The Yorkies' Regular Features

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Friday, September 30, 2011

THE MATCHUP: "Red Bulls Gives You Wins"

"The Champagne of MLS Clubs"

TORONTO (16th) VS. NEW YORK (10th)
 
BMO FIELD - SATURDAY 7:30 PM EDT
TV: TSN2 RADIO: FAN 590
 
THE KICKABOUT:
After the shock passed over Dwayne De Rosario's trade to New York this past spring, most TFC supporters scanned the calendar and circled October 1st as a must-see match. De Ro's return in navy, white and corporate logo wasn't to be however, as his NYRB stint was cut short in a bizarre fashion. While we missed out on "The Most Dramatic Game of the Season" - it still does reverberate as a "Tale of Three De Ro's". New York was flying high with the Scarberian in their engine, but have stuttered since his departure and are barely hanging on to the last Wild Card spot. Only 3 points behind New Jersey Energy Drink are the club they traded De Ro to - D.C. United, who have been in ascendancy since De Ro's arrival. And that leaves TFC. Still "re-building" as they were throughout De Ro's tenure in red, with only a draft pick two shaky defenders to show for the man whose name still stings and makes waves in Toronto months after his departure.
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Jilted Lover"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
TORONTO: Eric Avila, Torsten Frings, Danny Koevermans
NEW YORK: Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez, Teemu Tainio
 
THE ODDS:
- Danny Koevermans subbed off for nap time: 50-1
- MLSE introducing new Energy Boost Chip Butty: 100-1
- D.C. United trading De Ro back to NYRB pre-match... NYRB flipping De Ro to TFC at the half... De Ro in Glasgow by supper: 250-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
Hiring Mo Johnston from New York (then MetroStars) wasn't the only inspiration MLSE took from the New Jersey-based club. Never ones from shying from a profit, MLSE considered copying New York's conversion to a beverage-branded corporate club for their own club but with a Canadian twist. Names rumoured to have been considered include:
FC Canada Dry Toronto
Canadian Club Football Club
Double-Double City
Pop Shoppe Rovers
Borussia Molsongladbach
 
THE WAGER: 1-1 Draw (2011: 22-21 with 6 exact scores)
FUTURE HEADLINE: "RED BULLS STYMIED BY REDS - DE RO SOMEHOW NETS HAT TRICK FOR BOTH"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Town Hall & Oates - You're Out Of Touch

---The two on the left got it way worse than the four on the right

Not exactly a full house, I rushed over for the first pantomime session in hopes someone hit'em hard.

Someone did.

Pre-talkie time, I overheard Mr Anselmi discuss about how "the Champions League is the best" and he "doesn't get it" why attendance is poor. Here's why in a nutshell - the people who care about seeing the Panamanian champs or the El Salvadorian champs live in Panama and El Salvador. Pumas doesn't capture the imagination. Neither does Real Salt Lake. Ever.

Winter was handed the microphone and started talking about fishing. Then I realized that English v's are Dutch f's and decrypted that he was saying "vision". I'm too tired to be doing this...

I didn't document everything, but enough.

1) Asked about the youth team and tried to get an answer regarding how many of the youth players are legitimate full-squad members, injuries notwithstanding and how many youthies do they see coming through next year? Too many questions and only the last one was addressed, being one or two kids could break through. Shame.

2) Then a gentleman from the back took the mic and laid it all out.

Season one was full of highs and lows, but there was a definite hope in the air. We didn't make the play-offs, but there was a sense of camaraderie between the front-office, the field and the fans, essentially we were all in this together.

The next three seasons, TFC continued to struggle on the field, but the real losing attitude was happening off the field. As a fan I, I started to turn to MLSE as the source of my frustration. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

AFTER 90: Turtles v Pumas

"Oooh, we don't love turtling..."

THE BUZZ:
A surprisingly festive atmosphere despite a small crowd at BMO Field as the number of Pumas supporters in attendance was well in the hundreds. Giant golden kitty cat faces everywhere - Nick Soolsma must have been in heaven. Actually, it was quite possibly the largest ever away support number at a TFC match - despite the "away" supporters all having 416 phone numbers. Fans of both Los Rojas and Los Gatos may have been expecting another romp for the Mexicans after their 4-0 trouncing of Toronto in Mexico City but with TFC facing an end to their 2011 competitions, they would have to man-up. It was 2011 or bust as the undermanned Reds took to the pitch.
 
FIRST HALF:
20' - YELLOW CARD :  Matt Stinson
35' - GOAL: Toronto - Peri Marosevic
TORONTO FC 1 - PUMAS UNAM 0
 
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: Koevermans creating a goal out of nothing.
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Waiting 15 minutes for TFC to start playing
 
HALFTIME: TORONTO FC 1 - PUMAS UNAM 0
 
SECOND HALF:
45' - SUB: Doneil Henry for Danny Koevermans
49' - GOAL: Pumas UNAM - Marco Palacios
TORONTO FC 1 - PUMAS UNAM 1
65' - SUB: Javier Martina for Nick Soolsma
75' - SUB: Matt Gold for Richard Eckersley
90'+ - YELLOW CARD:  Ashtone Morgan
 
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Not giving up 4 goals.
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: Seeing your team play frightened on their home pitch.
 
FULL TIME: TORONTO FC 1 - PUMAS UNAM 1
 
THE MOOD:
For the first time since he took charge of TFC, we are openly critical of Aron Winter tonight. We never realized that his "system" included good old turtling. The Reds went into the half with a lead, and without Pumas being able to fully control the match, yet the decision was made to take off The Reds' only reliable offensive threat in exchange for a fifth defender - and an academy product at that.

Sometimes bunkering down with a lead against superior opposition is okay - possibly with a 2 goal lead with 20 minutes remaining. Inviting one of the region's best clubs to a 45 minute long shooting gallery is just plain uninspired, weak, and when only 3 points will truly do - unacceptable. To play that kind of "catenaccio" football you have to be sound in defence with solid ball skills. Considering the majority of TFC's defenders look like giraffes with seizures when the ball is at their feet, this was never going to end well. After a long season, it is disappointing that the fruits of Winter's "system" looked a lot like Preki's "system" from a year ago. Sadly, it looks as if Toronto’s Champions League hopes have gone the same route as well.

The match left us feeling: like playing "catenaccio" with our season tickets
 
PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 6.5 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 (Matt Gold - ) / Andy Iro 5 / Ty Harden 4.5 / Ashtone Morgan 6 / Julian de Guzman 6.5 / Matt Stinson 5.5 / Peri Marosevic 7 / Nick Soolsma 6 (Javier Martina 5.5 ) / Danny Koevermans 6.5 (Doneil Henry 6) / Ryan Johnson 5.5
 
THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Julian de Guzman
TALKING POINT: Where did Preki get that Aron Winter costume? Discuss.

