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Monday, August 25, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Things that Tim Leiweke wants to accomplish before leaving Toronto

Drake (feat. Tim Leiweke)

Well that was a bloody quick deal. A day after vehemently denying his departure from MLSE, that very same glorious corporation announced Tim Leiweke's exit as their head honcho by next summer at the latest. While Leiweke blew into Toronto like a hurricane, he leaves on a mysteriously short-term breeze. Make no mistake, the blustery salesman did some good things during his time as MLSE CEO but there are a few things he wants to accomplish before leaving Toronto for good...

11. Surf on top of a GO Train wearing nothing but an ill-fitting TFC warm-up jacket

10. Be in a Drake video

9. Get his hilarious sitcom script starring Muggsy Bogues and Joao Plata in the hands of a Hollywood producer

8. Teach Ryan Nelsen not to pronounce his name as "Teem Leewikky"

7. Figure out what the hell Jim Brennan actually does

6. Put an end to the "Bee-right" vs. "Bright" Dike debate

5. Finally get Mo Johnston to move out of BMO Field's basement

4. Hide in the Ecuadorian embassy until this whole LeiwekeLeaks scandal blows over (Ed. - please fact-check)

3. Complete his album of sexy slow jams with Fran O'Leary

2. One night out as Jermain Defoe's wingman

1. Release Chris Konopka back into the wild

Saturday, August 23, 2014

THE SOUTH COUCH REPORT : Toronto v Chicago... Or head colds in August sucks



I don't know what I did to deserve this? I'm a good person.  I am a part of an internationally acclaimed podcast.  I make custom soccer jerseys for laughs.  I shouldn't have got sick on my birthday week.  Now I'm on the couch while my brother in law babysits my seats.  So stupid.

Looks like everyone is healthy.  Everyone except me.

3' - GOAL - Osorio to Morrow whose cross is headed in by Soumare.  He doesn't play for us.
ROBINS 1, WATER 0

5' - Oduro with a quality through to Gilberto forces a good diving  save from the Chicago keeper

22' - SUB - guess everyone wasn't as healthy as we thought as Caldwell comes off for Henry

43' - Closed my eyes for a bit.  Didn't miss a thing it appears

52' - There's a nap.  Missed nothing it seems

57' - YELLOW -  Warner goes in for a rough challenge.

57' - SUB - Jackson will come in for an injured Morrow

61' - Two minute nap. Well earned.

65' - Robert Earnshaw comes into the match. Good for him.  Hope he does well.   Next game.

69' - If I took a shot of cough medicine every time Dunleavy or Dolan used the adjective of "twisting"  in describing Amarikwa, I'd have long exceeded the recommended dosage #memorizedTheReport

70' -  GOAL - really Earnshaw? It's nowhere near October.  Counter, cross, header.
ROBINS 1, WATER 1

77' - SUB - Defoe comes off for Moore

79' - GOAL - Moore sends Gilberto through on a break and beats the keeper and buries it. GOALberto!
ROBINS 2, WATER 1

81' - Osorio breaks away and his shot is deflected by an impressive lunge to prevent which was obviously a goal

90' - GOAL - M*therf#cker.  Seriously? Are they out of ex-Robins? Amarikwa scores. No mentioning of twisting. I assume someone told them to knock it off with same descriptor.
ROBINS 2, WATER 2
3 mins of extra time 

90+3' - Henry should be booked.  Why not, this has had everything else.

FULL TIME : TORONTO 2, CHICAGO 2

Coughing Fits : 8

Messy Kleenex : 2

Phlegm : you bet.

Heavy Eyes : 29 mins worth,  including half time.

I think I'm doing better tonight than I was yesterday or even this morning.  Plenty of naps and football, like any good doctor would prescribe. Trying to stay away from NyQuil, who is a dear friend, due to the chance of having to drive people to the airport tomorrow. Hopefully will recover in time for podcasting. Though may produce less than 5% of the facts, the loss of nearly 43% of the comedy is a mighty blow to a side the struggles to keep it to a respectable length week in week out.

