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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Filibusted


D.C. UNITED VS. TORONTO FC
RFK STADIUM

Due to technical difficulties/those fat cats down in the capital, THE MATCHUP did not appear prior to this match. The Yorkies apologize for this indiscretion and have written a terse letter to all applicable MP's, MPP's, Senators, House Members, Whigs, Politburos, policy wonks and both right-wing and socialist lobbyists to rectify this misdeed. Regular programming will return tomorrow.

We are The Yorkies and we approve this message.

TOO LATE TO BE "THE MATCHUP"

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"The Crack Mayor Derby"

A few facts* and stats** we missed pre-match:
- Washington D.C. and Toronto shared this year's United Nations prize for "Big Dumb City Most Likely to Re-Elect a Crackhead Mayor"
- 372: Number of matches worldwide today between a "United" and a plain old "FC"
- 1: Letter left off a D.C. United supporter’s tifo to make it awesomely read "CREAMING EAGLES"
- 18: Number of years D.C. has been rocking MLS' most righteous kit.


* Maybe; **Possibly

NOT NECESSARILY "AFTER 90"

FINAL SCORE: D.C. UNITED 3 - TORONTO FC 0

THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH:
Too fugly. Everyone gets the goat.

Monday, July 28, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Wasted puns due to Sporting Kansas City's re-branding

Wait for it...

From a football league point of view, we think the re-branding job done by Saturday's opponent Sporting Kansas City was aces. Any time a MLS club shakes their former roller hockey nickname, an angel gets his wings. Looking at you Impact. That being said, the rainbow madness that was Kansas City Wiz/Wizards was always such a nice pun-filled bonus for blog hacks like us. Fixtures against the ex-Wiz now see great/awful punmeat like so go wasted...

11. "Reds hit tough spell"

10. "There's no plays like at home"

9. "Waste the rainbow!"

8. "A cauldron of sh*t"

7. "Up the Wizard's sleeve"

6. "You shall not pass! Or score!"

5. "Wiz all over us"

4. "S-Orr-cery" / "Orr-lock"

3. "MLSE finds pot of gold... under beer stand"

2. "Bumbledorks"

1. "Bored of the Rings"

Sunday, July 27, 2014

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Kansas City... Or this is gonna hurt bad, isn't it?



Typically these reports have a pinch of optimism.  Be it for Chad "The Chad" Barrett, Gilberto or even Nick Soolsma. It is a drive to find light in a perpetual shitstorm of regular performances.  And lately the reports have had equalish measure optimism and pessimism. I read that was "real journalism" somewhere.

But Sporting KC Wiz...  ugh.  I wish I had the patience to follow other sides closely to get a better understanding what makes them who they are, but Sporting KC Wiz seem to be relentless. Pick up underachieving and turn them into all-stars. amend then there's depth: Legoman Nielsen retires, and the new kid Gruenbaum is outstanding.  When RSL comes to town with injuries, I think "we got me!  3 points!".  Sporting Kansas City Wiz could show up with a B side and I'd be hopeful for a draw.

It'll all be over soon enough I suspect. As long as it doesn't rain.

8' - Oduro lays a pretty ball along the ground in front of goal but no one there.  Ensuing corner finds Hagglund's head but sails just over the bar.

16' - GOAL - Ball slotted through to find Jackson just on side, dances around Gruenbaum and buries it.
ROBINS 1, COMETS 0

22' - well that was an 8 second flurry.  Gilberto gets hauled down 2 yards outside the box, no call. Toronto picks up the ball quickly and Oduro puts another pretty low ball onto a lunging Hagglund who rifles off the post.  While agonizing over the near goal,  Oduro still hands on head, misses the rebound as it's rolling just behind him.   A Vine would have been easier.

32' - YELLOW - Jackson gets booked for retaliation on a tackle, clearly testing out the double standard.

33' - Oduro slides it into the post.   That's two.

34' - YELLOW - Morrow gets booked for a challenge.  Gotta protect the camps I guess, right Unkle Ted?

44' - YELLOW - Oduro for something

45' - YELLOW - Henry for wearing red.

