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Saturday, June 30, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Harrison Extreme Beverage... or all this talk of drinks is making me thirsty


Hey, remember, like, 8 days ago how we were the worst team ever?  Those were some cloudy days, huh?  Its as if we had an extended pre-season where it just didn't matter.  Million dollar Danny (seriously, that guy needs at least a nickname, if not a song) went from being slow and not being able to finish, to being a little faster and smashing them in.  Toronto went from being LOL to WTF with the change of manager.

Sure, the defense is still offensive, and the side blew two 2-goal leads in consecutive matches, but high holy hell, what great drama!  And for once it doesn't involve management / lying to star midfielders / foreign players going bust / snowmobiles.  It's all conveniently located on the pitch in two 45-minute increments consecutively.  I think this is the "football" we've heard so much about.  Waited five and a third seasons for it...

Its hot, humid, and a blessing in disguise - its a night game.

I'm going with a 4-1 result for the mighty Robins.  Why not, were smashing them all as of late.  Laissez les bon temps roulez!

4' - GOAL - Cross came in from the far right, and one touch from Solli starts the game off wrong.
ROBINS 0, BEVERAGES 1

6' - GOAL - corner from Frings, headed down by Million Dollar Danny.  Game on!
ROBINS 1, BEVERAGES 1

That was easy. (no it wasn't)

10' - Lambe takes a through ball 25 yards out, holds off his marker long enough to poke the ball past the keeper, but not enough juice behind it to cross the line.

13' - Our neighbour, Brandon, shows up.  Didn't miss much *big grin*

29' - Danny K gets completely tripped up on the edge of the box in full view of the ref, and no call give.  Idiot ref.

32' - YELLOW - Dunfield takes down Henry for a wee knock, but the hush-hush DP regulations + rolling around dramatically = a booking.

45' - Three of the Beverages were in a massive offside position in an attempt that went off the post.  Not sure of the flags went up, but I'm assuming the worst.

HALF-TIME MOOD : tired from the initial rush of adrenaline slowly tapering off for 40 minutes.


67' - SUB - Lambe makes way for Soolsma.  Meow.

76' - Emory comes up with a huge tackle on Lindpere that gets the ball and leaves the Beverege crumples in a heap.  Aaaaaaand, he's jacked about the tackle, as he should.

79' - SUB - deGoo comes on for Avila

81' - someone on Toronto whips a ball into the middle and Koevermans heads it right into the keeper's hands.

83' - Here's a string you've never seen before.  Dunfield lays off for deGoo who crosses it into a sliding Soolsma who just puts it wide.  Fabulous stuff.

Now its getting fun.

85' - Frings crosses just past the net, but Johnson's header places the ball 6 yds in front of goal and is cleared to safety by a defender.

86' - SUB - Koevermans makes way for Silva and receives a nice round of applause.

2 mins of Extra Time

FULL TIME : Toronto 1, Harrison 1

Man of the Match - Frings.  Engine goes vroom.

Goat of the Game - none, really.

Ref Rating : 2 out of 5.  Henry's theatrics, Dannys foul and some other nonsensical bullshit I expect with discount refs.

In our appreciation for the Extreme Beverage away kit that we liked (because if you look quickly, they look like Boca Juniors standing at a Sunoco) and our general fondness for kits and crests, I'd like to introduce a semi-regular feature that less than 1% of the nerds reading this will appreciate...

Kit spotting : we spotted a Birmingham City away, OGC nice away, Bordeaux away but the Obscurity Award goes to the Eintract Frankfurt home kit worn by the 9 year old behind us.  That's kinda random.

This was the first match in a long time that the visitors were the ones holding onto the point.  Totally not like TFC and definitely not like Harrison... good to see so many people out to support Henry today.  Better that he didn't do a helluva lot except complain, embellish and deny Ireland a rightful trip to South Africa (too soon?)... It really is too soon to gush but the combinations of good crosses from Morgan and Johnson gets some of us giddy.  Mariner has got them playing some fairly nice football... Remember when Kenny Cooper was someone?... So, we realize that we cannot nickname Logan Emory "Screech" because he has now lopped off his curly 'fro.  However, we recognize that he looks like someone else...

Stalteri, meet the younger version of you, Staltini
It's a compliment, we assure you.

Dear MLS/Adidas,

I know I've gone on about how I detest your numbers and how a 1 and a 7 look waaay to close, but I'd like to point out how we guessed that the Harrison keeper's name is probably Meara.  We say probably because the stupid futuristic A and the stupid futuristic R are both far too similar when you're sitting as far away as we are (which isn't that far really).  We resigned for the rest of the game to call him both Marrr or Meaaa because it is absurd and ridiculous for a literate person to have to guess what the name says.

Change it.

It's been too friggin long and it isn't 2003 anymore. 

Yours in football kits, nerdity and graphic design,

The Yorkies

Player Ratings - Kocic 6.5, Hall 6.5, Eckersley 6, Emory 6.5, Morgan 6, Lambe 6.5 [Soolsma 6], Frings 6.5, Dunfield 6.5, Avila 6 [deGoo N/A] Koevermans 6.5 [Silva N/A], Johnson 6.5

Short tenure for tiny favourite as Joao Plata heading home

Adios tiny amigo?

What began as whispers a couple of weeks back was last night retweeted by the player in question, then backed by numerous sources - TFC's Joao Plata may be heading back to his parent club, Ecuador’s LDU Quito. Of course in true Toronto FC fashion this is about the clearest point of the transaction so far.

Many Reds supporters can be forgiven for thinking that the post-season hoopla surrounding Joao Plata meant that TFC was now the wee winger's parent club. However, reports indicate that LDU Quito were in fact the ones with the rights to recall Plata at this time and that the astronomically high fee (well, MLS astronomical) spent by TFC was simply to extend Plata's existing loan to MLS. On the other hand, the current proposed move is also being dubbed a "six month loan" to Quito with the suggestion that Plata returns to Toronto in the off-season. It is as clear as mud but stinks of an absolute managerial cock-up by TFC being quietly papered over. The club can't fault supporters for thinking this way when they operate with more secrets that The Stonecutters. (Don't mention Steve Guttenberg to Anselmi)

While Joao Jimmy Plata is an endearing character who became an instant fan favourite, his departure would not make a noticeable dent on the squad. His local fame has much more to do with his stature and short bursts of speed and (over) creativity than do his prospects. Despite his affable nature, Plata has been "found out" in MLS this season. Where his sideshow height and speed shocked some clubs last season, he was simply manhandled this year and pushed out of plays. He has become far too dependant on trying to take an extra step when dribbling and seems gun-shy at shooting on goal. A wonderful storybook player, but more of a bright spark in a dark time than a long-term MLS forward. At least at this point in his development.

We will link to any official word from the secret society that is Toronto FC below that isn't about Efrain Burgos Jr's release (with accompanied sad-face picture). In other news, the Ecuadorian version of "Webster" was greenlighted for production.


