Saturday, April 29, 2017

Efficient with dashes of dazzle TFC 2 Houston 0

Don't you love it when a plan comes together? Toronto FC looked strong in victory last night. It was a mixture of elements at play throughout the evening as they handled the Houston Dynamo. TFC did not pursue a goal fest, although they always looked capable of adding to their total, at the expense of protecting their end of the field. After allowing a late goal against Chicago a week ago, you got the sense that shutting down the Houston scorers was a priority all game long. I think that you have to give credit to Coaches Vanney and Fraser for the continued growth in TFC defending quality. The ability to play with three in the back is due to the progress that Hagglund and Zavaletta exhibit in both defending and ball control out of the back. My hunch is that if a team has one young defender rise in ability it could be talent despite neglectful coaching. Two young defenders on the rise and the coaching gets credit. It was so encouraging, on so many levels, to hear that Drew Moor is on his way back to playing in the short term. Only one goal against in two games however is a strong indication that TFC has a deeper squad than we have ever seen.
The midfield was just as strong. It was a pleasure watching the distribution of Victor Vazquez. He is worth the price of admission. He is neither swift nor flashy. You watch him slide into passing angles so that Michael Bradley and the three defenders can easily find him for their outlet passes. Then he is a master at knowing where everyone on the pitch is and could be. Sudden passes launch attacks or he quickly finds space. I was sad to see him come off the field (though another game looms midweek and rest for veteran legs and playing time for Osorio was wise). After last night I could give the inside track to midfield playing time to Marky Delgado. He had a strong game, seems to fill the spaces defensively that Vazquez can't get to and was positive in the attack. Bradley played a strong game, I think having Vazquez around take pressure of off Captain MB. Raheem Edwards was superb. Beitashour too.
Altidore and Giovinco seemed to be a true partnership. The second Altidore goal was due to a pure unselfish moment from Giovinco.
Alex Bono fully deserved his shutout. Made some timely saves, particulary in the second half when defending legs were weariest.

All in all, a good night down by the lake. You never forgot it was April, but mild weather all night and no wind to speak of. Toronto provided effort, style and ball control on every part of the pitch.
The next game is against Orlando.
Stay tuned.
TFC attack finding wide open spaces

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark

Adrian here.

A belated welcome home, and a big hello to you and yours from us and ours.

Great post as usual!

I completely agree that Vazquez is the real deal and an important missing piece from last year. (Which I am now almost over..or not). I was selling Vazquez on the forum boards of some supporters groups, where much to my surprise many people still somehow have not recognized his vision and ability as you very eloquently described in your gifted writing ability.