The Yorkies' Regular Features

Starting 11       The Word       The Matchup       After 90       The South Stand Report

Friday, August 22, 2014

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


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

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

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


*Possibly
**Maybe

Thursday, August 21, 2014

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Toronto FC-related CNE Attractions

Also how TFC chooses managers

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

11. Ol' Gil's Wolf Steaks

10. The House of 2015 Season Ticket Increase Horrors

9. Julio Cesar practicing alone in a field

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

7. The Jeremy Hall of Mirrors

6. Timmy B's Allocation Casino

5. Bradley Orr head butts The Superdogs

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

3. Collin Samuel judges/eats the butter sculptures

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

1. Club Excobar

Sunday, August 17, 2014

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

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

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

17 - GOAL - Dwyer converts
REFS 1, ROBINS 0

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

32 - GOAL - Dwyer converts
REFS 2, ROBINS 0

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

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

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

74 - SUB - Oduro off for Lovitz

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

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

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

83 - SUB - Bradley off for Bekker

FULL TIME : KANSAS CITY 4, TORONTO 1

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE MATCHUP: We could be Royals


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

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

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

Monday, August 11, 2014

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

The most hipster club of all time.

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

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

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

9. Kraftwerk to play halftime at MLS Cup

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

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

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

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

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

3. Ribery to Chivas USA

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

1. France has surrendered to Major League Soccer


Saturday, August 9, 2014

AFTER 90: Big Gulp

From Ohio With Love

COLUMBUS VS. TORONTO
CREW STADIUM

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

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

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

HALFTIME: COLUMBUS 1 - TORONTO 1

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

.

.

.

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

.

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

61' - SUB: Dominic Oduro OFF / Jackson ON

.

.

.

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

.

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

.

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

.

.

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

FULL TIME: COLUMBUS 2 - TORONTO 3

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

THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH:
Michael Bradley

Friday, August 8, 2014

THE MATCHUP: It's a Crew, Crew Summer


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

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"The New Soft"

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

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

 
*Maybe
** Possibly

Monday, August 4, 2014

THE STARTING 11: TFC-related roadside attractions on Highway 401

"No Maxim, no!"

The "401 Derby" between TFC and Montreal Impact is not only one of MLS' most fierce rivalries but also one with a heavy flow of supporter traffic between the two cities. Connecting Toronto and Montreal is of course the mighty Highway 401 (and then something called an Autoroute 20 in Quebec). Along the rather mundane journey are a few spots of interest: "The Big Apple" near Colborne, a short detour to Jungle Cat World in Orono; and, that mystery smell near Cornwall. However, if the keen TFC supporter keeps an eye out, they will find a few spots with great relevance to their beloved club...

11. "The Issey Nakajima-Farran Inhumanity Memorial"

10. A 40-foot tall Greg Sutton goalkeeper's glove

9. The spot just outside of Bowmanville where the TFC bus pulled over to let Danleigh Borman pee in the woods only to drive off without him on purpose

8. The rural barn which Chad Barrett could infamously not hit the side of

7. The massive pothole in the express lane where Maxim Usanov punched the Highway 401

6. The curb where Mikael Yourassowsky used to is still trying to hitch a ride back to Belgium

5. "The Maurice Johnston On-Ramp to Nowhere"

4. Every bridge that crosses to the USA where Jacob Peterson used to try and escape the team bus and run across to freedom

3. The Thousand Islands / The place where Collin Samuel drank a bottle of Thousand Islands salad dressing

2. Prescott, Ontario's infamous nightspot "Club Prescobar"

1. The Official Town of MLSE: Port Hope


Sunday, August 3, 2014

LE RAPPORT DE STADE SUD - Montreal v Toronto... or At Least I Didn't Take The Train (and no one was hurt)


As I am kitted out, ready to depart my gracious hosts for this derby,  I can't help but think "what the hell am I doing here?!?" I'm still a bit sore, it took way too long to get out of the GTA, it's kinda warm, and we still have to battle Montreal traffic to get to Stade Fromage. I know Montreal is crap looking upwards and our beloved Robins are on the brink of a tumble downwards, but when haven't they been. Amirite?