Player Ratings : Bendik 6, Bloom 7, Caldwell N/A [Henry 6.5], Hagglund 6.5, Morrow 6.5 [Jackson N/A], Oduro 6.5, Bradley 6, Warner 6, Osorio 6.5, Defoe 6 [Moore N/A], Gilberto 7

Contrarary to popular belief, @ignirtoq was not deliriously singing the Dichio song all game as the he's sick and not hallucinating. Full disclosure, he was sure last night Toronto signed Wayne Rooney, along with Troy and Abed from Community and one of those minions from the Despicable Me movies. The minion was the only one on DP money.

Friday, August 22, 2014

THE MATCHUP: "Do you wanna go Fire?!"


TORONTO FC VS. CHICAGO FIRE
BMO FIELD - SATURDAY 7PM
TV: SPORTSNET 360

FACTS* AND STATS**
TORONTO FC
- 98%: Chance that Tim Leiweke's resignation will be involve the word "Argonauts"
- 2%: Chance that Tim Leiweke's successor at MLSE will have any f*cks to give about TFC.
- TFC physios are on alert for higher than usual "corn dog-related" injuries for the duration of the CNE.
- 7: Number of emotional reunions this season if Jermain Defoe returns to The Reds' lineup this weekend.
- Vegas odds put a Robert Earnshaw Saturday hat-trick at 2:1
- 82%: Probability of this fixture descending into a skirmish, kerfuffle and/or handbags.
- "Yes": The only acceptable answer to "Do you wanna go faster?"

CHICAGO FIRE
-72% of Americans think of the TV Show first when they hear "Chicago Fire"
- 6 Months: Average gap between Robert Earnshaw goals in Major League Soccer.
- Fire forward Harry Shipp has won the coveted 2014 "Player Whose Name Most Suits a Pirate"
- Chicago currently 2nd in the Eastern Conference behind Montreal Impact as "The New TFC"
- Fire were third place in the recent Chicago Cup behind FC Earth and Wind City.
- "Draw": Frank Yallop's favourite result during a game of "Win, Lose or Draw"
- Chicago Fire defender Hunter Jumper is the closest thing MLS has to a green British sweater.


*Possibly
**Maybe

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A bloody big loss? How Tim Leiweke's departure may hurt Toronto FC


Much like the carnival hucksters surrounding BMO Field during the CNE, it is the "step right up" shtick of Tim Leiweke that has excited and frustrated TFC supporters in equal measure. The brash American CEO was brought in to fix the eternally stumbling Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment corporation on a wave of success that included wins for both the LA Kings and LA Lakers as well as the delivery of David Beckham to North American football. Unlike his MLSE predecessors, his monorail promises definitely put Toronto FC in a place of prominence next to their bigger brothers, the Leafs and Raptors - this was a new experience for TFC supporters.

While some of his bluster towards TFC has been cringe-worthy, few can argue that he really has had his eye on fixing the floundering club since day one and has backed that up with a top-to-bottom renovation that is beginning to show dividends. High-profile DP acquisitions, poaching a league wonderkid as GM and giving good lip service to supporters has healed many of the very deep wounds fostered by the likes of Tom Anselmi and his merry band of idiots who "lead" The Reds prior to Leiweke's arrival. All of which now leads to a big question: "what happens to TFC now that he's leaving?"

The whispers emerged earlier this week and today were confirmed that Tim Leiweke will indeed be leaving MLSE by next June at the latest. So just how could this affect the delicate balance that is the still-rebuilding TFC going forward? There are a few areas where fear amongst TFC fans may be warranted:

CLUB MANAGEMENT
For years, TFC's front office was the justified lightning rod for TFC supporter frustrations. A rotating group of on-the-job trainers with little (or expired) connections to the league, let alone the greater football world, always left observers with the feeling that the lights were on but no one was home. They were mostly correct. The installation of MLS bright spark Tim Bezbatchenko, with Leiweke as the money man above, has been a tonic to seven years of rudderless leadership.

So what will happen to this branch of the MLSE Empire? Will the new CEO have TFC in his wallet and leave the day-to-day operations and team management to Tim Bezbatchenko? Will the young T-Bez be elevated to a higher "team president" role? These are questions that could have great impact on the club moving forward. Most supporters will agree that T-Bez seems like a very bright and well-connected steward who knows MLS intimately. Having someone like him as the "leader" of TFC would probably calm many nerves but his relationship under a new CEO will dictate that potential success.