Half Time Mood : not too bad

47' - GOAL - Zusi left wide left of goal,  gets the ball and puts it past Bendik.
ROBINS 1, COMETS 1
60' - Gilberto gets the ball on the right,  crosses to the opposite side to find Jackson whose first touch is right at Gruenbaum. Big rebound but no second attempt.

66' - Jackson should be on pace for a hat trick at this point as at the doorstep he pops the ball over the bar 2 yards out.

69'- inconsistent officiating as Oduro gets shirt tugged from behind.  Only a yellow.

72' - YELLOW - Bradley gets booked for a terrible non-call on Jackson and goes off on the idiot in Yellow.

80' - GOAL -  Goddamn Jacob Peterson
ROBINS 1, COMETS 2

80' -  SUB -  Osorio in for Warner

82' -  SUB - DeRo in for Orr.  Guess we're going for it...

89' - Bradley has a go from the edge of the box and fires it just wide.

5 mins of extra time

90+2 - Oduro in a long cross can get his foot on it as it goes wide.

FULL TIME : TORONTO 1, KANSAS CITY 2

Man of the Match : Jackson had a helluva match.  Should've had a pile but to no avail.

Goat of the Game : Ted Unkle (see below)

Ref Rating : 1 out of 5.  Ted was terrible.  Like Toledo terrible.  He gets a 1 as someone on Kansas City earned a second yellow which is shocking all things considered. No one is ever going to confuse the level of officiating in this league for world class.

Kit Spotting : a couple of Olympiakos kits.

I Am Not The Gaffer But... : I'd get another forward for the bench.

If You PVR'd It : watch the first goal and then catch up to the first card to watch the embarrassment unfold.

I gotta give it up to Nelson, he went for it as soon as they went down one.  Converted to a 3-5-2 and all out attack.  Far from flawless execution but it is what it is.

Toronto earned a point and arguably the win. It was a shame that the ref had such an adverse effect on the game.  Sure Oduro and Jackson could have had their goals with the opportunities presented to the but it doesn't change how the ref's bias and inconsistent foul calling can mess with a teams head.  We were certain Nelson was at the very least going to be booked by the end of the match as he was losing his shit before the half.

I would like to know what the solution is for the officials' low quality of output.  I want the refs to have respect for their ability to call a match.  The officials formed a union to earn them better wages, which I'm all for.  Can the league not loan them out to other leagues?  Bundesliga 3 and we'll pay the refs for 2 months of training,  instruction and game experience?  Scotland division 1? Blue Square?  Anywhere?  The league needs to fix this.  Either import talent or export training.

Fun fact : you can get into the ground with a PDF on your smart phone. Confirmed it can be done.  Brilliant.

Player Ratings : Bendik 6.5, Hagglund 6.5, Orr 6 [De Rosario N/A], Henry 7, Morrow 6, Jackson 7, Warner 6 [Osorio N/A], Bradley 6, Oduro 7, Moore 6.5, Gilberto 6.5

@ignirtoq felt like he was on an emotional rollercoaster, between ticket drama, having KC on the ropes and the seeing Peterson bag the winner, so unfair.  To make it worse, there were plans afoot to debut some new kits of our own that would have surely got some dirty looks.  Maybe next season as they'll arrive on Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THE MATCHUP: Waste the Rainbow


TORONTO VS. SPORTING KC
BMO FIELD - SATURDAY 7PM ET
TV: TSN 2

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"The Wizard's Sleeve"

