Sunday, July 22, 2018

Road victory leads to summer's first flicker of hope - Chicago Fire 1 Toronto FC 2

Apologies for not blogging during these recent weeks.
My excuse is both travel and World Cup 2018 intertwined.
I travelled to Los Angeles to visit my uncle. He and I have a tradition of watching games together that goes way back (even includes attending a USA1994 Netherlands/Brazil classic in Dallas).

Then I travelled to Iceland with my wife, some of her siblings and their spouses in early July. I had warned all that my availability for lava fields and waterfalls was determined by the World Cup schedule. It was my fond hope that I would get to see Iceland play a knockout round game from Iceland. I dared not hope that England would still be on the stage.

Both my LA trip and my Iceland trip will be the subjects of future blog posts. Just for the record.

For now, let's talk TFC.

They have been so hard to watch. I counted myself fortunate to have missed the goal fest loss to Minnesota and even the draw on the road in Kansas City. Between my travels I had witnessed the 0-1 loss to New York on Canada Day at BMO. I knew that the huge injury list was a constant factor, but frustration was always increasing at the lack of players rising to take advantage of their opportunities. I was home from my travels in time to see TFC on tv lose to Orlando City. I did not blog. Just too jet lagged, tired, annoyed, mad and frustrated.

You might be as tired as I am of hearing that a TFC MLS game was a must game for turning the season around. Too, too many times has that label thrown around and I am sure that it has been contributing to this anger and frustration.

Last night in Chicago, I hope, the tide turned.
TFC attacked from the wings, moved the ball well down the middle, controlled the tempo of the game, shut down the Fire often and welcomed back more players from the injury list (notably Jozy Altidore, Chris Mavinga and Gregory van der Wiel, with Victor Vazquez available off the bench). They looked more capable, more cohesive than they have in months. Oso, Delgado and Bradley all had solid games. The Delgado tackle which lead to Bradley's long diagonal pass which put Giovinco into dangerous territory were all ingredients of that great first goal. Osorio scoring the winner was just another chapter of his storybook season. Yes, Altidore makes the attack smarter, better, more creative, more ambitious.

As players shed injury comeback rust and TFC still welcomes back Drew Moor and Auro Jr. AND the possibility that TFC have summer window moves still to make, the months ahead might turn this hope flicker into a flame. I am hopeful for a bonfire come September and October.

thanks for reading....

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