Alternatively, a more hands-on CEO with an eye on ruling all of MLSE's properties with an iron fist may end up upsetting the fine balance and/or feel the need to install "his own men" into managerial roles. The best case scenario would seem to be allowing Bezbatchenko to grow into a club leadership role with greater autonomy under a financial overlord.

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Toronto FC-related CNE Attractions

Also how TFC chooses managers

Hot dogs are being corned; Judas Priest mirrors are being shined; ice-cream and waffles are about to make sweet, sweet love; and, the Polar Express really wants to go faster! Yes it's time once again for the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto's annual goodbye to summer/ carny-folk's annual hello to your sister. Of course the Exhibition Grounds are also the permanent home of local foot and ball squad/profit enthusiasts Toronto FC and as usual, the club has their own set of attractions to add to this year's festivities...

11. Ol' Gil's Wolf Steaks

10. The House of 2015 Season Ticket Increase Horrors

9. Julio Cesar practicing alone in a field

8. AIR SHOW EXCLUSIVE: Bitchy the Hawk vs. The Snowbirds

7. The Jeremy Hall of Mirrors

6. Timmy B's Allocation Casino

5. Bradley Orr head butts The Superdogs

4. "Word Up" - Warren Creavalle's one-man tribute to "Cameo"

3. Collin Samuel judges/eats the butter sculptures

2. Jermain Defoe guesses the age, weight and phone number of your girlfriend

1. Club Excobar

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE SOUTH STOOL REPORT - Kansas City v Toronto... or Why Not Let The Refs Have a Go?

So we're out at an unnamed pub with Vocal Minority Podcast celebrity and host @kzknowles celebrating her something-teenth anniversary of her 25th birthday, having a few wobbly pops and watching a few wobbling defenses. Sure we're optimistic, but reality can be such a silly beast.

Onto the match!
 
17 -  PENALTY - Jackson took out someone in the box.  I guess it is,  but it's weak. 

17 - GOAL - Dwyer converts
REFS 1, ROBINS 0

32 - PENALTY - Henry hauls down someone in the box which, regardless if it is or isn't a penalty, typically leads to...

32 - GOAL - Dwyer converts
REFS 2, ROBINS 0

45 - GOAL - counter attack has Oduro on the wing slots a ball through to Gilberto who takes a touch then SIDE STEPS THE BALL AND BACK HEELS IT IN LIKE A SUPERSTAR.  Fantastic.
REFS 2, COMETS 1, ROBINS 1

64 - GOAL - Saed takes a cross,  half volley and buried it from the top of the box
REFS 2, COMETS 1, ROBINS 1

71 - Jackson damn you...  Beautiful 1-2 then dances around a defender to present a 3 man break and instead of passing to a wide open Osorio and Moore he goes for a shot and gets stopped by the keeper.

74 - SUB - Oduro off for Lovitz

77 - GOAL - Sapong gets on the end of a cross and taps it in.  No chance for Bendik
REFS 2, COMETS 2, ROBINS 1

78 - SUB - Dike makes his return from long term injury to replace Moore

Quote of the Match
I think they're gonna lose
~ Roz with biting commentary

83 - SUB - Bradley off for Bekker

FULL TIME : KANSAS CITY 4, TORONTO 1

Man of the Match : GOALberto.  Ol' Gil's FIFA 14-esque finish was just so pretty.  Too bad it overshadowed the result.

Though we here at The Yorkies "pride" ourselves on our "journalism" and "integrity", but we felt that both penalties were suspect. We are not refs, even though on multiple occasions we're sure we could do the MLS officials' job with little preparation or fitness, but we like to think we have a grasp on the game.

That being said, it was understood that a penalty was awarded not for any foul in the box, but rather a foul that impeded a goal scoring opportunity.  So if I had just pushed the ball towards out of bounds nowhere near goal and I was taken down on a tackle, it wouldn't be a penalty.  Perhaps a free kick in the box? Typically the calls made for penalties are legitimate goal-scoring opportunities and not for what happened twice in this match. I am willing to understand what exactly these nuances are, and what separates from a penalty or a foul.