Friday, June 29, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Takin' shots!

To get into the spirit of our corporate-controlled rivals from the Big Apple's apocalyptic suburb, we decided to drink a baker's dozen of Red Bull before starting this pre-match report...
 
DA' REDS VS. METROSTARZ
 
CNE MIDWAY - SATURDAY NIGHT 7PM ET TIL THE BREAKA' DAWN
TV: SPORTSNET ONTARIO... Suck it Pacific! Whoo Craig Forrest!
RADIO: THE FAN 590 - More rock! Less talk!
 
THE KICKABOUT:
Did you see that game on Wednesday against the CheeseStrings? Boom! I mean three goals and Frings with the bulldozer - righteous! (GUITAR RIFF!) I think things might be finally turning around for the TFCeez and we can like be on a winning streak and stuff - okay, okay, okay - like I know the New York Cosmos are pretty rad and shiz with that Thierry Mugler from Arsenal but if Da Koef can keep blastin' and ballin' we could totally give them the what's what right? Hold up for a sec...
 
Whooo! I just did 80 crunches.
 
Yeah so the football! Hey Nesta - did you hear? (X-TREME GUITAR RIFF!) Pouring out a half can for the departed Efrain Burgos Jr. - CheeseBurgos we hardly knew ya bro-stein - keep on keepin' on! Why do my legs feel like that? Saturday night - be there! I'm in 3D!
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "El X-Tremeassico!"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
TORONTO: Scoring guy, passing bro and saving dude
NEW YORK: Frenchman, guy with "x" in name, blonde
 
THE ODDS:
- Match being "a sweet buzz": 2-1
- Match being "totally rad": 5-1
- Match being EXTREME GUITAR RIFF!: 10-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
In an effort to be extreme, TFC is.... aww, I'm crashin' dude... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz Got the Jimmy-legs now, damn! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz So twitchy zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz drowsy jazz flute riff zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz huh? What? What day is it? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I just dreamt I was Jim Brennan's soul patch zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Need more Red Bull zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz AND I'M BACK IN THE ROOM! Get my boogie board! DOUBLE GUITAR RIFF!
 
POST-MATCH HEADLINE: "WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
 
And... since it's Friday, I'm whacked out on Taurine and Paul Mariner wears short shorts (!!!) on the sideline - feel free to join us in this chant at BMO Field to welcome our new manager and his dress sense. (To the tune of LMFAO's "Shots")

 
"Shorts! Shorts! Shorts-shorts-shorts!
Shorts! Shorts! Shorts-shorts-shorts!
Shorts! Shorts! Shorts-shorts-shorts!
Paul Mari-NER!"
 

Sadly... Nick Soolsma got to the video first. Suarez Re-Mix!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

AFTER 90: Sharp Reds leave soft Cheesemakers feeling Blue

Crumbled Saputo? You said it, not us.

THE BUZZ:
Can Toronto manage to extend 70 good minutes into 90?
Will new DP Marco Di Vaio make an immediate "Impact"?
How many cheese puns can fit into a post-match report?
Are Aceval and Soolsma back in the Gouda books?
Can Koevermans keep up his hot strike rate?
Will the "amazing" Montreal supporters fill half of Stade Saputo?
Should I have gone with the provolone or the Swiss? Discuss.
 
FIRST HALF:
No Toronto FC events
 
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: Jeremy Hall taking a flying dropkick AND a cross to the face and getting up like a champ
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Montreal fans kind of, sort of showing up for the big "401 Derby"
 
HALFTIME: MONTREAL 0 - TORONTO 0
 
SECOND HALF:
45' - SUB: Nick Soolsma on for Jeremy Hall
52' - GOAL: Toronto - Torsten Frings
MONTREAL 0 - TORONTO 1
56' - SUB: Doneil Henry on for Julian de Guzman
72' - GOAL: Toronto - Ryan Johnson
MONTREAL 0 - TORONTO 2
73' - SUB: Reggie Lambe on for Eric Avila
78' - GOAL: Toronto - Danny Koevermans
MONTREAL 0 - TORONTO 3
 
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Three of the finest goals we have seen from this club in years. (yes that's three highlights - sue us)
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: That it had to end.
 
FULL TIME: MONTREAL 0 - TORONTO 3
 
PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 6 / Jeremy Hall 6.5 (Nick Soolsma 6.5) / Richard Eckersley 6 / Logan Emory 6 / Ashtone Morgan 6.5 / Terry Dunfield 6 / Torsten Frings 7 / Julian de Guzman 6 (Doneil Henry 5) / Eric Avila 5.5 (Reggie Lambe 6) / Ryan Johnson 6.5 / Danny Koevermans 7
 
THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Torsten Frings
 
THE MOOD:
For stretches of the previous matches under Paul Mariner's TFC stewardship, there were moments you just wanted to keep separate from the rest. There were those exciting moments where the offence clicked or the scrappy defence fought hard but they were eventually overshadowed by the late-match let-downs. Tonight, especially in the stellar second half, it was only those moments on display as TFC dominated a limp L'Impact. Edam!
 
While it is far too early to proclaim this version of Toronto FC as "the seventh coming" and believe that all our ills are fixed - it is perhaps a jumping off point. Just maybe, Mariner's simple, straightforward plan is what this team is best suited for at the moment. If the much-hinted transfer window reinforcements can enhance the current squad we can at least hope for competitiveness and respectability for the remains of 2012. A playoff run is out of the question but if we can have more matches like tonight we at least get a bit of what we have missed while supporting TFC - a bit of fun. For now, we'll take that.
 
Absolutely owning Stade Saputo isn't bad as well. Pretty Gouda really.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

THE MATCHUP: "It ain't easy beating Cheesy"

"It's the cheesiest!"

MONTREAL VS. TORONTO
 
STADE SAPUTO - WEDNESDAY 7:30PM ET
TV: TSN ----RADIO: THE FAN 590
 
THE KICKABOUT:
Let's look in the mirror for a second and be honest. Yes, we all hate L'Impact du Montreal dans la Bibliotheque FC but there is more than a tinge of envy when we look at them. It's not their superior record, their 3/4 good stadium, or even the debut of Marco Di Vaio on Wednesday - it's the one thing they have which we can't - an owner who wants to win. Put your personal feelings aside over Joey Saputo and know that Toronto FC would be a much different club with a similarly egomaniacal millionaire in charge who simply wants to fill a trophy case instead of a bloated bottom line.
 