Monday, September 26, 2011

THE MATCHUP: "2011 or Bust" as The Reds try to tame Los Gatos

Frings: Suspended due to impaling with foot

TORONTO FC (3rd) VS. PUMAS UNAM (1st)
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP C
 
BMO FIELD - TUESDAY 8PM ET
TV: SETANTA CANADA
 
THE KICKABOUT:
Many are saying Aron Winter gambled and lost in playing, and tiring, his 1st Team against Chivas USA on Saturday. There was a split amongst fans, some who favoured resting the team for this season-breaking tilt with Pumas with others wanting to "compete" at all costs. Of course, TFC couldn't have competed out of a paper bag at Chivas and now wearily face one of CONCACAF's best clubs in a match that could very well end all 2011 competitions. With talisman Torsten Frings out on suspension and Pumas once again playing their best team, The Reds are decided underdogs in a match where only 3 point will suffice. Fairly or not, a loss will be placed at Winter's feet. Oh well, at least TFC okayed the match to be shown on Setanta - so no one outside of the 8,000 at BMO (to be announced as 18,500 by MLSE) will see TFC's potential whimpering end to 2011.
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Cat Comeback"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
TORONTO FC: Julian de Guzman, Stefan Frei, Ryan Johnson
PUMAS UNAM: Martin Bravo, Juan Francisco Palencia, Dario Veron
 
THE ODDS:
- A loud "We Told Ya So" chant aimed at Aron Winter in 2nd Half: 5-1
- Literally dozens watching at home on Setanta: 10-1
- TFC trying to compete with Pumas' flamboyant kit by putting giant face of "Bitchy The Hawk" on front of shirt: 50-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
Those who follow our highly scientific research know that the "UNAM" in Pumas UNAM's name refers to the Mexico City University that they play out of and are controlled by. When Toronto was exploring bringing a MLS club to town back in 2005 they originally planned to follow this model. The first choice was Varsity Stadium where the team would have been called "Beavers UOT" with the second choice being a stadium on York University's campus with the club being named "Squirrels YU". Rejected was an owl-themed club on Ryerson's campus named "Whoo RU".
 
THE WAGER: 1-2 Pumas (2011: 22-20 with 6 exact scores)
FUTURE HEADLINE: "2011 ENDS IN MEXICAN STANDOFF"

THE STARTING 11: Pumas' hotel demands

The most interesting team in Mexico City

Some may say that being a CONCACAF super club is akin to being the tallest midget. To those negative nelly's we say... yeah, you're probably right. That being said, Mexico City's Pumas UNAM is one of the region's biggest and most storied clubs and when they roll into town they do carry some clout. We've always heard of rock stars and celebrities having outrageous demands when they visit our city, so we had to wonder - what would Pumas ask from their hotel as they mosey into Toronto?
 
11. Tabasco Sauce for morning coffee
 
10. Tell hotel security to just ignore nightly reports of firecrackers, cock fights and pistolas being shot into the air
 
9. Only want red, green and jumping M&M's
 
8. Every room to be provided with bowl of famous ethnic Canadian delicacy "The Timbit"
 
7. All TV's to be tuned into Telemundo so that no player has to miss the "Mexico's Got Talent" finale
 
6. Siesta wake-up calls
 
5. Complimentary fleecy bath-time ponchos
 
4. An extra room for the "Dos Equis Man"
 
3. Remove any of those "lazy people" from Belize from their floor
 
2. Front desk staff forced to perform Mexican Wave every time team passes by reception area
 
1. "The El Presidente Suite"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

AFTER 90: If the Goat horns fit

Doesn't want to face Pumas either

THE BUZZ:
The only real prize for the winner of tonight's match will be for overly optimistic Goats or Robins supporters (yes, we are trying call TFC "The Robins" for sh*ts and giggles) to pretend for one week longer that they have a playoff hope. The truth is, both clubs are on the outside by some distance looking in and are mostly playing for pride and 2012 jobs. The question going in for TFC was whether or not Aron Winter would play a 2nd Team to keep bodies fresh for Tuesday's CCL tilt with Pumas. Heading into Home Depot Centre however, it looks as if Winter decided on the 1st Team option. Stubborn as a goat - or exhausted by Goats? A decision that may haunt the rookie manager if The Reds are flat on Tuesday.
 
FIRST HALF:
8' - YELLOW CARD: Ashtone Morgan
12' - GOAL: Chivas USA - Juan Pablo Angel
CHIVAS USA 1 - TORONTO FC 0
27' - YELLOW CARD: Richard Eckersley
44' - YELLOW CARD: Andy Iro
 
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: Not letting in four goals.
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: TFC ruining our "Goatbusters" theme.
 
HALFTIME: CHIVAS USA 1 - TORONTO FC 0
 
SECOND HALF:
45' - SUB: Terry Dunfield for Julian de Guzman
71' - GOAL: Chivas USA - Justin Braun
CHIVAS USA 2 - TORONTO FC 0
73' - SUB: Peri Marosevic for Ryan Johnson
77' - GOAL: Chivas USA - Juan Pablo Angel
CHIVAS USA 3 - TORONTO FC 0
84' - SUB: Danleigh Borman for Danny Koevermans
 
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Koevermans and Eckersley’s near-goals.
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: Chivas’ actual ones.
 
FULL TIME: CHIVAS USA 3 - TORONTO FC 0
 
THE MOOD:
Whether it's justified or not - when TFC inevitably fails to beat Pumas on Tuesday, many will put the blame squarely at Aron Winter's squad management going into tonight's match. There were many calls for Winter to play a 2nd unit against Chivas considering TFC's impossible MLS playoff chances and the importance of the CCL match. Truth be told, The Robins (again!) would struggle against a superior Pumas no matter the line-up but patience is at a low ebb and many will grumble towards the Dutch manager. Silly optimistic playoff talk can now end for good and in 72 hours we may be saying that about 2011 in general.

The match left us feeling: like we wanted a refund for our Saturday night.
 
PLAYER RATINGS: Stefan Frei 6 / Richard Eckersley 5.5 / Ty Harden 5 / Andy Iro 5 / Ashtone Morgan 5.5 / Julian de Guzman 5 (Terry Dunfield 5 ) / Torsten Frings 5.5 / Eric Avila 5 / Nick Soolsma 5 / Danny Koevermans 6 (Danleigh Borman - ) / Ryan Johnson 6 (Peri Marosevic - )
 
THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Ugh. Ryan Johnson?
TALKING POINT: If a fake Mexican team beats us this bad - what will a real one do? Discuss.