Regardless of Toronto were poor (which they were at points), but I felt that at least one of those penalties were uncalled for and that a strong argument could be made for neither.  Being two-nil down and then having to mount a comeback seems unnecessary.  Those first two goals truly belonged to the officials.  KC just happened to be the benefactors.  Toronto deserved the result but didn't deserve to go out like that.

Player Rating : Bendik 6, Jackson 5.5, Hagglund 6, Henry 6, Morrow 6, Oduro 6.5, Warner 6, Bradley 6 [Bekker N/A], Osorio 6 [Lovitz N/A], Gilberto 6.5, Moore 6 [Dike 10 just for coming back]

Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE MATCHUP: We could be Royals


SPORTING KC VS. TORONTO FC
SPORTING PARK - SATURDAY 8:30PM ET
TV: TSN 2

FACTS* AND STATS**
SPORTING KANSAS CITY
- 7: Amount of days since a Sporting player has violently vomited on the pitch during a match.
- Part of Matt Besler and Graham Zusi's lucrative new DP contracts includes large swathes of actual Kansas.
- It is tremendous fun to yell "SAL ZIZZO" while using a stereotypical Italian-American accent.
- 97: How American Jacob Peterson is on a scale of 1-10
- SKC defender Chance Myers is not in the MLS Top 25 in chances. Irony.
- Soony Saad is actually a very happy person.
- Former Kansas City Wizards great Maurice Johnston will not be honoured before this match.

TORONTO FC
- 3: Number of letters difference between "contenders" and "pretenders".
- Opposition physios have put in orders for extra bandages, splints and ice packs to prepare for the imminent return of Bright Dike.
- 0.7: Average amount of times TFC supporters have complained about Justin Morrow this season.
- Quillan Roberts has been recalled from Wilmington to aid Warren Creavalle's attempt to form a "Cameo" cover-band.
- 1.3: Dwayne De Rosario sightings per month.
- 4: Souvlaki skewers eaten by Mark Bloom at "Taste of The Danforth" before complaining of "tzatziki headache".
- Jermain Defoe is leading MLS in emotional halftime reunions.
 
*Maybe
**Possibly

Monday, August 11, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Rewards for beating Bayern Munich in the MLS All Star Game

The most hipster club of all time.

According to many, the 2014 MLS All Star Game was one of the best versions of this annual match. Of course it's still an All Star Game so being called the "best one" is akin to being the tallest midget. We are not really fans of the "Late Mid-Summer Not-Quite Classic" but hey, we probably aren't the target audience. Either way, the MLS potpourri squad put on a show for the skinny jeans in Portland and by beating European giants Bayern Munich, scored some sweet Germanic rewards in the process...

11. Upon his recently announced retirement, Landon Donovan immediately becomes Vice-Chancellor of Germany

10. Don Garber's new office is in the tower of Neuschwanstein Castle

9. Kraftwerk to play halftime at MLS Cup

8. Portland Timbers allowed to rebrand as ultimate hipster football club "Borussia Portmund"

7. Crew Cat gets special delivery of free imported bratwurst for a year

6. J├╝rgen Klinsmann forced to give Toronto FC a full refund for "fixing the club"

5. For drive back to the airport, team bus graphics changed from reading "BAYERN MUNCHEN" to "BUTT MUNCHIN'"

4. Timber Joey gets 2 hours to "have his way" with the Black Forest

3. Ribery to Chivas USA

2. Bayern Munich manager forced to change name to "Chip Guardiola"

1. France has surrendered to Major League Soccer


Saturday, August 9, 2014

AFTER 90: Big Gulp

From Ohio With Love

COLUMBUS VS. TORONTO
CREW STADIUM

FIRST HALF:
1' - A beautiful evening in Central Ohio as the rivalry between Crew and TFC continues. What better way to celebrate the Trillium Cup glory than with a big jug of refreshing imported Ohio drinking water! Down in one!
3' - I don't feel so hot...
4' - Oh God... BACK IN A BIT!!!