But alas, we are not The Cheesemakers and the quest continues up the 401 as "The MarinEra" rolls on trying to steady the bad ship TFC. While the last two matches have left Reds supporters on a roller-coaster that ultimately crashes into the station, things have actually changed. Completely for the better? Only time will tell but those calling for Paul Mariner's head already need some bed rest. Mariner has polarized a few fans but he is likely a victim of circumstance in the way he ended up becoming manager. The chops are there for him to make a go of it and the transfer window should be very interesting. Plus... a manager in shorts!
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The 401 Derby IV: The Curdenning"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
MONTREAL: Patrice Bernier, Marco Di Vaio, Donovan Ricketts
TORONTO: Julian de Guzman, Danny Koevermans, Ashtone Morgan
 
THE ODDS:
- TFC not playing very Gouda: 2-1
- Montreal exposing our Swiss cheese defence: 3-1
- Reds not doing Edam in the last 20 minutes: 5-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
Due to their owner’s dairy connections, Impact are playing in a simultaneous league to MLS this year after gaining entry to the SuperCheesa, an international division devoted to cheese-related clubs. It has been a slow start for Montreal as you can see from the table so far:

1. RED LEICESTER CITY - 23pts.
2. PARIS ST. GRUYERE - 20pts.
3. DYNAMO BRIEV - 18pts.
4. NACHOS LAGUNA - 18pts.
5. PARMA SAN FC - 14pts.
6. AEK FETA - 12pts.
7. WEST HAM & CHEESE UNITED - 10pts.
8. MONTREAL IMPACT - 7pts.
9. LIMBURGER SV - 5pts.
10. MONTERREY JACK - 2pts. (Deducted 10 points for match slicing)
 
POST-MATCH HEADLINE: "REDS DO JACK AS IMPACT BRIE(S) TO VICTORY"

Monday, June 25, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Paul Mariner side-effects

"The Tractor Boy"... as seen on Ossington Ave.

For better or worse, things are most definitely different at Toronto FC under the stewardship of Paul Mariner. Where Aron Winter was reserved, rigid and formal - Mariner is emotional, animated and... wearing gym shorts. The ambitious 4-3-3 Dutch-style has floated away like a Friesen water lily and has been replaced with some old school push-and-run (well for 70 minutes at least). However, not all of the changes in "The MarinEra" are quite so obvious and there are a few (11 is always a good guess) developments you may have not been aware of...
 
11. Mariner's fledgling "Give a Goal Back" charity off to a great start
 
10. Finally, the full, dynamic offensive prowess of Terry Dunfield has been unleashed
 
9. Local media have been forced to switch their translators from the "Dutch" setting to "Lancashire Mumble"
 
8. Nick Soolsma is soon to be given a lot more free time to spend with his pet cat "Suarez"
 
7. Glasses with shorts so hot right now
 
6. Halftime oranges replaced by delicious Scotch Eggs
 
5. Jim Brennan now only goes by the name "Sub-Mariner"
 
4. Toronto-area "Subway" locations offering "The Paul Mariner Special" - when they make two bad subs you get the third for free!
 
3. Mariner's Ipswich Town-era hair-style all the rage with the Ossington hipster scene
 
2. Player arrests are down 300% this week!
 
1. TFC can finally accept the proud title as the "Plymouth Argyle of Major League Soccer"

Saturday, June 23, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v New England... or oh no, not again

I was most proud of the four outlines where the 'near championships' would be at the top.

Man, Wednesday's match was fantastic.  Thrilling even.  Koevermans reintroduced himself to the score sheet twice and it was end to end action.  Strong finish, even if it was for the wrong team.  It made for great television.  I try to watch as many road matches as my schedule / girlfriend permits, and that was one of the best MLS matches I've watched.  Possibly the best, as most of which were sad, boring and frustrating.

The Paul Mariner Era, or as I've been referring it to - The MarinEra (TM) - is in full swing.  Winter is gone, and though I felt that he was building the club in his own image, the results were more important and he was dismissed.  Bye bye 4-3-3.

This 4-4-2 (or 4-3-1-2 as some have spun it) seems to be working offensively, but defensively it is yet to be determined.  The attack is spirited and aggressive and calculating.  Now if someone can just fix the back four.

On to the match...

We want Soolsma!
Sorry, but right now, he's in the cat house.
~ Myself and @theyorkies1812
bringing up Suarez

4' - GOAL - Ashtone Morgan floats in a perfect little cross for big Danny Koevermans to get up and head down and away past Reis.  How about that.
ROBINS 1, EVOLUTION 0


42' - GOAL - Another Morgan delivery just eeks past Koevermans but finds the head of Ryan Johnson.
ROBINS 2, EVOLUTION 0

Whenever they announce Jeremy Hall, we should do the Arsenio crowd-woof-woof thing.
Frings that make you go hmmm...
~ Myself and @theyorkies1812
having more random discussion

45+1' - Feilhaber corner finds McCarthy flying noggin forcing Kocic to make a superb diving save.

Half-Time Mood : Great, but you can't help but think you've seen this before, all too recently.

48' - YELLOW - Koevermans goes into the book for losing his crap on an apparent blown throw in decision.  They shake hands after, what I assume, was an apology.

56' - Johnson marauds into the New England penalty area, and after his third touch before shooting, his attempt was tackled away.  Too many touches Ryan...

59 - SUB - Silva comes in for Avila.  I start making siren noises.  Only to amuse myself though.

61 - Frings launches a rocket that is handled easily by Reis.

67 - SUB - Frings comes off for Emory.  Yes, the captain is replaced by "Screech" from Saved by the Bell.  Not a typo. (afterwards, it was clear that Frings was hurt and his knee looked bandaged).

68 - Johnson's cross was a smidge too high for Silva, who was in the right place to nearly make the Houston thing all go away.

71' - GOAL - Brettschneider pounces on a Kocic rebound and fires it into the net.  Ugh.
ROBINS 2, EVOLUTION 1

73' - YELLOW - Henry gets booked for something.

74' - Ensuing free kick sees Kocic reprise his role of Superman with a leaping save from a bending ball around the wall.  Top shelf stuff.

76' - Emory clears one off the line.  Too close.

78' - All New England.  Is this the start of 15 minutes of PanicBall (TM)?

81' - SUB - deGoo makes way for Lambe.  Okaaay...

88' - OMG!  Someone beat Kocic, but not the post.  Way too close.

4 minutes of extra time

90+4' - GOAL - [Woah! Lots of swearing in this one. Some might say excessive. Keep it clean, kid. ~ Ed.]!!!  Feilhaber unmarked from a corner, heads it past a stranded Kocic.  Tragic.
ROBINS 2, EVOLUTION 2

FULL TIME : Toronto 2, New England 2.

Man of the Match : Kocic.  He's for real and he didn't deserve a draw for all his work.

Goat of the Game : The group effort of PanicBall.  I haven't seen that since the Carver regime.

Ref Rating : 4 out of 5.  They blew a few calls but none of the ones that matter to the outcome.  Excellent crew.