Friday, September 23, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Puma > Goat. Discuss.

That is some detailed scouting

CHIVAS USA (13th) VS. TORONTO FC (16th)
 
THE HOME DEPOT CENTRE - SATURDAY 10:30PM ET
TV: GOLTV RADIO: FAN 590
 
THE KICKABOUT:
Once a year, usually around this time of the season, Toronto FC is faced with "The Most Important Match of the Season (TM)". Saturday's tilt with Chivas USA is not it. The "MIMOFTS" (catchy acronym!) is actually on Tuesday vs. Pumas UNAM in Champions League. TFC still has a mathematical shot at advancing in CCL - they have no realistic shot at the MLS Playoffs. There's the rub.

While we don't like "throwing" any match, many supporters hope Aron Winter swallows his pride and plays a secondary unit against The Goats, despite them only being a tempting 2 points above The Reds in the table. A cross-continental round-trip and a late-night (Eastern Time) match will not do TFC any favours with the mighty Mexi-cats on their way to Toronto. Give it the old college try... but The Reds need to blow off The Goats.
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "El NAFTA"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
CHIVAS USA: Juan Pablo Angel, Ante Jazic, Nick LaBrocca
TORONTO: Eric Avila, Milos Kocic, Ashtone Morgan
 
THE ODDS:
- Aron Winter stubbornly playing his 1st Team: 5-1
- TFC attacked in parking lot by gang named "Pumas USA": 50-1
- This blog existing if Toronto had decided to name its club "Arsenal FC CDN": 5000-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
The Home Depot Centre is home to both Chivas USA and LA Galaxy with the former having its offices located in the stadium's infamous "Latin Quarter". The Goats have tried to aid their struggling attendance by offering a free pick-up truck shuttle service from actual Home Depots to attract migrant and illegal workers who weren't picked up to work that day.
 
The stadium is located in Carson, CA - a suburb of Los Angeles that was founded in the early 1970's by guests of "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" who had been bumped from the show. On the banks of the Joan River, modern Carson is a vibrant community and home to The Ed McMahon Library & Bar, The Doc Severinsen Philharmonic Orchestra and a statue commemorating Tiny Tim's wedding.
 
THE WAGER: 1-0 Chivas USA (2011: 21-20 with 6 exact scores)
FUTURE HEADLINE: "GOATS GIVE REDS THE HORNS"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto FC v Tauro FC... or Taking the inflatable bull by the horns!

You ever get the feeling that tonight's game is going to let you down. I get that a lot lately, and I get a sense that better football is played when I'm not watching. I'd rather have been asleep, to be fair, but this is love... devotion... masochism.Predictions : 4-0, 2-0, 3-0, 3-1 all for the red version of TFC tonight

-72' - I receive my season's tickets renewal notice. This MUST be a ploy so that when the excited 5000+ people return home from their thrashing of Panama's finest, the renewals will be instant.
[between when I received the email and a half an hour in, believe me when I say NOTHING of note happened, short of a homeless man in a TFC Robert away kit asked for change outside of an upscale Italian restaurant in Liberty Village]

31' - Thoughts of Suarez distract Soolsma long enough to botch an excellent cross from Marosevic. (for those that don't know, Suarez would be Soolsma's cat)

35' - Johnson crosses uncontested to find the head of Andy Iro and skies the ball dropping several feet behind the goal line.

37' -
YELLOW - Dunfield goes into the books for pulling someone off of the ball.

40' -
GOAL - After some goal mouth pinball, it finds the head of Koevermans and puts it past the keeper. Shortly thereafter, possibly in the goal celebration, Koevermans takes a ringer in "the lowlands" (if you know what I mean) and takes a minute to wait for the bells to stop sounding in his head.

HALF-TIzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... huh? wha? someone scored?


Quote of the match:

Just because I've got a jar of sand from the Bahamas,
doesn't mean I've never been there.
~ guy two rows back yelling at guy down in frontwith an Olympique Lyonnais scarf on


Good lord, you just can't make shit like that up!

60' -
SUB - Soolsma out, deGoo in. The "cool cat" just didn't have the legs in him.

65' - Maro to Koevermans to Johnson and everyone is afraid to take a shot because they believe the next person down the line has a better opportunity. They don't. They almost never do. Shoot the f'ing ball, already...

71' - Toronto appears to have reverted to a 3-7-0 formation.
*facepalm*

73' -
SUB - Dunfield out, Stinson in. Dunfield took a hard crash and his shoulder shortened his evening.

78' - Marosevic crosses to Koevermans and the ball gets tangled in his feet. Damn I hate when that happens.

79' - A discussion breaks out with the gentlemen in front of me, and we come to the conclusion
that, simply put, "drunk bitches love 'staches"
Fig. 1

80' -
SUB - Koevermans out, Yourassowsky in.

86' - Frings takes a low free kick from 15 yards out, a generous deflection just puts it wide right of the post but certainly out of the keeper's reach.

89' - "Even money on an Iro penalty!" ~ from the President of the Luton Town Supporters Club of North America, after predicting the launching of the ball over the net by deGoo not 2 minutes before.

3 minutes of extra time

90+2 -
YELLOW - "Cowboy" Matt Stinson (wrestling/arm cast reference) booked for a bizarre non-tackle 15 yards out.

FULL TIME
: Toronto FC 1, Tauro FC 0

Man of the Match
: Eckersley was all over the park.

Goat of the Game
: nobody was outright terrible, so we'll take a pass on this one.

Ref Rating
: 4 out of 5. They could've easily been card-happy, but the chaos that would've ensued prevented them from losing control. Also, blowing the off-side on Koeverman's goal gave them a point for pro-bias. For once.

Player Ratings
: Kocic 6, Eckersley 7.5, Harden 6, Iro 6, Morgan 6, Soolsma 6 [deGoo N/A], Frings 6.5, Dunfield 6 [Stinson N/A], Marosevic 6.5, Koevermans 6.5 [Yourassowsky N/A], Johnson 6

Looks like that incentive to provide people who bought tickets to the wash-out v Dallas really worked. Nearly as many people showed up for this match... honestly, when Yourassowsky was subbed in, the first thought was "wow, that guy's still here!"... Who's going to town hall? We hope to be... Tauro FC had about as many sponsors on their kit as a Finnish hockey team... I wish Toronto resisted the idea of 'just screwing with them' in the opening minutes. I'm sure I would've nailed my prediction.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Sometime between Danny Koeverman's goal, our South Stand pal's villainous moustache and the inflatable Tauro bull, you, our faithful readers pushed our all-time attendance (hits) on this humble site over 100,000. We want to thank you for coming back time and time again to revel in our silly little TFC corner of the world. We love creating this site for TFC suporters but without our loyal readers it would mean little. We have some new fun and features planned as we look ahead to 2012 - or as we are trying to get MLSE to brand the next season... "SIXUAL HEALING". Thanks for being the 3-3 in our 4-3-3.


