wonderful diagonal cross, Delgado has left the midfield and he almost gets his head to the ball in front of the net before it falls for Ricketts. Ricketts scores off of his own rebound, but Delgado contributed to the energy that made that goal happen.