Ryan Johnson loves to telegraph his passes.  It's like a segmented line is drawn as soon as it appears where he's passing to.  Even makes the xylophone noises as it's drawn, it's so obvious... To the military gentleman who sang the anthems : Please come back and sing them again.  Both renditions were fantastic.  He had people casually singing along to the American anthem he was that good... One of these days, we're gonna get a private box, invite the funniest people around us, and do a Mystery Science Theatre show of us calling a match.  I was howling tonight... hope the bandage on Frings isn't a sign of anything too serious and it's just a strain.  He's the engine... And how about those crosses from Morgan.  They're fabulous.  All floaty and stuff... With all of the reports that Plata is returning to LDU Quito, I kinda hope they're true.  He is an excellent strategy-altering substitute but not a starter and certainly not to play 90 minutes.  His career will flourish better anywhere in MLS.

Also, as a side note, I still have 4 Yorkies Card Sets remaining.  One person said "I wasn't expecting Upper Deck quality", so I know that's a helluva compliment.  Please contact us at theyorkies1812@gmail.com to inquire for your set.

Player Ratings : Kocic 9, Hall 7, Eckersley 6.5, Henry 6.5, Morgan 7.5, Dunfield 6, Frings 6.5 [Emory 6.5], deGoo 6 [Lambe N/A], Avila 6.5 [Silva N/A], Johnson 7, Koevermans 7.5.

I can be followed on the Twitter @ignirtoq.  It's an old gaming character name that I played with for years that is pronounced "IG-nir-tock".  I may change it one day, but until then, this will remain as is.  I jump in on conversations regularly, create ridiculous crowd-sourced graphics, and occasionally beg bands I like to release and sell me live recordings of their shows.

Friday, June 22, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Old England formation battles New England Revolution

Sorry Gold Coast, it had to be done. Mate.

TORONTO VS. NEW ENGLAND
 
BMO FIELD - SATURDAY 5:30PM ET
TV: GOL TV ----RADIO: THE FAN 590
 
THE KICKABOUT:
Perhaps this is the persona that TFC has been lacking for so long. Did the ridiculous arrests of Miguel Aceval, Nick Soolsma and Luis Silva inadvertently re-brand the club as "brawlers"? For a club that has had little in the way of personality lately - it could be worse. Despite the talent level letting them down against Houston on Wednesday evening, The Reds did show a lot of fight throughout the match and Paul Mariner's tactics seem to be aggressive and passionate. If TFC can show the same level of heart and battle for the remainder of the season they will at least win back some respect from fans and opponents. For Mariner, his tactical transformation continues but what better team to grab his first win against than the one where he cut his MLS coaching teeth?
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Redcoat Rumble"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
TORONTO: Julian de Guzman, Jeremy Hall, Danny Koevermans
NEW ENGLAND: Shalrie Joseph, Sainey Nyassi, Matt Reis
 
THE ODDS:
In a marketing twist MLSE may consider turning the recent bad press into their "street cred" favour by adjusting the club's nickname to:
- "The Crooks": 3-1
- "The Perps": 5-1
- Deportivo Escobar": 10-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
While some of the aftershocks of "The Escobar Three" arrests in Houston have died down, owners MLSE are still reeling from the bad press while trying to solve the PR crisis. The arrests were one of the darkest moments for the sports properties that live under the MLSE umbrella. Bad press like what was seen this week was only matched by the 1998 case of the Maple Leafs' Mike Foligno and Lou Franceschetti's counterfeit pasta ring; the busted cock fighting syndicate that was organized by the Raptors' Oliver Miller and Zan Tabak; and of course, the infamous arrest of corporate mascot Carlton The Bear after trashing his Royal York suite following a 3-day hookers and blow meltdown. Also - anything that Tom Anselmi has done.
 
POST-MATCH HEADLINE: "SADNESS AS NEW ENGLAND FALL TO ITALY ON PENALTY KICKS"
 
And... if you haven't pre-ordered already, steal some money for TFC's new alternate "Going Away" kit. Yorkie bigwig @ignirtoq (follow him on the Twitter why don't you?) was in his sweatshop all night doing these...

Get 'em while they're hot. In the street sense.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

AFTER 90: A bit of a brawl

Aceval, Soolsma and Silva head back to Toronto
 
THE BUZZ:
Can TFC put their crime spree behind them?
Will the distractions be the latest excuse for the club's form?
Did Mariner want a Plymouth Argyle but got a Plymouth Sundance?
Will the three DP's finally carry the club?
Are "The Escobar Three" on the verge of release?
Is Joao Plata heading back to Ecuador?
Does Houston's new stadium look fat in orange?
 
FIRST HALF:
13' - GOAL: Toronto - Jeremy Hall
HOUSTON 0 - TORONTO 1
20' - GOAL: Houston - Bobby Boswell
HOUSTON 1 - TORONTO 1
22' - GOAL: Toronto - Danny Koevermans
HOUSTON 1 - TORONTO 2
45'+ - GOAL: Toronto - Danny Koevermans
HOUSTON 1 - TORONTO 3
 
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: Three of them for once
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Very briefly pining for Andy Iro
 
HALFTIME: HOUSTON 1 - TORONTO 3
 
SECOND HALF:
47' - YELLOW CARD: Torsten Frings
73' - GOAL: Houston - Will Bruin
HOUSTON 2 - TORONTO 3
81' - SUB: Reggie Lambe on for Julian de Guzman
83' - YELLOW CARD: Ashtone Morgan
90' - GOAL: Houston - Will Bruin
HOUSTON 3 - TORONTO 3
90' + - SUB: Dicoy Williams on for Danny Koevermans
 
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Battling like it was Club Escobar
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: The 90th minute dagger by a guy we could have drafted but got Nathan Sturgis instead
 
FULL TIME: HOUSTON 3 - TORONTO 3
 
PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 6.5 / Jeremy Hall 6 / Richard Eckersley 6 / Doneil Henry 5 / Ashtone Morgan 5 / Eric Avila 6 / Julian de Guzman 6.5 (Reggie Lambe N/A ) / Torsten Frings 5 / Terry Dunfield 6.5 / Ryan Johnson 5.5 / Danny Koevermans 7 (Dicoy Williams N/A)
 
THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Danny Koevermans
 
THE MOOD:
It sounds like a hackneyed wisecrack after the week that was but the silver lining on tonight's somewhat disappointing match was fight. Most supporters had foreseen a major letdown after the embarrassing week the club suffered but TFC pushed hard, especially in the first half, and were rewarded with what seemed like a commanding lead. Even as that lead slowly dissipated, we can't fault the effort in attempting to preserve a win - it was simply the talent chasm that caught up to them.
 
