Sunday, July 29, 2018

Playoff chase is on - TFC 3 Chicago Fire 0

The back to back victories over the Chicago Fire have given TFC fans reason for optimism for the months ahead. TFC looked like formidable defending champions Saturday night (July 28). A great way to end the month of July, considering how ineffective they looked losing 0-1 to NYRB to begin the month and how few the points they gained in July. Put aside the Chicago games (and the Ottawa Fury games in a different competition) and Toronto gained a single point from the 4 earlier July MLS games. Seems that the Chicago Fire were just what the TFC doctor ordered. The quality of the opponent is less than a tenth of the story, the continued return to health of injured players remains factor #1.

The first half was all muscle, tussle and half scoring chances for TFC. Bastien Schweinsteiger, Chicago star and German footballing legend, played way back as a Fire defender in the first half. He was effective, but I don't think he gets full credit for the 0-0 score at half time. You felt that Chicago was still in a game that they did not deserve to be in. Yes, that TFC feeling was washing over me at that point. Damn, one bad bounce, one lucky shot and the Fire could put TFC under pressure.
Credit to Greg Vanney for the halftime change. Ashtone Morgan came out of the game, he was playing ok, but a left foot on the right wing has never been his spot on the field. On came Marky Delgado. TFC shifted to a 4-4-2. Vazquez in a central role, with Bradley in behind him in a diamond midfield. 
The change in alignment might have been a spark to the greater attack spirit of the second half. Not that it was obvious for the first goal, a scramble that could have come from any formation. I thought that you had to also give great credit to van der Wiel, Mavinga and Zavaletta, the ball was always being played well from the back. Your midfield can supply your strikers with better through balls when they themselves are getting quality situations determined by the defenders. Osorio, Vazquez, Bradley and Delgado were all benefitting. I am cheering for Marky Delgado to rebuild his confidence. I still think he retreats and passes back out of situations that would benefit from him taking on defenders. Their does not have to be a clear path, move into space, draw a foul, bounce the ball off a shin to get a throw in. 
I will blog about the month ahead rather than the game ahead this week.
Keep cheering, thanks for reading...

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