FACTS* & STATS**
TORONTO FC
- 2: Number of eyeballs used by Michael Bradley to give opponent withering, emasculating stare down.
- 93% of Toronto-area Benfica supporters have an irrational hatred of Sporting KC.
- 3,212: Amount of scarves still "held up high" during national anthems.
- 68% of things are still Mo Johnston's fault.
- Saturday's match is also "Soviet Union Heritage Night" just to get on Jacob Peterson's tits.
- 50% of clubs in this fixture remember Preki fondly.
- 28: Approximate number of "Wiz", "Wizards" or "rainbow" mentions in our post-match report. Dependable.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY
- 2nd Place in the East Sporting KC have played 43 more matches than TFC so far this season. Games in hand.
- 830,000: Amount of unwanted yellow "Livestrong" rubber bracelets buried under Sporting Park.
- Aurelien Collin is a full 5/8ths more annoying than your garden variety Frenchman.
- 110%: How American Jacob Peterson is.
- Sal Zizzo leads the league in the "Player Who Should Open a Pizzeria after Retirement" category.
- 14: Fluid ounces vomited on the pitch this season by Igor Juliao. Gross.
- Sporting manager Peter Vermes has once again been handed the prestigious "Coach with a Name you Expect to Hear on a Creepy TV News Story" by his peers.

 
*Maybe
**Possibly

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT - Toronto v Tottenham... or Robins v Your London EPL Club



Ah, it's a good thing we made that trade today. Sure we weren't gonna get De Marcus Beasley but we did get Warren Creavalle and I hear he should make it in time for this all important friendly.  I read that his flight was delayed, so maybe he can make it in the second half.  *fingers crossed*

This was your typical exhibition fare : kids and bench get a run out and super try for everything, visitors just screw with us effortlessly and not run up the score too much.  Eric Lamella bagged two identical goals, which I've been told, is a special sight as he's (a) Spurs record signing and (b) was injured for most of the year.  Tourists up 2-0 at the half.

Second half, I'm not exactly sure what happened.  Either Spurs new substitutes took them lightly or Toronto's new subs started playing with creativity (probably the prior), as Lovitz sent Weideman through and bagged a nice goal with sublime composure. Later in the half, Jordan Hamilton bagged one of his own with a brilliant strike from the edge of the box. One of those two will likely move on to a career in real estate some day.  Creavalle no showed.  [He was never expected to make it. ~ Ed.]

Spurs were having none of that, shifted into (what had to be their) 2nd gear, maybe 3rd, and with 5 minutes remaining, Andros Townsend undoes poor Hagglund, and rockets it past Quillan Roberts.  Top marks and it looks like he does it all the time.

FULL TIME : TORONTO 2, TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3

Money grab or not (it is), the one thing I like to take away from these international friendlies (aside from the obligatory half and half scarves) is to get a glimpse to the gulf of quality between TFC and whomever our opponent is.  Spurs were out there for a kick-about and made Toronto look pedestrian, and I'm very OK with that.

We, as footie supporters, are subjected to satellite TV (or dodgy internet feeds) and get to watch world class club football.  We know it's better, but we rarely have a measure of by how much exactly.  I don't know if we need to do this annually, and by the success of the gate, there should be one next year, but every couple of years is good.  It's nice to be reminded that, even though we signed all of these players that have drastically improved the calibre of football in Toronto, it's still nowhere near we'd like it to be. And to be fair, there isn't enough talent to go around 18+ clubs in the US to ever close up that gulf.

Understanding how the tourists are, and a large portion of the season's ticket base is, I understand that the following suggestion would be deemed "unfavourable" : I would like to propose that every year we have an exhibition against lower league teams.  Could be De Grafshaap, Shimizu S-Pulse, Lucern, Perth Glory... it doesn't matter.  The game should be a meaningful measure as to where the club and the league actually sits in relation to the rest of the planet, as meaningful as an exhibition can be.  I'd be far more interested to see how this side plays against the champions of Finland, a side we could defeat (in theory) rather than Spurs, a team who should slap us around like we deserve it.

If the club and the league were as talented as they are financially successful and well supported, MLS would truly be a destination league and Seattle would be a top 20 world club.  But it's not, we're not.  Not yet.

Then, at least, it wouldn't feel so gratuitously commercial.

Kit Spotting People Who Got A Soccer Shirt As a Gift Once and Are Wearing It Today : Arsenal away,  Liverpool home,  Newcastle home, father and son home Reading, more than one Blackburn home,  Manchester United home, West Ham home and away, Villa home, Everton home, old Man City away.  It was odd, but I get it.