It's not all "good job boys" tonight though as the loss of a two-goal lead is rather damning. Paul Mariner, whose tactics were being lauded by many, may have erred in the substitution of Julian "B" Guzman who has been a bit of a midfield general of late. After his departure the team lost shape and form and Houston's goals followed. Of course the biggest problem is STILL the same problem since 2007. A porous defence missing a commanding centreback and another striker. How it takes six years to solve that is preposterous. In the end, many Reds' supporters will take temporary solace in their team that brawled to the end... for the right reasons.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Arrested development

"Dr. Tobias Funke... I'm Nick Soolsma's analrapist..."

HOUSTON VS. TORONTO
 
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM - WEDNESDAY 9PM ET
TV: TSN
 
THE KICKABOUT:
How much worse can it get? If the 1-10 record, manager merry-go-round and fourth five-year-plan wasn't enough for you - now TFC has a gang of vicious criminals in their midst. As most of you know by now, the criminal gang known as "The Escobar Three" (Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva and Nick Soolsma) are on the loose! Well... loose within the club thanks to Moneybags de Guzman bailing them out. What happens next to these evildoers is yet to be determined but will no doubt be accompanied by yet another "riveting" official statement from the club to put fans' minds at ease.
 
Now honestly, in the grand scheme of things, three drunken Reds is only the icing on football's crappiest cake. While the story has terrible optics, those would be lessened if TFC wasn't a giant mess in every other facet. How will the club respond on the pitch in Houston? Who knows? A united squad would overcome this and band together - but, TFC may well use it as yet another new excuse to pardon their play. Paul Mariner - welcome to your new Plymouth.
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Shawshank Redemption"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
HOUSTON: Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Macoumba Kandji
TORONTO: Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva, Nick Soolsma
 
THE ODDS:
- Dynamo co-owner Oscar De La Hoya challenging Aceval, Silva and Soolsma to a halftime brawl: 10-1
- Toronto FC desperately trying to sign the Houston cop that outran Luis Silva: 20-1
- "The Escobar Three" released by the club due to behaviour - Frings and Koevermans immediately rob a Texas bank just to get out of their TFC contracts: 30-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
After TFC/MLSE's less than confident "official statement" over yesterday's crime wave, they will apparently try to soothe TFC supporters' anger with another inspired release later today with wording as such:

"We are aware of the fact that we have utterly destroyed what could have become one of the league's best clubs. We are presently constructing a new five-year-plan as we continue to investigate and obliterate all remaining interest in Toronto FC. As such, the team will not provide further comment until Tom Anselmi's next press conference regarding new manager Jim Brennan.

P.S: "Support the Troops!"
P.S.S. "OMG its Liverpool!!!"
P.S.S.S. Season tickets are going up by 15%


POST-MATCH HEADLINE: "ARRESTED TFC PLAYERS RELEASED - TFC SUPPORTERS STUCK WITH LIFE SENTENCE"

And... major bonus points to anyone at BMO Field who sings part of this song on Saturday...

Monday, June 18, 2012

TFC solidify place as league's most embarrassing club

"Free The Escobar Three!" Or not. Whatever.

"Things can only get better right?" This was a common refrain a couple of weeks ago after the Aron Winter dismissal. It was the genuine belief of many Toronto FC supporters that the on-field disgrace that is TFC must surely be due for an upswing. Well, whether Paul Mariner can change the results are yet to be seen but in the meantime, a trio of your FC'ers did their best to embarrass anyone attached with the club even further.
 
Following a bar brawl at Houston's "Club Escobar" (seriously, the hint is in the name!), three Reds - Nick Soolsma, Miguel Aceval and Luis Silva were arrested for "public intoxication" and jailed. During the arrest one of the players even tried to run away - which obviously wasn't Aceval. There has been no official word yet from the club or the league about the legal and/or contract status of the players but being as this was in Texas, the crime is punishable by the electric chair.
 
In all seriousness, this is a black eye that this club does not need. The ridiculous ownership has created a laughing stock club which definitely didn't need any help from their own players becoming a public disgrace. In all judicial fairness - it is too early to judge the players... legally speaking. But, in the realm of public opinion and relations - the damage has been done. Once again at the end of the day it is poor TFC supporters who must once again hear the chuckles of derision from every other club in the league. If Danny Koevermans hasn't said this already... "the most embarrassing team in the world".

Luis Silva's mugshot... post-Texan prison look

THE STARTING 11: Special features during Toronto FC's "Support The Troops Day"

Paul Mariner. Next Saturday.

If you are attending next Saturday's match versus New England at BMO Field you may notice fatigues. No, not the fatigue of supporting TFC but military fatigues as MLSE has designated the match as a "Support The Troops" day - a feature they have tried with their two other stellar professional clubs. Now it's up to you if you want to see this as a genuine thanks to the hard-working Canadian military - or as a cynical bathing of MLSE's brand, in order to deflect criticism, through the feigned wrapping of themselves in Canadian patriotism (see the Conservative Party of Canada) - your call. Either way, there will be a whole host of military personnel and their families on hand because... how better to celebrate Canadian Defences than by forcing them to watch a team that can't defend? As part of the day, there will be a few extra features to distract your fatigue(s)...
 
11. Promotional T-Shirt cannon... an actual cannon
 
10. Paul Mariner to dress as 19th Century British officer
 
9. TFC to be camouflaged... as a competitive team
 
8. Tom Anselmi's football credentials to remain A.W.O.L.
 
7. World War II veterans in attendance allowed to call Torsten Frings "that bloody Jerry!"
 
6. Adrian Cann to sing "In The Navy" at Halftime
 
5. Reds to honour The War of 1812 by losing 18-12
 
4. Supporters to aim 21-gun salute at MLSE corporate suite
 
3. Jim Brennan to dye soul patch khaki
 
2. In a salute to Canada's fine armoured divisions - TFC to tank
 
1. Ship Buttys
 

And... since Adrian Cann sounds a bit like Grover and the ownership are a bunch of muppets...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

AFTER 90: New dawn... same evening

The future isn't that bright Paul.

THE BUZZ:
Can this finally be the real "The New Beginning" (TM)?
Is the 4-4-2 set to make its TFC return?
Is TFC more Plymouth Argyle 1970's or 2000's?
Will de Guzman find a permanent place in Mariner's doghouse?
Can Jacob Peterson quietly hiss through the Canadian anthem?
Push. Run. Or, push-and-run? Discuss.
Is Livestrong Sporting Park on the juice?