Yours in football - The Yorkies

Monday, September 19, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Tauronto Rocks!

The Tauro FC dressing room is so fun before a match!

TORONTO FC (3rd) VS. TAURO FC (4th)
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP C
 
BMO FIELD - TUESDAY 8PM ET
TV: SPORTSNET ONE
 
THE KICKABOUT:
It’s back to Champions League action as TFC make the trek to face TFC. Confused? That’s CONCACAF baby. Once again, this is what it sounds like when doves cry. Still confused? That’s Milhouse baby. After blowing their two chances in two days to beat FC Dallas in the last round of matches, The Reds have little room left for error in this competition. With little else to play for in 2011, the unpredictable and enigmatic Toronto have to be replaced with a killer instinct version of themselves while hoping that Pumas slips back into a coma. If the very beatable TFC (Canal-lover version) aren’t dispatched on Tuesday night then the book can be closed on meaningful competition until spring.
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: “The Milhouser”
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
TFC (Gringo): Torsten Frings, Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans
TFC (Canal): Juan Barrera, Silvio Morelos, Juan Perez,
 
THE ODDS:
- BMO Field’s scoreboard imploding as TFC v TFC is entered: 15-1
- Tauro FC’s kits housing more advertising than all of the side hoardings combined: 25-1
- 8,000 fans “magically” announced as 18,000: EVENS
 
WHO ARE YA?
TFC v TFC is not the first time a more famous club has faced an acronym doppelganger named after an animal. Back in the late 1970’s, UEFA attempted to help the struggling European animal husbandry industry with the InterFarma Cup, a competition where established clubs played smaller clubs whose matching abbreviated names where animal related. Here’s a look at the 1978 InterFarma quarterfinal fixtures:
SWFC v SWFC - Sheffield Wednesday (ENG) v Sperm Whale FC (NOR)
PSG v PSG - Paris St. Germain (FRA) v Partially Shaved Goats (GRE)
MUFC v MUFC - Manchester Utd (ENG) v Monkey University FC (MAL)
AZ v AZ - AZ Alkmaar (NED) v Anxious Zebras (BUL)
 
THE WAGER: 2-1 TFC (Gringo) (2011: 20-20 with 6 exact scores)
FUTURE HEADLINE:TFC MANHANDLE TFC
 
And now, for the last time in 2011, please stand and remove your spandex jumpsuit for the Panamanian National Anthem…



Now, please remain standing for Toronto’s National Anthem brought to you by CityTV and a time machine…



An exciting week indeed...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

THE STARTING 11: Mo Johnston regrets

Regrets, we've had a few... hundred

There was a special, almost spiritual, occasion in the world of Toronto FC last week. No, it wasn’t the club’s first ever win over Columbus, nor the hoisting of the illustrious Trillium Cup - it was an anniversary of a momentous date in TFC’s history. It was a year ago last week that Mo Johnston was finally fired from his post as “Director” of “Soccer” thus marking the actual start of Toronto FC as a club. Despite the “Founded 2007” stamp on the club - under Johnston it was simply a bumbling comedy of suspicious errors for four-and-a-half years and it wasn’t until his very overdue departure that the building of the club could begin. Yes, it has left fans with regrets over a lost half-decade at BMO Field but what about the man himself? What regrets could the much-maligned Johnston have considering he never got to see out his magical “5 Year Plan”?
 
11. Never got to complete Jim Brennan’s training in the art of making a good mocha latte
 
10. Sure he forgot to let those Ivorian trialists out of his basement
 
9. Couldn’t persuade Brad Pitt to play him in his self-penned autobiographical film “MoneyDraft”
 
8. Wasn’t allowed to tell people he helped the CSA draft their new blueprint for success
 
7. Never got around to answering the bags of threatening letters from Glasgow
 
6. Didn’t get a chance to wear his new “Master of the Draft” embroidered silk kimono
 
5. Never mustered up the bravery to reveal his true romantic feelings towards Barry MacLean
 
4. Couldn’t convert his DeLorean into a 5 Year Plan Time Machine
 
3. Failed to convince “Just For Men” to add the colour “Ginger Bastard” to its range
 
2. Didn’t get a chance to force Rick Titus into retirement - hastily add his name to the Wall of Honour
 
1. Misses Preki’s smile

Saturday, September 17, 2011

AFTER 90: Cup holders downed as Koef goes Double Dutch

That's a lot of Colo

THE BUZZ:
Or rather lack thereof. On the quietest day in memory at BMO Field (tornado days notwithstanding) there was a cautious yet apathetic vibe in the air pre-match. Would the TFC that beat Columbus soundly one week ago show up or would it be their evil-twins who went to Mexico City? With a similar line-up to the one that Pumas UNAM'ed all over the park on Wednesday ready to go, a hush fell over the crowd. A 45 minute long hush.
 
FIRST HALF:
39' - YELLOW CARD: Julian de Guzman
 
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: Being able to finish that book I was reading in complete silence
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Being awoken from a pleasant nap by the rude halftime whistle
 
HALFTIME: TORONTO 0 - COLORADO 0
 
SECOND HALF:
52' - GOAL: Toronto - Danny Koevermans
TORONTO 1 - COLORADO 0
59' - GOAL: Toronto - Danny Koevermans
TORONTO 2 - COLORADO 0
68' - GOAL: Colorado - Sanna Nyassi
TORONTO 2 - COLORADO 1
73' - SUB: Matt Stinson for Danny Koevermans
79' - SUB: Terry Dunfield for Nick Soolsma
87' - SUB: Mikael Yourassowsky for Eric Avila
 
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Koevermans doing what it says on the tin
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: "Attempts" at BMO Field atmosphere
 
FULL TIME: TORONTO 2 - COLORADO 1
 
THE MOOD:
The mood in fact is the strangest thing about this match. Despite a very workmanlike effort that led to a win over the reigning MLS Cup winners, there were times at BMO Field where the proverbial pin could have dropped. It was akin to those days where you watch a match on TV when you are sleepy, only to open your eyes gingerly when your ears hear that a goal has been scored - only to then drift off again.
 
It wasn't TFC's greatest performance ever, and Richard Eckersley's late-mach goal line clearance saved the 3 points, but it was one that would have elicited rapture in times past. Perhaps in the end the "announced" (extra big quotation marks) crowd of 20,000 plus are already done with the 2011 season and have reached the point where sustained success will return raucous atmosphere to BMO Field. After all, who believes they can't follow up this win with an awful display in their next match?
 