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43' - GOAL: Toronto - Gilberto calmly slots one home to give TFC the lead! Suddenly feeling better!
COLUMBUS 0 - TORONTO 1

45'+ - PENALTY - Referee calls a handball on Justin Morrow in the Columbus area. Federico Higuain steps up and GOAL past Joe Bendik. Here comes the Toledo water again!
COLUMBUS 1 - TORONTO 1

HALFTIME: COLUMBUS 1 - TORONTO 1

SECOND HALF:
46' - Damn you Toledo water. Baldomero is now the second worse thing named Toledo!
47' - Jesus Andy Travis save me!

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53' - YELLOW: Doneil Henry. GREEN: Ohio water.

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59' - GOAL: Jonathan Osorio cleans up a Luke Moore dribble/fumble. Solid. Like this water.
COLUMBUS 1 - TORONTO 2

61' - SUB: Dominic Oduro OFF / Jackson ON

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78' - Lake Erie, you horrid algae-producing swamp...

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81' - GOAL: A long looping ball from Justin Meram is misjudged by Doneil Henry which confuses Joe Bendik. A farcical equalizer.
COLUMBUS 2 - TORONTO 2
82' - Lots of 2's tonight.

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84' - GOAL: Things coming thick and fast. Not a digestion joke. Luke Moore gets his head on a sharp corner and restores the TFC lead.
COLUMBUS 2 - TORONTO 3

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90'+ - SUB: Luke Moore OFF / Kyle Bekker ON / Stomach OFF

FULL TIME: COLUMBUS 2 - TORONTO 3

PLAYER RATINGS: Joe Bendik 5.5 / Warren Creavalle 6.5 / Nick Hagglund 7 / Doneil Henry 5.5 / Justin Morrow 6 / Dominic Oduro 6 (Jackson 5.5) / Michael Bradley 7.5 / Collen Warner 6/ Jonathan Osorio 6.5 / Luke Moore 6.5 (Kyle Bekker N/A) / Gilberto 7

THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH:
Michael Bradley

Friday, August 8, 2014

THE MATCHUP: It's a Crew, Crew Summer


COLUMBUS VS. TORONTO
CREW STADIUM - SATURDAY 7:30PM ET
TV: SPORTSNET 360

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"The New Soft"

FACTS* AND STATS**
COLUMBUS CREW
- Crew Stadium is the USA's first soccer-specific stadium and winner of the "Most Flammable Scoreboard Award" 2010 - 2013.
- A group of leading American opticians have come out against a proposed friendly tournament between Columbus, Norwich City and Villarreal calling it a "reckless assault on eyesight".
- 1/3 of photo-realistic construction workers featured on terrible football badges are known carriers of The Clap. Don't be a victim.
- 14th overall SuperDraft pick and Columbus defender Ben Sweat has been loaned to Dayton Dutch Lions putting the brakes on his burgeoning R&B/Soul career.
- 10: Average number of patronizing pats on the head Crew's Federico Higuain gets from his brother Gonzalo at family gatherings.
- Crew Stadium security have been battling internal fighting amongst two factions of Crew supporters who can't agree whether their kits are "canary" or "banana".
- 12.77: Dollar amount raised by Columbus Crew mascot "Crew Cat’s" charity single "Lickin' My Bits for You". 10% of proceeds go towards the fight against Feline AIDS.

TORONTO FC
- Having already captured the 2014 Trillium Cup, Toronto FC will receive their bounty from Crew this weekend: 450,000 trillium bulbs. Lucrative. Floral.
- 6.5: Height in inches of Warren Creavalle's cameo. Word up.
- There is a 93% chance of finding Dominic Oduro in a Columbus-area "Papa John's" pizza restaurant this weekend.
- 20: The over-under amount on Jermain Defoe "groin injury" gags we use this weekend.
- Toronto-area bro's have a 1 in 5 chance of getting tasered in Central Ohio.
- The Reds are said to be doing well and resting comfortably after a near-miss with an overpriced Colin Kazim-Richards transfer. Disaster averted.
- 9/10: Number of times that TFC defenders urgently look for Michael Bradley when the ball ends up at their feet.

 
*Maybe
** Possibly