FIRST HALF:
18' - GOAL: Sporting KC - C.J. Sapong
SPORTING KC 1 - TORONTO 0
35' - GOAL: Sporting KC - Julio Cesar
SPORTING KC 2 - TORONTO 0
 
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: Any moment TFC didn't try and defend
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Eric Avila playing pinball instead of scoring
 
HALFTIME: SPORTING KC 2 - TORONTO 0

SECOND HALF:
46' - SUB: Ashtone Morgan on for Adrian Cann
55' - YELLOW CARD: Reggie Lambe
62' - SUB: Luis Silva on for Eric Avila
62' - SUB: Julian de Guzman on for Reggie Lambe
77' - YELLOW CARD: Ryan Johnson

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Captain America Jacob Peterson writhing
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: Paul Mariner telling the home audience that the First Half really wasn't all that bad

FULL TIME: SPORTING KC 2 - TORONTO 0

PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 6 / Richard Eckersley 6 / Adrian Cann 5.5 (Ashtone Morgan 6) / Doneil Henry 5 / Jeremy Hall 5 / Reggie Lambe 5.5 (Julian de Guzman 5) / Terry Dunfield 6 / Torsten Frings 5.5 / Eric Avila 6 (Luis Silva 6.5) / Danny Koevermans 5.5 / Ryan Johnson 5

THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Really? Hmpf... Eric Avila?

THE MOOD:
Yes, we will preface this by saying it's the first match under a new manager. But boy... fuggo. Toronto FC, breakers of all kinds of futile records also become one of the few teams to not get any kind of "new coach bump". Flat and on their heels from the opening whistle, The Reds were simply never in this match. Do not be fooled by a slightly better second half - the superior SKC had taken their foot off the gas. From the bewildered defence, the unimaginative midfield and up to the misfiring forwards - nothing clicked for The Reds.

Again, we aren't painting any "MARINER OUT" banners but 100% of the abused TFC supporters tuning into Kool-Aid TV (aka Gol TV) tonight expected to see heart and effort. They got little. Three DP's who look entirely done with this club surrounded by a group of kids and misfits leads to thoughts of blowing up the roster (again) and the dawn of 5 Year Plan IV. To us, the insult to injury was Paul Mariner telling us newb soccer fans that things weren't so bad and trotting out the eternal "bad luck". We deserve better than that Paul. We deserve better than this MLSE. But you've heard that before haven't you Tom... sorry to disturb you.


Friday, June 15, 2012

THE MATCHUP: A New Beginning (TM) 7.0

"Everyone loves MarinerLand"

SPORTING KC VS. TORONTO
 
LIVESTRONG SPORTING PARK - SATURDAY 8:30PM ET
TV: GOL TV ----RADIO: THE FAN 590
 
THE KICKABOUT:
This time they're serious! For the seventh time since 2007, Toronto FC embark on a "fresh start" under a new manager - this time with ex-England International (and ex-New England International) Paul Mariner. The blunt and verbally entertaining Mariner made his much publicized takeover from the departed Aron Winter eight days ago and has spent the international break introducing "minor tweaks" to the TFC line-up. The New Beginning (TM) will likely see a return to a push-and-run 4-4-2 style with a system (that may "annoy the piss out of" Mariner) tailored to the existing squad.
 
Unfortunately for the nautical-themed manager, he would have likely picked any stadium apart from Kansas City's Livestrong to make his debut. Visiting the (ex) Wizards while in search of new courage, heart and brains is not ideal as Sporting are very strong at home with a 5-1-0 record in the Midwest in 2012. With players returning from the international scene and blending with his new staff (including assistant coach Jim Brennan... who would be the "Sub-Mariner"), the manager's new regime may try different things but see similar results in the foreseeable future.
 
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Sporting Chancer"
 
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
SPORTING KC: Teal Bunbury, Bobby Convey, Jimmy Nielsen
TORONTO: Richard Eckersley, Danny Koevermans, Milos Kocic
 
THE ODDS:
- Jacob Peterson fully supporting Jonathan de Guzman's latest anti-Canada stance: 2-1
- Teal Bunbury fully supporting Jonathan de Guzman's latest anti-Canada stance: 3-1
- Peterson and Bunbury booing the Canadian national anthem: 10-1
 
WHO ARE YA?
The doping scandal that re-emerged this week around Lance Armstrong has not left the stadium named after his organization, Livestrong, without blemishes of its own. The MLS stadium is under investigation by international doping agencies due to a number of irregularities. According to investigators, the seats at Livestrong Sporting Park have suddenly grown in size by 25%; matches have lasted noticeably longer in 2012; the atmosphere at the stadium tends to fly off into sudden rages; and, match balls have visibly shrunk in size. If found guilty, the stadium would miss the next Stadia Olympics and have to hand back all architectural awards. A sample of the stadium's drainage water was sent to Geneva for testing.
 
POST-MATCH HEADLINE: "REDS LOSE AGAIN - ANSELMI CALLS 2PM PRESS CONFERENCE"
 
And, since it's Friday and we could all use a distraction... here's a preview of the new TFC comic book featuring the assistant coach....



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Canada v Honduras... Or isn't that racist?

 If you recognize this as 'not the Honduran flag' then you may appreciate the madness below.

What promised to be the usual weather bullshit that Toronto supporters have been accustomed to, turned out to be beautiful with a nice breeze.  Nice change.

Canada stole the points from Cuba last week while most of the country was hooked on some other tournament.  Whatever. Past is the past.

Honduras did the unthinkable and lost to Panama.  Up is down. Left is right. Steak is some tofu thing.  Tonight is a crap shoot.

On to the match!

4' - deGoo takes his contractual long rang attempt to injure someone in the upper stands and gets the target, less the injury.

They all look alike.
~ Ro on opposition supporters.

Which leads us to our newest and controversial feature...

Borderline Racist Quotes Heard Around the Ground.

18' - DeRo has a go from 20 yards out and just flies over the bar.

19' - Occean draws a foul just outside of the box.  Ensuing DeRo free kick takes flight over the bar.

You dive like El Salvador 
~ Tony

24' - YELLOW - McKenna for a bullshit call on a tackle.

Is this the time they start cheating?
No. They usually start cheating 25 minutes ago.
~ Julian and Me

Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua in disguise!
Nicaragua in disguise.
~ group effort

You can sit where you want, as long as you're not wearing a Honduras shirt.  You don't belong.
~ woman in front to a new supporter on
the south end seating arrangements

OooooooooOOOOOENCHELADA!
~Me on a keeper goal kick

HonDouches.
~ Tony

Tegucigalpa
It sounds made up
Tegucigalpa
Sounds made up
Shouldn't it be
Honduras City
Tegucigalpa sounds made up
~ Me to the tune of  "When the Saints Go Marching In"

Everybody knows Hondurans like shallow graves.
- Tony in response to 'dig a hole and bury him' chants

45' - YELLOW - Occean called on a dive. He dove.

Tamales? I thought cheating was their specialty?
- Julian after learning about Honduran culinary delights


Half time we discovered that Barenaked Ladies' bassist Jim Creegan is sitting behind us.  (Gordon is still an awesome album.)