The match left us feeling: like we just kissed our cousin.
 
PLAYER RATINGS:
Milos Kocic 6 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Andy Iro 6.5 / Ty Harden 5.5 / Ashtone Morgan 6 / Torsten Frings 6 / Julian de Guzman 5 / Eric Avila 6.5 (Mikael Yourassowsky - ) / Nick Soolsma 6 (Terry Dunfield -) / Danny Koevermans 8 (Matt Stinson 6 ) / Ryan Johnson 5
 
THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Koevermans
TALKING POINT: Today's BMO Field PA announcer who offered the gems "Anton Morgan", "Sanny Nyanassi" and "middle-fielder" probably doesn't watch a lot of TFC. Discuss.

Friday, September 16, 2011

THE MATCHUP: "60% of the time, we win half of the time"

Burgundy's in town

TORONTO (17th) VS. COLORADO (5th)
 
BMO FIELD - SATURDAY 1:30PM ET
TV: TSN
 
THE KICKABOUT:
Good day Toronto FC supporters, we're The Yorkies.
Tits McGee is on vacation.
 
After a demoralizing display against Pumas UNAM in Champions League play on Wednesday, can The Reds bounce back at home against The Burgundys? Rapids are looking solid as they head to the playoffs while TFC are looking banged-up and ready to end a miserable 2011 campaign. Last time Colorado walked on BMO Field's grass they had the MLS Cup in their hands - will they relive that glory or can The Reds muster some late-season heart and give their deserved supporters a show? We're in a glass case of emotion.
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Sex Panther"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
TORONTO: Eric Avila, Torsten Frings, Milos Kocic
COLORADO: Omar Cummings, Caleb Folan, Sanna Nyassi
 
THE ODDS:
- Richard Eckersley throwing a trident at Marvell Wynne: 10-1
- TFC trainers realizing too late that "milk was a bad choice": 20-1
- Andy Iro bagging a classy lady with tickets to the gun show: 30-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
Bob de Klerk: "Founded by the Germansh in 1904, they call them Rapidsh, which of courshe in German meansh a whale'sh vagina"
Aron Winter: "No, there ish no way that ish correct."
BdK: "I'm shorry, I was trying to impressh you. I don't know what it meansh. I'll be honesht, I don't think anyone knowsh what it meansh anymore. Shcholarsh maintain that the transhlation was lost hundredsh of yearsh ago."
AW: "Doesh it not mean a fasht moving river?"
BdK: "No. No."
AW: "No. That ish what it really meansh. Really."
BdK: "Agree to dishagree."
 
THE WAGER: 1-1 Draw (2011: 20-19 with 6 exact scores)
FUTURE HEADLINE: "AFTERNOON DELIGHT!"


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dasan Robinson - The new Rick Titus

That means you Ty Harden

The seemingly never-ending transfer/ roster freeze/ trade/ beaver pelt barter system that is MLS player transactions finally came to a close today... we think. Either way, it gave Toronto FC a chance to do one last little piece of business - a seemingly straightforward defender-for-defender swap which sees Dasan Robinson, who was apparently a member of TFC, go to Los Angeles Galaxy for Kyle Davies.
 
22-year old Davies was a hot prospect in the US youth ranks who started his professional football life toiling in Southampton's reserve set-up. After failing to crack the line-up for the English Championship side, Davies joined MLS and has bounced from Real Salt Lake to FC Dallas (where he made his only 14 MLS appearances) and then on to Galaxy. The former captain of the USA U-20 team, Davies is still young and raw enough that The Reds may believe he can be groomed to help their decrepit defensive corps. Not corpse, smartass.
 
As for Dasan Robinson... we hardly knew ya! The player whose TFC claim to fame will always be as the man who allowed Dan Gargan be traded instead of waived, only ran onto the pitch once in anger for The Reds. Apparently dogged by injury and/or not a good fit with Aron Winter, the reportedly affable and team-oriented Illinois native will be an odd footnote on the 2011 highlight DVD. As it will only be a four-an-a-half minute DVD - you may need to pause it to catch him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

AFTER 90: Ay dios mio!

TFC's defensive line in usual form

THE BUZZ:
Mexico City's cavernous Estadio Olimpico Universitario is the setting as The Reds try to steal three valuable Champions League points from PUMAS UNAM. The mood was hopeful leading up to the match against the underachieving Mexicans but a rash of TFC absences and a suddenly strong Pumas starting eleven have got us sweating through our UNAM's. Chipotle Butty at the ready - let's say "hola futbol"!
 
FIRST HALF:
17' - GOAL: Pumas UNAM - Martin Bravo
PUMAS UNAM 1 - TORONTO 0
21' - GOAL: Pumas UNAM - Efrain Velarde
PUMAS UNAM 2 - TORONTO 0
33' - GOAL: Pumas UNAM - Martin Bravo
PUMAS UNAM 3 - TORONTO 0
36' - YELLOW CARD: Nick Soolsma
39' - SUB: Andy Iro OUT - Eddie Viator IN
42' - GOAL: Pumas UNAM - Martin Bravo
PUMAS UNAM 4 - TORONTO 0
 
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: The coin toss.
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Everything after that moment.
 
HALFTIME: PUMAS UNAM 4 - TORONTO 0
 
SECOND HALF:
49' - SUB: Ryan Johnson OUT - Peri Marosevic IN
55' - SUB: Danny Koevermans OUT - Terry Dunfield IN
 
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: The final whistle.
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: Everything before that moment.
 
FULL TIME: PUMAS UNAM 4 - TORONTO 0
 
THE MOOD:
If there is one thing TFC fans know all too well it's that the light at the end of the tunnel is most often an oncoming train. After a strong willed performance against Columbus on Saturday, The Reds bottled up all that positivity and... left it in an Ohio restroom. A soulless and incompetent performance against a club that had been struggling badly for weeks.
The match left us feeling: like drawing a cat face on our belly and taking a tequila induced siesta until 2012.
 