Real Kit Spotting - Guy down in front wearing Sporting KC (confirmed he was here for the weekend game, came early to watch the exhibition).  Big ups to him for travelling. This kid who showed up in a Junior kit is close.

Monday, July 21, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Ways TFC can make the Spurs friendly more entertaining

Definitely not this fun

We have banged on for years here about our dislike for mid-season friendlies. We still think they are money-grabbing, energy-wasting injury magnets but we have always understood your attendance if your childhood club was the opponent. (So mail your letters calling me a hypocrite to "P.O. Box: I Don't Give A Toss"). As many of you know I'm a born Spurs supporter but I totally get that this match will end up bordering on naptime for those not Lilywhite and/or a fan of TFC's B-Squad. Not to fear though, TFC has plenty of entertainment lined up to keep you nice and friendly...

11. The Aaron Lennon Eyebrow Shaving Booth

10. An emotional halftime presentation where corporate sister club Tottenham Hotspur agree to help move the Toronto Argonauts... to the Emirates Stadium

9. Roberto Soldado vs. Gilberto "First-to-Five-Goal Challenge"! (Time Limit: 7 hours)

8. Tim Leiweke and Daniel Levy chase a hundred dollar bill on a string around the pitch

7. Kids get to hunt for prizes in Benoit Assou-Ekotto's hair

6. Sandro vs. Jackson face-off for the title of "World's Angriest Brazilian"

5. The pre-match parade of the two clubs' combined 58 managers from the last 20 years

4. The two teams to sit in a sharing circle and talk smack about Thierry Henry

3. Chas 'n' Drake

2. Bitchy vs. a Fighting Cockerel

1. Winner keeps Defoe

Saturday, July 19, 2014

AFTER 90: Playing brawl

The blurst of times...

HOUSTON VS. TORONTO
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM

2014 is a season of new beginnings for TFC and we felt it was time to put a sad page in Reds' history to bed. With that in mind, we invited "The Escobar 3"... Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva and Nick Soolsma - TFC's notorious Houston nightclub scuffle arrestees - back to watch this match with us at a Texan bar to prove that those negative times are all in the past and they are on the straight and narrow. Luis Silva still has a job in this league so he couldn't be here. But the other two are hardly out curing cancer... so on to the match!

FIRST HALF:
1' - TFC are looking to make it two in a row in seven days against Dynamo tonight. Miguel Aceval is looking to make it two shots of J├Ągermeister in a row in seven seconds tonight... and yes.
5' - Reds looking sharp to start. Nick Soolsma keeps disappearing to the men's room.
11' - GOAL: HOUSTON - Bradley Orr with a sweet touch and soft pass to set up... Houston's Will Bruin. Brainfartage of the highest degree. Miguel Aceval still thinks Bradley Orr "is the shit, dude" because he can handle himself at a bar.
HOUSTON 1 - TORONTO 0
15' - Soolsma's back at the table. Asks us if "we wanna party?", Aceval says "does the pope shit in the woods?" and Soolsma reaches into his Euro-style man bag... and brings out his pet kitty-cat "Suarez". Aceval yells "Pusss-ayyy!"
17' - Joe Bendik doing the Super Pickle routine as he stops Brad Davis point blank.
18' - GOAL: TORONTO - On the impending counter attack, Gilberto ends up on the receiving end of the direct passing, slices through Dynamo's defence and slots past Tally Hall.
HOUSTON 1 - TORONTO 1
27' - GOAL: HOUSTON - Giles Barnes takes a look at TFC's makeshift defence, has a giggle, and takes a big blast which flies past Joe Bendik.
HOUSTON 2 - TORONTO 1
29' - PENALTY: This one is coo coo for cocoa puffs as Luke Moore is hauled down in the box. Michael Bradley confidently steps up to take it... and hits the post. Nick Soolsma just fell off his barstool. He wasn't watching the game or anything though.
35' - Uh oh. Trouble brewing here as Nick Soolsma changed the jukebox from country and western to Aqua's "Barbie Girl". Lots of angry looks. Aceval's shirt is suddenly half unbuttoned.
40' - Dynamo happy to take their chances with a series of dangerous long-distance shots at Bendik.
44' - Miguel Aceval just told the room he "has to go let a Chilean miner escape" before going to the bathroom.
45'+ - GOAL: TORONTO - Luke Moore with a lovely run into Houston's box and a sharp pass across goal that bounces off a shocked Dominic Oduro who may have been thinking about pizza.
HOUSTON 2 - TORONTO 2

