Sunday, August 26, 2018

Victory vs Montreal (TFC 3 Montreal 1)

Last season, that glorious season where almost everything went right, the one glaring game that went wrong was the home game hosting Montreal.
TFC 3 Impact 5 was the final.
I can recall consoling myself that it was late season and here I was grumpy about TFC giving up their first home loss. Losing to Montreal is always capable of putting a TFC fan on the road to grumpy.

I approached last night's game with concern. TFC is chasing Montreal for a playoff spot*. Montreal can derail the Toronto playoff drive, hanging by a thread (those phrases cobbled together for mixed metaphor fans). Did Montreal still have a touch of whatever evil magic allowed them to conquer in that 2017 game?

TFC fans were able to exhale from the start. The first 29 minutes were superb. TFC were playing precise short passes, players were finding spaces and goals were scored. Two for Giovinco and one for Osorio.
Then Montreal scored their goal and Toronto lost the attacking sparkle. The Montreal goal shattered more than the attack. Why did Alex Bono set himself up for the shot from Silva giving away so much space on the short side? I also feel that TFC lacks precisely that sort of attack, the player who will and can score off of a shot from distance.

I understand that shutting down your opponent and protecting a lead is very important, especially against Montreal, the first game after squandering a win on the road in San Jose. It was tense throughout the second half though. TFC went from attack as the best form of defending to relying on Montreal's lack of midfield possession game and lack of potent attack to get them through. A couple of goals called back on offside decisions had us holding our breath. I want to say that TFC is a much, much better team than Montreal. The day after finds me grateful for the victory and the three points, but remain concerned about the road ahead.
Not just last night against Montreal but while down to 10 men for most of the game against NYCFC and the game on the road in Atlanta I have felt that TFC retain their championship quality. Can they do that again and again in the last two months of season 2018? Can they do it for 90 minutes during the tough road games such as Portland or DC or Montreal?

Portland is a late game Wednesday night.

Until then...

* Playoff position update - Montreal and New England both losing last night helped Toronto, yet the two teams to worry most about lately are Philly and DC United. The Union have been a hot team and DC are even with Toronto in points, 27, but have played three less games.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Weak point in California San Jose Earthquakes 1 Toronto FC 1

I continue to experiment with writing my blog as a series of tweets. If you follow me on Twitter @stillkickingtfc , you have already read my blog post. The only problem I see with tweeting is that it lends itself to bad Trump instincts - extra comments as the blog bonus.
Trying to keep my blog within tweet confines. Perhaps it will help my focus and my writing? Simply put, TFC had San Jose Earthquakes down and could not put them away. Lack of urgency! Lack of killer instinct!
No matter how cruel the defensive lapse, you can't argue that it was unusual. Toronto FC season 2018 has lapses aplenty. The attitude at 1 goal up should have been TFC is going to have to win this 2-1. We have seen too many stretches of "hang on and hope"
Those who want TFC to have a clean sheet every game are on a witch hunt!
We rightly praise Osorio and his 8 MLS goals, but you have to be worried about Bradley and Marky Delgado and their ZERO MLS goals. Defending vs Toronto is too simple, swamp Seba and watch for Oso.
I know this and many, many friends have called to tell me I am right!
I still hold out hope that a smashing victory over Montreal Impact next weekend and a winning streak to follow still leaves a flicker of hope for MLS playoffs, a tiny flicker in a windstorm.
If Montreal wins that August game, depend on me to assign blame and deny responsibility, Fake News!
My practical side is pushing me to see the benefits of NOT making MLS playoffs. That would give TFC players November and December to rest and recuperate. CONCACAF Champion's League target #1 for a rested squad.
And Mexican teams will have a wall to contend with!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

TFC road point vs hyped 2nd year team - Atlanta United 2 Toronto FC 2

I thought I would write my blog as if it were a series of tweets.

Not sure how well that surface in Atlanta plays, but on tv it looks like something that my parents bought to cover the backyard patio in the 70's #TFCLive

Delightful goal from #TFCLive in the closing minutes (seconds?) of the first half. Atlanta got overconfident and Altidore, Auro Jr. and Giovinco turned on the quality.

I understand that camera angle from behind the net shows that #TFCLive Bono palmed the ball to his left and therefore it should have not been a penalty. I thought VAR allowed for multiple looks. Ref and VAR seemed to be in a hurry to get Atlanta back into the game.

Very happy that #TFCLive kept going. Clearly Ricketts in, Vazquez off worked. Telfer in, Zavaletta out a brave gamble. Giovinco as attacking midfielder worked too. Osorio cool set up to Ricketts another moment in the Osorio 2018 highlight reel.

I am always urging #TFCLive to show more grit and spine, so I am not going to second guess Chris Mavinga lashing out. I honestly love TFC putting Atlanta in their place. Violence is not the answer, but want to know more about provocation.

Okay, that's it. My blog post = five tweets. 

Thanks for reading - until the next time, keep kicking.