PLAYER RATINGS:
Milos Kocic 5.5 / Doneil Henry 5.5 / Andy Iro 3 (Eddie Viator 5.5 ) / Ty Harden 3.5 / Ashtone Morgan 6 / Danleigh Borman 5 / Julian de Guzman 5 / Torsten Frings 6 / Nick Soolsma 4 / Danny Koevermans 6 (Terry Dunfield 5 ) / Ryan Johnson 6 (Peri Marosevic 5.5 )
 
THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Sigh... Torsten Frings?
TALKING POINT: The cure for a scoring drought? TFC. Discuss.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

THE MATCHUP: No siesta for "Los Rojos"

Pumas UNAM: Quite possibly the greatest kit ever

PUMAS UNAM (4th) VS. TORONTO (2nd)
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - GROUP C
 
ESTADIO OLIMPICO UNIVERSITARIO - WEDNESDAY 8PM ET
TV: GOLTV
 
THE KICKABOUT:
- Can TFC become just the 2nd MLS club in history to score a victory in Mexico City?
- Will the CCL-underachieving Pumas come out with vengeance after dropping points to FC Dallas and Tauro FC?
- Can The Reds get 90 minutes from Danny Koevermans?
- Does Julian de Guzman's sudden renaissance continue?
- Will TFC remember not to drink the water?
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Run for the Border"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
PUMAS UNAM: Martin Bravo, David Cabrera Pujol, Dario Veron
TORONTO: Torsten Frings, Milos Kocic, Danny Koevermans
 
THE ODDS:
- Reds caught off guard as they stare at the Pumas logo waiting to see the cat face turn into a golden fist: 5-1
- Tito Santana and Rick Martel re-uniting their "Strike Force" tag-team during halftime to celebrate the strong ties between Mexico and Canada: 20-1
- Estadio Olimpico full of very fast, giant, sombrero-clad mice: 50-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
- The enormous 62,700 capacity Estadio Olimpico Universitario is one of the largest grounds TFC has ever played in. If the match attracts a full house, it would be the equivalent of playing in front of a New England Revolution crowd 10 times
- Visiting TFC supporters will be amused by the similarity to BMO Field when discovering the option to buy a "Chipotle Butty" from food stands at Estadio Olimpico
- Pumas' stadium is located in Mexico City's historic Olde Homicide District. The area was once a lush jalapeno orchard built above a cursed Aztec sacrificial temple until The Industrial Revolution introduced poncho factories to the neighbourhood. Today, the area is best known for car hydraulics, menacingly thin moustaches and giant bumblebees
 
THE WAGER: 2-1 Pumas (2011: 19-19 with 6 exact scores)
FUTURE HEADLINE: "PUMAS POUNCE ON REDS' DEFENSIVE SIESTA"

Monday, September 12, 2011

THE STARTING 11: Dumb and lazy ways to research the Pumas vs. TFC match

Now that's a midfield!

The life of a non-league football blogger isn't all the glamour, celebrity red carpets and beds covered with money you may think it is. Although I did find two dimes and a nickel in my laundry - so there's that. Sometimes, the need to pen a match preview can come up too quickly, such as The Reds' fixture this Wednesday in Mexico City versus Pumas UNAM. Perhaps, it's the funk of September work or maybe the hackneyed stereotypes proffered by Columbus supporters wore off on us, but sometimes we writing-types lean on stupidity to fluff an article. Playing in Mexico City offers just such an opportunity to put our brains in our back pocket. When even Wikipedia seems like too much hard work, you can just try these ignorantly blissful techniques and hope for the best. Ole!
 
11. Wear an old Tito Santana T-shirt to work - randomly yell "Ariba!" during important board meetings
 
10. Convert a Hyundai hatchback into a low-rider
 
9. Sneak over the 416-905 border under the cover of night
 
8. Try every new flavour of Doritos for breakfast
 
7. Put tiny sombreros on mice to see if they run faster
 
6. Replace dress shoes with pair of old school Puma's
 
5. Study Mexico's rich history... by watching "Three Amigos" on DVD
 
4. Commute on subway in full Lucha Libre costume
 
3. Go to Taco Bell - ask cashier what she thinks of Pumas' depth in the holding midfield position
 
2. Google pictures of Salma Hayek... twice
 
1. Drink two bottles of tequila. Go to the Toronto Zoo. Talk to a puma for a few hours.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

AFTER 90: Solid Reds rid monkeys from backs

Trillium Cup... now with Trillium Saucer

IN THE TUNNEL:
Half empty stadium? Check. Dirtiest looking cheerleaders east of the Mississippi? Check. Children's playground outside the ground? Check. Simmering racial undertones in the stands? Check. With all that in order, it's all systems go for the return leg of The Trillium Cup - MLS' weakest manufactured derby ever. Of course, the Toronto invasion of 2008 did add some meat to "The New Soft" derby (opposite of The Old Firm if you're wondering) but when TFC's true rival Montreal joins MLS next season for "The 401 Derby", this fixture will be just another Eastern Conference tussle. That being said, wouldn't it be a nice way to put this marketed "rivalry" to bed once and for all with TFC's first EVER win against Columbus? Now let's go think of reasons to hate Central Ohio...
 
ON THE PITCH:
1' - Columbus mascot "Crew Cat" coughs up a furball and sprays towards visiting TFC fans. Game on. Kick-off...
8' - Always enlightened Crew supporters chant "USA! USA!" during TFC corner kick. They truly won the War on Terror - Canadian evil-doers have been subdued.
9' - Bit of the old back and forth as Ryan Johnson hits the Crew crossbar with Crew forcing Stefan Frei into a leaping save on the counter-attack
15' - Reds managing some decent possession play but no finish yet
21' - GOAL: Mee-oow! Nick Soolsma's cat "Suarez" purring happily as his owner puts TFC ahead by pouncing (I know) on a rebound
COLUMBUS 0 - TORONTO 1
25' - Milos Kocic is a fine backup keeper but there is something more solid to The Reds' backline when Stefan Frei is between the posts. The Goalblerone.
30' - Crowd has fallen quiet. Must be writing down vaguely racist Canadian slurs
36' - Joao Plata forces Will Hesmer to save a sharp free kick. Plata playing like he's 5 Foot 5 right now!
37' - YELLOW CARD: Ty Harden just being Ty Harden
42' - GOAL: Possibly the best half of football TFC has played in 2011 as Plata drifts a great cross to Ryan Johnson's head who drifts it gently over an unexpecting Hesmer
COLUMBUS 0 - TORONTO 2
45' - Columbus fans boo either their club's first half performance... or foreigners
 