HALFTIME: HOUSTON 2 - TORONTO 2

SECOND HALF:
46' - You have no idea how much these two can consume in 15 minutes. Frightening. Soolsma is having an argument about the pros and cons of declawing with a pinball machine.
50' - Luke Moore having his best match in a TFC kit.
55' - Suarez Soolsma just killed the buzz by talking about Feline AIDS
64' - SUB: Gilberto OFF / Jermain Defoe ON
64' - Aceval does a shot for the substitution. We weren't playing any game like that.
67' - Dynamo throwing the kitchen sink at TFC.
68' - Line cook came out to complain that Nick Soolsma is throwing up in the kitchen sink.
70' - SUB: Jonathan Osorio OFF / Dan Lovitz ON
70' - Aceval just bought everyone in the bar a shot. Now he just asked the cat if he has any money. Shit.
72' - Neither side look content to hold out for a draw tonight.
73' - Nick Soolsma is trying desperately to call Luis Silva on a pay phone. Sadly he's talking into a napkin holder.
75' - SUB: Luke Moore OFF / Dwayne De Rosario ON
76' - Bendik with another massive save. If his distribution was as consistent as his shot blocking he'd be considered one of the league's best.
80' - Aww crap - someone has called the cops! NO MIGUEL DON'T TRY TO RUN!
83' - Defoe and Warren Creavalle go a bit handbags but cooler heads prevail.
88' - All kicking off now as Defoe and David Horst roll about and scrap. Defoe's yellow meaning he misses next match but can play 90 minutes against Spurs.. Conspiracy line to the left please.
89' - All kicking off here at the bar as Suarez Soolsma just hissed at the cops! Why is Nicky riding Aceval's shoulders!!! No!!!
90'+ - Well that was all a bit nutso of an ending. And no, I mean the wackiness at the stadium. A scrappy, shooting gallery with a bit of everything. TFC could have won as equally as they could have lost so another point in a very tough environment is ok in the grand scheme of things. Meanwhile back at the bar...
90'++ - "SOMEBODY CALL JULIAN B. GUZMAN!!!"
 
FULL TIME: HOUSTON 2 - TORONTO 2

PLAYER RATINGS: Joe Bendik 7.5 / Nick Hagglund 6.5 / Bradley Orr 5.5 / Doneil Henry 6 / Justin Morrow 6 / Dominic Oduro 6.5 / Michael Bradley 6.5 / Collen Warner 6 / Jonathan Osorio 6 (Dan Lovitz 5.5) / Luke Moore 7.5 (Dwayne De Rosario 5.5) / Gilberto 7 (Jermain Defoe 6)

THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH:
Joe Bendik


Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE MATCHUP: Orange is the New Onyx: Season 2


HOUSTON VS. TORONTO
BBVA COMPASS STADIUM - SATURDAY 9PM ET
TV: SPORTSNET 360

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"Copa Del Escobar"

FACTS* & STATS**
HOUSTON DYNAMO
- In the previous fixture against Toronto, Houston forward Brad Davis had 98% possession of the ball in the first 20 minutes.
- Giles Barnes and Tally Hall lead MLS in "Sounding Like Wealthy Country Gentlemen"
- 38% of all league defenders claim to suffer from "Temporary Orange Blindness" after a Dynamo counter-attack.
- Contrary to internet rumours, Will Bruin is not in fact half-bear cub. Wild.
- 98: Percentage of arguments won by Dynamo co-owner Oscar De La Hoya at MLS Board meetings after he cracks his knuckles dramatically.
- BBQ Sauce-related injuries have dropped by 7% at BBVA Compass Stadium since 2013.
- In the off-season, Dynamo forward Omar Cummings hosts a weekly cable-access current events show in his native Jamaica called "Cummings & Goings"

