Monday, July 31, 2017

Number 1 with room for improvement TFC 4 NYCFC 0

Toronto is the first team in the East standings (and first overall) while New York City FC is the third place team (both East and overall). Yet the gulf between these two teams seemed to be yawning and widening Sunday afternoon at BMO Field. I honestly expected this sort of mismatch when TFC met Colorado the weekend before and more of a battle from NYCFC.

TFC dominated and it was a strange state. They never looked in danger and they never looked in top form. Early into the game right wing back rookie √ėyvend Alseth went out of the game with a foot injury. It looked like he had swung his foot into the defender's foot and it was serious enough that he was soon limping off to the dressing room. Raheem Edwards came on in his place and left footed rookie Raheem seemed to play the right side under protest. It was not the first time he has played his off wing, but one wonders why the awkwardness. So TFC seems to be only attacking down the left side and centrally and blunders persist. Victor Vazquez played a game far below the standard he has established in Toronto colours this year. So that mucked up the left side and took a lot of magic out of the middle too! You wanted Michael Bradley to take on a stronger attacking role (as I always do), but this was a tough game against a respected opponent. So Bradley sits back and puts out fires. 

It was a moment of brilliance from Giovinco that had TFC ahead by a goal at the half, but I was worried going into the second half. TFC looked off and the slightest comeback from New York could sink this game. Toronto seemed stuck in their recent mire of failing to score and win against teams that were weak and vulnerable.

Those second half fears vanished. Morrow and Bradley grew back into their roles, Edwards was returned to the left side, Giovinco scored another brilliant goal. Jozy Altidore, who I felt was a candidate for a Ricketts replacement, bought a call from the ref and scored the third. Raheem Edwards scored the fourth and TFC ran away with it.
The late game penalty awarded to NYCFC when Delgado blocked a cross with his arm seemed to be just. It was fitting that New York missed the penalty.

Toronto by the lakeshore is a wonderful spot....on a July Sunday afternoon
Daughter and blogger

I am never one to wish my summer away AND one should never count your chickens before they hatch dept.

TFC from here to playoffs looks like this -
Home games (6)
August - Portland and Philly
September - San Jose, Montreal and New York Red Bulls
October - Montreal
Road games (6)
August - DC, Chicago (that's a big game) and Montreal
September - LA Galaxy, New England
October - Atlanta
No matter how rough their season or how little their playoff prospects, Montreal will be tough games as the Impact will gladly take on the spoiler role. It would be very nice to win at home against them in October and win the Supporter's Shield in the process. But I am getting way ahead of myself. Instead think of how a loss free August will take pressure off of September...
Keep kicking.