Onto the match:

10 - GOAL - Gilberto with a cracker fired from 15 yards dead centre of goal. Magic!
ROBINS 1, FROMAGE 0

54 - GOAL - Oduro out-paces his marker, in on goal from 30 yds. out, almost takes too many touches as Perkins gets some of his chip,  but as it's trickling toward the goal line,  Luke Moore wins the race and lunges the ball over the line. The tourists rejoice.
ROBINS 2, FROMAGE 0

73 - SUB - Jackson comes in for Oduro

73 - SUB - Henry's shorts come off for a new pair of shorts.  Seriously.

80 - SUB - Warner off for Bekker

82 - Hagglund heads it off the bar from just in front of goal,  on the rebound Jackson has a go but stopped by a desperate defender's lunge.  Ensuing corner has a beautiful Gilberto curling shot just bend around the far post.

89 - SUB - Lovitz comes in for Gilberto.

4 mins of extra time

FULL TIME : TORONTO 2, MONTREAL O

90+8 - Oh yeah, we are still being penned off. This is clearly for everyone's safety

90±12 - no problem selling beer to the section up until the 75th minute, but there's an issue with one lone person needing to rid their body of the beer. Makes sense.

90+15 - guy in a leather hat makes his escape, and all security can do is get in the way of letting him leave it appears.  Now leather hat guy is hopping over the railing to circumvent the lone security guard in his way.

90+21 - someone in traveling support has lit a fire in the stands.  Of course, because that's just what you do.

90+28 - OK now we can leave our seats and for some of us, pee

90+31 - of course we can't leave the way we entered the ground. Sure, let's leave by this other new and exciting way.

90+34 - oh look, this is where the players leave from. @kzknowles gets her shirt autographed. Find out by whom next Vocal Minority Podcast!

90+38 - underground parking. We will be out of here in no ti... 

90+44 - This isn't our lot. OK how do we get out of here

90+49 - exiting B underground lot. Of course we didn't park here.

90+52 - "oh this looks like the way we came" said many characters in a horror film

90+55 - man the Big O is super creepy when it appears that you are one of the last humans around for miles.

90+63 - no seriously, where's our lot? I tell my friend to text his wife and to tell her that he loves her, just in case we can't make it back alive.

90+68 - oh a sign... What do you mean there's underground parking lots of A1, A2, A3 and A4? No wonder locals resent this place. 

90+71 - this looks like parking but how does one get in

90+73 - here's an entrance. Playing "Marco Polo" with the car lock button on my key and I can hear it but I can't see it yet... Found it. We are going to live!

Man of the Match : I liked what the new kid was doing so Warren Creavalle gets it

Goat of the Game : not applicable

Ref Rating : 4 out of 5. Not bad at all

Kit Spotting : a family of Gremio kits should have won but a traveling supporter has Ruiz on his back so that's a lock

I Am Not The Gaffer But... : I would have made the first substitute earlier, taken Osorio off for Lovitz but well played so no issues here

If You PVR'd It : not a classic but watch the Gilberto goal again.  And then one more time.

I kinda feel bad for Jack Mac & Ernie.  Last season they were the super hot sensations in Philly and now they're struggling on a terrible Impact side. Hope they regain their form soon... What is Oduro thinking? On Wednesday, he took a pile of terrible shots from terrible angles and tonight he tries to lay it off on a 25 yard breakaway. The pass got through but I'd be surprised to think that anyone would have been upset to see him shoot... Why don't we have a song for Doneil Henry yet?

Player Ratings : Bendik 7, Creavalle 7.5, Hagglund 7, Henry 7, Morrow 6.5, Oduro 6.5 [Jackson N/A], Bradley 7, Warner 6.5 [Bekker N/A], Osorio 6, Gilberto 7 [Lovitz N/A], Moore 7