Saturday, May 19, 2018

Overdue Canadian scoring contributions TFC 2 Orlando 1

Winning a home game = acorn for a squirrel

Call me a happy TFC fan amongst many this morning. Thrilled with the home field victory over Orlando. Winning stops the recent home and away losing spiral and gets the team back on track. There is still a playoff qualification mountain to climb, but victory changes the angle.

Against Orlando, both of TFC's goals were scored by Canadians. A solid strike from Jay Chapman on a huge rebound after Tosaint Ricketts had hit the post with his solid shot. The second goal was an excellent volley by Ryan Telfer after Auro Jr. had twisted, turned the defender and sent the cross from tight quarters in the corner.

The fact that Canadians scored is a relief, but it does not come with any amount of amnesia. The loss to Seattle and the loss to New England could have been (should have been) both avoided by Canadians stepping up to the scoring challenge that was given to them. Chapman and Osorio from the midfield, Hamilton and Ricketts up front. The TFC roster seems to be built with Canadian content mostly in the midfield and forward positions (and Ashtone Morgan). Bluntly, my response to Jay Chapman scoring was "about damn time".
I feel it did not take a rocket scientist to figure out that in the month of May (especially with an injury list that included Moor, Morrow, Mavinga, Hagglund, Zavaletta) Toronto needed to play to win some goal fest games. Sure, some soft goals were allowed. Mostly in the New England game, but the response of too many seemed to be leave the goal scoring efforts to others rather than take on the creative and sweaty challenge of putting the ball on target themselves.
Sorry to offend nationalists, but I was happy to see Jordan Hamilton come out of the game around the 60 minute mark. Too many minutes played in recent games without scoring opportunities or even shots produced. When do you put aside the potential measurement and put the production equation ahead of it? My bloggers hunch is this season, while I respect that wiser heads are involved.

Just to avoid harping on the nationality angle, it was also great that TFC scorers were midfielders. I have long felt that Toronto FC,  apart from Victor Vazquez and Justin Morrow, lacks scoring threats out of their midfield. Marky Delgado seems to be playing in a fog. Most of 2017 season, it seemed that the Vanney team selection was either Delgado or Osorio in the midfield.  You might not have felt that Jonathan Osorio had risen much above Delgado in the CCL, but now the gulf is growing. Perhaps Chapman getting a goal is going to work against Delgado getting playing time to regain his momentum?

So the look ahead for the TFC schedule has May ending with the home game next week against Dallas. Then June sees 3 away games, Columbus, Philly and NYCFC and one home game against DC United. Where Toronto sits come Canada Day will be revealing. I am crazed enough to want a winning streak from last night into July.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Meltdown over comeback NE Revs 3 TFC 2

Two years ago, time to grow up

Toronto FC had a rocky start in New England tonight. Allowing two quick goals on that slick surface. First one was Toronto falling victim to an attacker who fluidly moved into space and let the hard shot fly. It was justice in a way as TFC forever seem to lack that sort of play.
The second goal was Bono taking chances and then failing to clear. Ager Aketxe certainly got stripped of the ball in record time, but he should not have been put in that position. All night long TFC midfielders were misjudging the receiving of passes. The Revs seems to pounce on the turf adjustment micro second. Or the passes were often too slow to begin with.
It is amazing that they started the second half sloppy and allowed Bunbury to score. Falling behind on the road 3-0 should have been the end, but New England let TFC back in.

An own goal by New England. TFC just might.....
Vanney senses an opportunity and puts in Giovinco, Vazquez and Mavinga (which allows Bradley back into the midfield). Then a pk goal for Giovinco.

Then Seba Giovinco was provoked by NE Rev midfielder Zahibo, who poked at the ball that Giovinco was carrying back to centre for the restart of play. Seba responded by pushing at Zahibo's face. Which was a reach.

Red card given. TFC comeback averted.
Giovinco is a top goal scorer and should not take the bait. Other teams physically wrassle with him all the time, but the Seba boiling point is too low. He hurts himself, he hurts the team.

I also feel that this is an area that TFC have neglected. Giovinco's first year in Toronto he had two teammates (Cheyrou and Perquis) who were very good at being very bad to those who messed with Giovinco. Nobody plays that role anymore. Nobody sticks up for our petulant little scoring star.

 Giovinco should mature? Sure, all for it.

But there are also too many players not playing any role at all. If you are scoring, then let Seba fight his own battles. But if he is the only TFC scoring possibility, do something to protect him from idle provocations.

Time for my own meltdown. The pillow is calling....

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

First MLS win 2018 TFC 3 RSL 1

Toronto FC put some worries to bed as they landed a victory in their third MLS game of 2018. The fans knew that Champion’s League games were getting in the way. Columbus and especially Montreal had taken advantage.