HALFTIME: COLUMBUS 0 - TORONTO 2
 
46' - Almost a dream start to the 2nd Half as Eric Avila hits the ball sweetly from a distance only for it to clang off of the Crew crossbar
47' - Due to Avila being American, Crew fans having trouble coming up with xenophobic insults to throw at him
55' - Frei back in form with good save against Andres Mendoza's attempt on goal
59' - So hard to really dislike a human boy named Dilly Duka
62' - An almighty collision as Frei and Emilio Renteria both challenge on a cross and neither of them look better for it. Both men coming off with Frei looking heavily damaged...
SUB: Milos Kocic in for Stefan Frei
67' - GOAL: Fresh off the bench, Crew's Tom Heinemann roofs the ball past a deserted Kocic and the game just got very hairy for TFC
COLUMBUS 1 - TORONTO 2
72' - Newly shaven-headed Julian de Guzman defending with gusto
78' - Kocic saves the lead as Crew nearly tie the game on close-range free kick
79' - SUB: Goalscorer Soolsma makes way for young Matt Stinson
81' - YELLOW CARD: Eric Avila get a MLS Mystery Card
82' - GOAL: Out of nothing an aggressive de Guzman blasts a 25-yard shot past Hesmer after tackling the ball away from Columbus single-handedly
COLUMBUS 1 - TORONTO 3
84' - A foreigner possibly puts the game away for TFC. Columbus fans can't contain their fury
86' - SUB: Danny Koevermans in for a limping Ryan Johnson
87' - GOAL: Andres Mendoza with a long range shot that rises over Kocic. Game has just taken another turn. A woolly affair
COLUMBUS 2 - TORONTO 3
89' - A whopping 6 minutes of extra time. Squeaky bum time!
90'+ - GOAL: de Guzman feeds a streaking Danny Koevermans who rounds a charging Hesmer and curls the ball into the empty goal. Plan the parade... the Trillium Cup is ours!
COLUMBUS 2 - TORONTO 4
90'+ - The longest extra time ever comes to an end. Bloody foreigners.
 
FULL TIME: COLUMBUS 2 - TORONTO 4
 
IN THE BATHS:
It took one of Toronto FC's most solid away performances ever to get a couple of monkeys off their back. Tonight's win was the club's first road victory of 2011 and happened to come against their "rival" Columbus Crew - a club they had failed to beat in five seasons. The Reds dominated in the first half but it was the second half where they showed strong character and some steely nerves. After Stefan Frei was injured and Crew quickly cut the lead to 2-1, many TFC observers awaited the classic Reds' collapse. On this night however, TFC kept their backs up and even managed to resist the temptation to fall into a defensive shell on their way to a win they can be proud of over one of the league's better teams. Little chance to celebrate their first Trillium Cup before heading to Mexico City for their CCL match against PUMAS - but tonight's result is more about hope for 2012 rather than any manufactured trophy.
 
PLAYER RATINGS: Stefan Frei 7 (Milos Kocic 6 )/ Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Ty Harden 6 / Andy Iro 6 / Ashtone Morgan 6 / Julian de Guzman 8 / Torsten Frings 7 / Eric Avila 6 / Nick Soolsma 6.5 (Matt Stinson 6 ) / Ryan Johnson 6.5 (Danny Koevermans 7 ) / Joao Plata 7
 
THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Julian de Guzman
TALKING POINT: What should "The 401 Derby" trophy look like? Discuss.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Trilliums at the ready as Reds prepare for The New Soft

That is one cup-worthy bloom

COLUMBUS (6th) VS. TORONTO (16th)
 
CREW STADIUM - SATURDAY 7:30PM
TV: GOLTV RADIO: FAN 590
 
THE KICKABOUT:
- With true rival Montreal Impact entering MLS in 2012, is this the last "The New Soft" Derby (opposite of The Old Firm) that holds much meaning for supporters?
- Can the much-missed Danny Koevermans return from injury to help the struggling TFC offence?
- Will the long break from play be a help or hindrance to The Reds' chances of getting their first ever win over Crew?
- Does Stefan Frei regain his # 1 slot over the in-form Milos Kocic?
- If this is indeed "The New Soft" - does that make Crew Stadium "Ohiobrox"?
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The New Soft"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
COLUMBUS: Will Hesmer, Andres Mendoza, Robbie Rogers
TORONTO: Eric Avila, Torsten Frings, Andy Iro
 
THE ODDS:
- Bob de Klerk accidentally finding the cure for Athlete's Foot when he mixes Trillium petals and Gatorade together during the halftime break: 20-1
- Crew striker Jeff Cunningham missing an own goal by inches thus continuing to fail in helping TFC's goal scoring years after leaving the The Reds: 30-1
- Ohio Protestants and Ontario Catholics clashing at an Interstate rest stop: 100-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
- Fashion-forward TFC manager Aron Winter refuses to let the club wear its white away kit for the rest of the season as wearing white after Labour Day is a major fashion faux-pas
- The Toronto v Columbus derby has once again won FIFA's "Most Manufactured Derby" award narrowly beating out the Belgian Pro League's attempt to market the Cercle Brugge v KRC Genk fixture as "The Battle for the Best Waffle"
-Columbus, Ohio, situated on the Ohio Riviera, was actually found by Christopher Columbus in his undocumented first trip to the Americas in 1489. Landing in Mid-Ohio, the explorer reported back to Spain "...nothing to see here". Today, Columbus is a bustling city known as "The City Somewhere Between Cleveland and Cincinnati" and its main exports include childhood obesity, home foreclosure and xenophobia
 
THE WAGER: 2-0 Columbus (2011: 19-18 with 6 exact scores)
FUTURE HEADLINE: "CREW RETAIN TRILLIUM CUP - ONTARIO CHANGES PROVINCIAL FLOWER TO LOSERBLOSSOM"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Toronto FC's "Unlabour Day" Parade

Unlabour Day cheezies.... let us pray...

We've always found those strange "almost holiday" days that come right after a very recognized special day to be quite odd. For example, the day after Halloween is known as All Saints' Day, a Christian holy day where every saint, known and unknown, is celebrated. I guess that includes St. Lucia - Patron Saint of Stretchers. Then there is Boxing Day, the post-Christmas Day celebration where we commemorate when the Baby Jesus kept his receipts for gold, frankincense and myrrh. Seriously... myrrh?
 
As we blearily return to work/ school on this post-Labour Day Tuesday, we thought it would be appropriate to designate today as one of those unofficial post-holidays. How about "Unlabour Day"? A day to celebrate not really working all that hard and doing the bare minimum to achieve a paycheque. Of course we have to put a Toronto FC slant to it, so we give you a specially wrapped Unlabour Day gift of TFC's starting eleven players who had all the tools to have an impact - but never quite did. Sometimes through laziness and sometimes just bad circumstance, these ex-Reds never fulfilled their promise in Toronto. Put up your feet, open your traditional bag of Unlabour Day cheezies and lounge along with these heroes of not working too hard. We would have alphabetized them... but why try harder?
 
JEFF CUNNINGHAM - One of the league's all-time leading scorers - never looked arsed to be here. Was desperate to score his 100th league goal, didn't care if it was in a win or loss.
 