70' - SUB - Legerwood makes way for Ricketts

Gheri curls are not aerodynamic.
~ Tony

If you forget his name, you make Jah angry
~ Jon on remembering Kyle Beckerman

The north stand has grown, look.
One moves in...
... And there goes the neighbourhood
It used to be so quiet.
Season ticket prices are plummeting.
~ Me and Tony revisiting really bad
old stereotypes

84' - SUB - Hume comes on for Occean

88' - SUB - Jackson comes on for a hurt Hutchinson

4 mins of extra time

Full time: Canada 0, Honduras 0

Stephen Hart sure took his time in making substitutions as Occean and Hutchinson could have made way 20 minutes earlier, giving the fresh strikers a chance to be a part of the game... Man of the Match has to go to Edgar who was everywhere and looked good doing it... the Hondurans did a much better job of containing DeRo than their American counterparts as he threatened early and didn't do much the remainder of the game... this match was mostly Canada control.  Shame that there was no victory.

For those of you who took offense to the "borderline racist" bit, it wasn't meant to be racist.  We were making up new bad stereotypes, applying older long-standing stereotypes, and my personal favourite, crap geography jokes.  None of us are remotely racist and, though we are genuinely annoyed at the volume of opposition supporters, have nothing against Hondurans.  No Hondurans were harmed in the making of this post.

We hope.

Monday, June 11, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Aron Winter regrets

Not Aron's best look...

By all accounts, Aron Winter was a very bright football mind - and more importantly, a true gent. Things just didn't go the way he wanted, or we wanted for that matter, at Toronto FC. Whether the lion's share of the blame lies with Winter, with the toxic TFC Front Office or a combination of both - we'll never likely know. In the end however, it is the affable Dutchman heading back to The Netherlands with a job unfinished and no doubt more than one (probably eleven) regrets...
 
11. The whole skinny pink tie phase
 
10. Not talking to John Carver before taking the job... or Chris Cummins... or Preki... or Nick Dasovic
 
9. Letting Bob de Klerk give team talks while doing his "hilarious" Rutger Hauer impression
 
8. That the next season of "So You Think You Can Dance Canada" will no longer get to experience his "Total FunkBall DanceKrew"
 
7. Not unleashing the full force of Ty Harden on opponents
 
6. Never taking the time to visit Ajax, Ontario
 
5. Always saying "there's always tomorrow" to try his first chip butty
 
4. The warm milk at halftime
 
3. Not punching Jim Brennan in the soul patch
 
2. Not slowing down and taking the time to experience the wonders of downtown Columbus, Ohio
 
1. Believing a word that came out of Tom Anselmi's mouth

Friday, June 8, 2012

End of Winter leaves a flurry of questions

Goodbye sweet pun-maker.

As a warning, this article will leave you with far more questions than answers but a day after Aron Winter's "mutually agreed" departure from Toronto FC - we can't help but being left with many queries. The Dutchman's tenure, which started with such excitement upon his arrival, never gained enough momentum to build upon the small successes until it reached a point where the club's record made his dismissal inevitable. There were random bright spots which many thought would usher in a new era of success but most turned out to be false dawns. Why Aron Winter, by all accounts a very bright football mind, couldn't find the answer to bringing winning football to Toronto FC will likely be debated at length but for now, we are dogged with these few questions...
 
DID ARON WINTER FULLY "GET" MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER?
It's a funny league, this MLS. In simplistic terms it is mostly a push-and-run type league played at a pace and ferocity not too unlike the lower portion of the English Championship. While there are dashes of highly skilled and technical play on some of the clubs, the winning formula usually comes down to pace, athleticism and hard-nosed defending. However, apart from style comes the necessity to understand how to build your squad within MLS' very unique squad structures. With the salary cap and international restrictions hampering a new coach's choices, did Aron Winter ever get his head around the fact that he needed to use existing MLS talent as part of his rebuild? Few MLS clubs have met success without having a few established MLS "stars" in their starting eleven.
 
WAS "TOTAL FOOTBALL" TO AMBITIOUS FOR MLS?
While he never referred to his chosen "Dutch-style" as "Total Football" it was an easy way for the lay-person to get their head around Winter's plans. One has to wonder in hindsight though - did Winter try to run in this league before he could walk? While the idea of bringing the Ajax structure to Toronto, from our youngest Academy players up to the First Team, was one that had Reds' fans dreaming of a North American superclub - was it perhaps naive? Did Winter need a transitional system to usher in his complete system that could have seen a few more instant results while the bigger picture was gradually brought in?
 
WAS WINTER TOO STUBBORN?
This was a criticism held in many circles. Despite loss after loss and a full 2011 season that only saw six league victories, Winter doggedly stuck to his 4-3-3 formation. While you can almost credit the man for having such conviction in his beliefs, there were many times that the squad on the field simply couldn't handle the responsibility and high football IQ needed to effectively play that style. If Winter could have found a little flexibility in his tactics would he still be manager today?
 
WAS ORIGINALLY HIRING PAUL MARINER A RECIPE FOR DISASTER?
"One of these men just doesn't belong..." seemed to be the tune associated with the picture of Winter, Bob de Klerk and Paul Mariner when they were hired together. While Mariner seemed to be "the MLS mind" put in place to help the two league newbies wade through North America, just how well could they mesh? As far as footballing backgrounds go, two men reared in Ajax philosophy couldn't be further from a man who played in the long-ball era of English football and got his coaching chops in North America and Football League One. Was this a triumvirate that could never truly see eye-to-eye?
 
WAS THERE A POWER STRUGGLE?
TFC is run like a secret society so these questions will never be answered for certain but there seemed to be enough rumours being leaked to believe fractures had formed in the front office. As results and success continued to elude the club, was there a philosophical borderline drawn at BMO Field? Were there indeed two sides, one continuing to push for the Dutch system implementation with the other calling for a return to a more tried and tested "MLS style"? If this was the case, could success ever have been achieved by Winter?
 
WAS WINTER BLOCKED FROM MAKING MOVES?
One of the biggest side rumours that came out of the above mentioned rift was that Aron Winter was being stymied when it came to making player moves. Rumours swirled recently that Earl Cochrane still had a great deal of influence over transactions (and the backing of Tom Anselmi), and as an acolyte of the "MLS style", was making it difficult for Aron Winter to bring in players that would suit his tactics. If it is true that the club is pushed up against the salary cap as much as expected then there wouldn't be too much that Cochrane or anyone else could do to make things more difficult, however, any scenario which didn't see all members of the backroom staff pulling in the same direction would surely be a toxic environment.
 
DID THE DP SIGNINGS RAISE EXPECTATIONS TOO HIGH?
While few would find fault in adding players like Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans to the squad - did their presence (and salary) change what was expected from Aron Winter in the eyes of fans and the ownership? Winter let it slip once in the off-season that the playoffs in 2012 were no certainty but when you add two expensive players with little peak time left in their careers, isn't there a feeling that immediate results should be forthcoming? It certainly mustn’t be easy for a player with a winning pedigree like Torsten Frings to see his career peter out in such circumstances but did having him on the team put expectations of immediate success on a timetable that was quicker than Winter could handle?
 