Hard to decide whether the win was due to Toronto FC’s quality or RSL’s lack of it. Not that TFC were undeserving, but they were able to dominate with a patchwork line up.

I have the luxury of writing this post after knowing that TFC win their Tuesday CCL home game against Club America. 

So TFC now face, perhaps, the biggest game in their history.

still kicking...

Ashtone Morgannnnnnnnn TFC 3 Club America 1

Yes, it is very possible that Liga MX teams come to Toronto expecting that TFC will collapse at the very sight of them.
Maybe it is the cold rain, the shaky pitch conditions and howling Toronto fans.

Or, damn it, TFC works hard, plays beautifully and gets it done. They have the CCL gear that has them heading next week to Mexico City in (almost) the best position possible. That Club America away goal must present a challenge for TFC. It would be chilling if CA considered that the sole target for the trip.

Yes, I continue to watch streamed from afar. This time around in Arizona. The broadcast with go90 is an excellent production. Solid knowledge of both teams. 

Toronto looks cold on tv.
Bradley was a beast.
Altidore was a hurricane. 
Osorio and Delgado worked their tails off.
Auro,  Zavaletta and van der Wiel were solid. 

Keeping my worries about Moor to myself.
And Toronto was playing without Vazquez, Morrow and Mavinga!

Ashtone Morgan ! He was going and going. My only complaint with Coach Vanney on the night was not subbing Ashtone out with a minute or two to go so that he could have an ovation all to himself.

Still  I will be terrified, TERRIFIED about the second leg game at the Azteca Stadium. 
Get TFC down there tomorrow to get working at altitude.

Get Mavinga and Morrow and Vazquez healthy. Thank you DC United for letting TFC have these days to prepare.

Keep cheering. Keep hoping. Keep plugging 

and score early...

And to think I thought this was a lead TFC could not hold...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Blah to Bleu, Montreal 1 TFC 0

Montreal Impact did what they had to, but I am unimpressed. They scored a goal against the run of play late in the first half and held off Toronto for extended blocks of time in the second half. I felt that the home team was taking advantage of Toronto's fatigue far more than outplaying them. Desperate defending, parking the bus and hoping for rare counter attacks is just not the way a strong team plays at home.

It will seem like hindsight now, but I was not thrilled to see both Giovinco and Altidore in the starting 11. For Montreal this was game 3 of their 2018 season, for TFC it was game 6. The four games of CONCACAF Champion's League have been thrilling and gruelling. We are seeing some squad rotation, but the forwards and the goalkeeper stay constant. Too constant, I say. I recall that Tosaint Ricketts has some health concerns, but somebody has to come off the bench to quench forward fatigue. Those rumours that TFC are looking to sign a veteran striker just gained credence in my book.

It was not surprising that neither Morrow nor Mavinga played considering their coming out of the game against Tigres, although Mavinga might have been on the bench?

Starting the MLS season with two losses might be a bitter fact to face, but I fear not. Plenty of time to climb. 

To those who care about our nomadic winters, we managed to watch this game on wifi in a saloon at Borrego Springs California. All around us were tv screens overflowing with March Madness and we were the two in the corner squirming in our seats, glued to a laptop.
Come May we will be conventional again. BMO Field for home games, conventional tv coverage on the road.
Until the next time.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Toronto FC compete and squeak in Mexico Tigres 3 TFC 2, 4-4 aggregateTFC on away goals

Emotional result, Toronto move on.
I knew away goals were critical.
Auro had defending highlights galore. Mavinga plenty too.

Giovinco astounding,

Thought it took far too long for the Vasquez for Delgado move. Delgado was not on his game.

Felt Alex Bono went wobbly when he needed to be a tiger.

Too rattled and ragged for more.

A historic result.

Not sure if my nerves can take another round!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Crew will do ya Toronto FC 0 Columbus Crew 2

This blogger is so overdue for concocting a formatted summary for games that I watch on television and save my free form essays for home games. Yesterday was the BMO Field season opener, but as I continue to travel in California, I watched TFC struggle against Columbus on my iPad. I won't attend a home game until May. So here goes a blend of summary and free form. Or, since I don't have answers I will supply the questions.

What went wrong with TFC against the Crew?
1. They overlooked Columbus and had the upcoming Champions League game versus Tigres on their minds?
2. We need to give this team time to gel? Ager Aketxe and Gregory van der Wiel might be highly talented additions, but they are new to so much. New team, new league, new playing surface, new coach in a new city. 
3. Having Vasquez leave the game at half time threw off the midfield balance?
4. Perhaps the Crew have improved? I thought that trading Meram and Kamara weakened the team. If Zardes makes everyone cheering for the Crew, as he seems capable of doing, forget Kamara then look out for the Crew this season.

Until the next time....