TORONTO FC
- TFC's "onyx" alternate kit could reach 63 Degrees Celsius in the Texas sun.
- Ex-TFC defender Miguel Aceval is listed as "Day-To-Day" in regards to appearing at Houston nightspot Club Escobar.
- 180: The SPF level in the suntan lotion TFC medical staff apply liberally to team albino Kyle Bekker.
- 10% of all Houston-area jail bonds are posted by a "Julian B. Guzman"
- 23: Former kit number of ex-TFC winger Alvaro Rey and also the same amount of minutes he spent in Columbus, Ohio before begging Crew to release him.
- 9: Average number of times Andrew Wiedeman dramatically takes of his designer sunglasses in the press box over 90 minutes.
- 88: Level of Candy Crush that Steven Caldwell is stuck on. Sweet.

 
*Maybe
**Possibly

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT - Toronto v Vancouver... Or thanks for the 8pm kick off schedule dicks

Well the later than usual kickoff on a very nice summer night blended with the incredible Saturday night game gave us the hope of three points tonight, but that was not the case.
Vancouver scored early in the second half on a counter in the 50th minute. Teibert put a wonderful ball through four red shirts, and Mattocks buried it from 6 yds out.

Toronto controlled much of the match, and were rewarded with a fairly soft penalty as Jackson went down to a Reo-Coker challenge just inside the box.  Defoe converted in the 63rd minute.
All the hard work could not get them any more than one point however.  Gilberto may be resuming service of near misses as for the second game in a row, the ball bent around the outside of the woodwork.  Not fair for the guy.

FULL TIME : TORONTO 1, VANCOUVER 1

Man of the Match : Collen Warner played very well throughout the match.

Goat of the Game : The idiot who couldn't delay the closure of Lakeshore for 2 more hours.  Well planned Mr. City person. It's not like either event was scheduled for months in advance? (same for you Johnny Schedulemaker)

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5.  Didn't effect the match either side.

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

@ignirtoq would like to apologize for the lack of a more detailed post however he took a spill on his way to the ground and wasn't up to being Mr. Reporter Guy. He also likes making names up for people based on the jobs they apparently have.

Monday, July 14, 2014

THE MATCHUP: Night Caps

An evening with Carl...
 
TORONTO VS. VANCOUVER
BMO FIELD - WEDNESDAY 8PM ET
TV: TSN

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"The Great Canadian Bagel"

MATCH FACTS* & STATS**
TORONTO FC
- Despite being third in the Eastern Conference, TFC have an alarming 35 games in hand over 2nd place Sporting Kansas City.
- Dominic Oduro averaging 8.7 slices of pepperoni pizza a week since move from Columbus, down from 2013.
- Ryan Nelsen is five wins from becoming TFC's all-time winningest manager. No, really.
- Gilberto has the same number of goals in his last two appearances as his national side of Brazil does. Prolific.
- Jermain Defoe leads the league in touches. Mostly bum and boob.
- The Reds are 7-5-2 all-time during night matches where the temperature is above 25 degrees Celsius and the other team has a manager with a strange hairline.
- It is Micronesian Heritage Night in one row of BMO Field this Wednesday.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
- Vancouver is coming into Toronto off of a home loss to Chivas USA. Just let that one sink in for a moment.
- Carl Robinson has a pre-match ritual vs. TFC which includes both smirking and snorting in Jim Brennan's direction.
- Despite lack of concrete proof, it has been accepted that Caps midfielder Pedro Morales is NOT the same Pedro Morales from 1980's WWF wrestling. Disappointing.
- Darren Mattocks currently leads MLS in "Looking Like an Effeminate Version of Predator", a category he has dominated since 2012. Reliable.
- More than 50% of Matias Laba's completed passes still legally belong to TFC.
- "Lenarduzzi'd" has been added to the 2015 Webster's Dictionary.
- 43% of Caps supporters will be high by the 20th minute.

*Maybe
**Possibly