GABE GALA - An "original" TFC member who was touted as a local home grown star of the future. Mostly touted by himself. Scored against Real Madrid in friendly. Likely still talking about it.
 
LAURENT ROBERT - He came. He sulked. He left. The Frenchman with the Premier League pedigree and wicked foot turned up his nose at all things MLS during his petit tenure as a Red.
 
O'BRIAN WHITE - The Malvern residing NCAA stand-out was seen as the answer to TFC's non-existent scoring. Quickly earned the nickname "Malvern/ Montego Molasses". Slowly moved to Seattle.
 
OLIVIER TEBILY - One of the highest touted defensive imports in the Mo Johnston era never got off the ground in Toronto through a mysterious cocktail of injury and homesickness.
 
ROHAN RICKETTS - Professional Tweeter/ Bridge Burner, Ricketts has dined off his Arsenal/ Tottenham tenure for years. "Dazzling" personality never covers lacklustre work ethic.
 
AMADO GUEVARA - Controversial we know. Great numbers at TFC but always a feeling he could have done so much more. For every goal scored, he disappeared for a few halves.
 
ALI GERBA - Many fans still feel that the straight-talking Gerba could have made good here if it wasn't for Preki. One thing he made good was his promise to clean his plate after every meal.
 
COLLIN SAMUEL - Speaking of cleaning plates, this portly Trinidadian arrived with a decent scoring record in Scotland... where he no doubt found his love for all things deep fried.
 
CARLOS RUIZ - Perhaps the first hint was when he didn't show up for five weeks after being picked up by Mo Johnston. Never wanted to be here - fact that Mo released Robert for him is sweet irony.
 
MISTA - Possibly the perfect encapsulation of the Mo Johnston record of buying the wrong player. The broken down Spaniard didn't score an MLS goal and destroyed the little goodwill that real star Dwayne De Rosario had over his wage issues. Did look like Sean Penn though... that was fun.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Canada v St. Lucia... or we're gonna kill'em! (aren't we?)

This photo is "borrowed" from REUTERS/Fred Thornhill via Toronto Sun

First off, we need to give props. The Voyageurs have been nothing short of all-stars. It is through their tireless efforts that the vocal support in the south end unified and the tickets were put into the correct hands. If you ever wonder what a real supporter looks like, find the gentlemen who stumped up for the tickets and buy him a beer or three.

We would also like to give props to Umbro for their contribution to helping the fostering of Canadian support. Mind you, they didn't have to do too much since our last kit supplier, official ident-a-kit supplier to half of the free world, did the barest of minimums. I have heard more about Umbro's support from giveaways on various podcasts, blogs, and through the Voyageurs forums.

Now if only the rest of the country could get behind them.

Before we begin the post-match round up, we need to compare the FIFA standings of the two national teams:


101. Rhodesia
102. Canada
103. Probably Wales

183. Somethingistan
184. St. Lucia
185. Plain Timor


That's 82 places. If you look at the national team squad on paper, they shouldn't really be this low, however they are, and on paper does not mean status.

The first 6 minutes were absolutely insane. Canada had three legit chances and the Lucians put half the team behind the ball in the 6-yard box. After a bit of drama and pinball, one goes in. The counter attack then had Tremain Paul launch one of those "once in a lifetime"/Brazil-esque kind of goals, 25 yards out, curls around the stretching Hirshfeld in tucks in behind the post.

Then nothing.

Canada was trying, but where were the goals? This is St. Lucia, with a population a little larger than PEI. Half time should be 4-0, no?

FULL TIME : Canada 4, St. Lucia 1. A De Ro penalty here, a Will Johnson at the end and a brace from Josh Simpson.

What you need to know and understand was a few things. The ref was far more generous to the Lushies than Canada. The stretcher came out enough times (each time for the Luciarinos) that it would be fair to think that they were playing as some random third team. And the biggest factor, Lucious keeper Iran Cassius was outstanding.

Man of the Match : Iran Cassius. His hair-trigger reflexes prevented the scoreline to be what 95% of the stadium believed. Not an exaggeration. Truly outstanding. Yes, I know Simpson had two, I get it. But I expected more from Canada as a whole and less from St. Lucia than what transpired. Simpson should've had three or more. Cassius stopped many of those chances.

Goats of the Game : Any St. Lucian who hit the dirt to waste time and stop momentum. Of the 5 stretcher calls, only 1 was serious enough for the player to not come back, and everyone else was on their feet within seconds of exiting the pitch.

Ref Rating : 2 out of 5. We should be able to counter-bribe the refs better than our opposition.

Apologies for the delay, however it was a long day. Opted against the notebook after the first few minutes... The atmosphere in the stadium was far more electric and unified than typical TFC matches, but you got the sense that everyone there was there because they wanted to be there and not because it was the "in game in town"... To the Oakville Soccer Club, mad respect... Seats in the lower part of 114 is a great view. You have our envy... So looking forward to the next game, October 11 v Puerto Rico. Be there. We're looking at you Steve.*

* = Steve could be anyone, including people who aren't named Steve

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THE STARTING 11 (SPECIAL WC2014 EDITION): Team Canada banners and signs

Team Canada: So hot in the 80's!

While this site is usually 93% Toronto FC related - and 7% random 80's reference related - today we put down our Reds' scarves for er... red scarves. The Canadian Men's National Team embarks on its long, arduous and no doubt hair-pullingly frustrating journey towards World Cup 2014 this Friday at BMO Field. With all three home fixtures in this round being played in Toronto, a push has been on to fill the stadium with red shirts as opposed to the usual (ENTER COLOUR HERE) of whatever random CONCACAF opponent they are facing. We will be in the stands - will you? Why not? Yes you Torontonian, reading this... and put some damn pants on, this is a family blog! Either way, the eternally-underachieving Canada needs a raucous crowd behind them during this round and what better way than with big glorious banners and signs? Need some creative help? Use these with our compliments!
 
11. TRUE NORTH STRONG AND FREE... BEER $10
 
10. WHAT WOULD RANDY SAMUEL DO?
 
9. PUERTO RICO - AMERICA'S GARDENER
 
8. THIS MATCH IS ON TAPE DELAY
 
7. ST KITT'S & NEVIS - WE'LL BEAT BOTH OF YOU!
 
6. THE CSA - PROUDLY WATCHING WORLD CUPS ON TV SINCE 1986
 
5. THE HART FOUNDATION
 
4. WE'RE CONCACAF'S TALL WHITE GUY
 
3. BMO FIELD: WHERE FOOT HOCKEY LIVES
 
2. ST. LUCIA - PATRON SAINT OF SUCKING
 
1. CANADA: # 1 IN OUR HEARTS - # 102 IN FIFA