WAS THE JIM BRENNAN MOVE MADE TO NUDGE WINTER OUT?
When the vastly under experienced Jim Brennan was placed into to Assistant Coach's role a few weeks back, many TFC fans saw a much darker Machiavellian maneuver. Not only was a well-known "company man" being put into the # 2 role on the bench but it was also in the place of Aron Winter's friend and confidante Bob de Klerk. It is impossible to say if there was a souring of relations between Winter and de Klerk since that move was made but it must have put Winter in a very uncomfortable position. But was that the point? Did the ownership - so weary of the bad optics of firing another coach - want Winter to get so frustrated that he would walk on his own thus leaving Anselmi & Co. with no blood on their hands?
 
WHAT DID MLSE EXPECT BY NOW?
Amidst the smug platitudes dished out by Tom Anselmi at yesterday's press conference was the admission that things were "not good enough". Few TFC supporters would argue that things were even close to great but what did the owners want as of June 2012? Did they believe that four previous years of stunning mismanagement allowed under their watch would be erased in a year and a half? While most of us would have liked TFC to be in the playoff hunt this year, many also saw that it was an outside shot. No one here will overestimate MLSE's utter lack of football knowledge sat around their luxurious boardrooms but did they truly believe "this was the year"? Considering that their near-playoff appearance (mistakenly said to be in 2007 under John Carver!!!) was trotted out as a sign that "things aren't so bad" you can't think that their aims were sky-high - or was it the ever decreasing crowds (and revenues) that led them to wanting to appear "proactive"?
 
WAS WINTER'S DISMISSAL TOO QUICK?
A little bit of success under new manager Paul Mariner will erase lingering frustration with Aron Winter over time but we will never know if the Dutchman's grand dream could have ever worked. Yes, his time here left a legacy of greater importance on the Academy and homegrown players but whether or not we could have seen TFC playing "beautiful" Dutch-style football in MLS is lost. His firing is not unjustified - few managers in football would have survived a 0-5 start let alone a 0-9. However, it's hard not to believe that Aron Winter truly felt that he would be given, at the very least, his full three years to make his dream a reality. At the end of the day there were not enough signs that pointed to things heading in that direction. As TFC looks set to return to a more tested North American style, the one last question we may have when we one day look back on Aron Winter's tenure as TFC manager could be "what if"?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Winter out as Toronto FC fails to fire Tom Anselmi for sixth year running

"The Teflon Tom"

There was a great temptation today to go back and simply re-post whatever it was that we wrote when Mo Johnston "moved upstairs", John Carver "stepped down", Chris Cummins was axed, Preki was sacked and Nick Dasovic was tossed aside. We could have done that - but pressing "Ignore" in spellcheck every time "Anselmi" popped up would have been exhausting. So, instead of adding to the large amount of analysis that will surround Aron Winter's "resignation" today, we will honour the one mainstay of the past six years, Tom Anselmi, by just breaking today down into easy to digest press conference tidbits. Some are true, some maybe not-so-much but all have about the same value. For those of you expecting some longer deep analysis... maybe next August when new head coach Paul Mariner is fired we'll give it another go.
 
- Aron Winter "resigned" today despite being offered an opportunity to stay with TFC
- The job offered to Winter involved a Swiffer WetJet
- Winter and Tom Anselmi "mutually agreed" that it was best for the Dutchman to step down
- Despite being classy, Winter had a league record of 7-20-15
- Paul Mariner takes over the head coaching duties immediately
- Jim Brennan texts Anselmi "WTF! I thought we had a deal?"
- Tom Anselmi claims that team record was "not good enough"
- Tom Anselmi was in a sleep chamber for the last three months
- Mariner proclaims that existing players "good enough"
- Mariner refuses to say what they are "good enough" for
- Aron Winter actually left team to start boy band "The 5ive Year Planz" with Carver, Cummins, Dasovic and Preki
- Mariner backs away from Winter's preferred 4-3-3 formation - adds that "talk of systems annoys the piss out of him"
- Season ticket holders chomping at the bit to tell ticket reps that the ML$E circus "annoys the piss out of them"
- Bob de Klerk invented Dub Step
- Anselmi claims "the buck stops with him" but passes the buck quickly every time the media asks him a tough question
- Anselmi tells fans "not to see it as losing a head coach but more like gaining a future ex-coach"
- Club to play attractive "Total Plymouth Argyle" style
- Mariner says he is "very confident in his abilities"
- Hey! Liverpool are coming!
- Playoffs are very unlikely in 2012
- "Caribbean Carnival Night!"
- Six years, seven coaches...
- "Oktoberfest at BMO Field!"
- One of the few remaining employees from TFC Day One is still holding press conferences
- "Support The Troops?"
- Anselmi ends the conference by being carried out in a gold carriage while being fed grapes... waves hand with a flamboyant flourish and says "See you same time next year valued customers!"
 
We will have more in the coming days about the "End of Winter" but for now, if you want to re-live six other "Major TFC Announcements" go here. Or just wait until next summer. It's your call.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CHANTS ON GOAL: "I gotta hear more Bermuda Triangle!"

"There's only one cure..."

Welcome back to our sing-along depot where we try to unleash TFC supporters' inner BMO Field Idol. After witnessing the spontaneous, wildfire popularity of the "Where is Waldo?" chant at the Canada v USA match, we know you have an ear for some new tunes. With that we bring you a few more dittys for you to try out at the oppportune TFC moment. Now... from the diaphragm...
 
Enjoying the agile play of our young winger Reggie Lambe? Do you miss when Michael Jackson could light up pavement? Moonwalk to this...
 
REGGIE LAMBE (IS NOT MY LOVER)
(to the tune of "Billie Jean")

Reggie Lambe is from Bermuda
He's just a kid,
But makes defenders look slow
Thanks Ipswich for letting him go


 
Is it just one of those days at BMO Field? Did the Reds just miss (another) chance at goal and make you wonder why you showed up? Whistle away...
 
DON'T WORRY, TFC HAPPY
(to the tune of "Don't Worry, Be Happy)

Here's a club I pay to see
Sometimes so bad, should be free
Don't worry
Be happy
 
Johnson looked like a sure bet
Took a shot and missed the net
Don't worry
Be happy
 
(Feel free to replace "Johnson" with the name of whomever just missed a sitter)


 
Are the Whitecaps in town again? Are they still going on about Voyageurs Cup conspiracy theories? Make it rain...
 
CAPS FOR THE CUP (to the tune of "Blame it on the Rain")

Blame it on the rain, (not Eric Hassli)
Blame it on the ref, (not lack of fight)
Whatever you do, don’t blame those Cups on you
Blame it on the rain, yeah, yeah


 
Got a song or a chant you tthink TFC supporters need to hear? Email it to us at theyorkies1812@gmail.com or send us the idea on Twitter @theyorkies1812 and we may feature it in a future "Chants on Goal"