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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

THE MATCHUP: Who shot J.D.'s hamstring?

Dallas down to ten...

FC DALLAS VS. TORONTO FC
TOYOTA STADIUM - SATURDAY 8:30PM ET
TV: SPORTSNET ONE

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
- Will TFC manage to find 11 healthy starters?
- Has FC Dallas flattered to deceive so far in 2014?
- Will Fran O'Leary end up watching the match from a distance while being taunted by FCD mascot Tex Hooper a la Bob de Klerk?
- Can Gilberto finally open his scoring account? (Again)
- Was the first month of TFC's season just a dream and we're all standing collectively in a shower?

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"El Burning Sensation"

THE DUEL:
David Texeira vs. Gilberto

WHO ARE YA?
Easter is a special occasion down in Texas and the owners of FC Dallas spare no expense to attract a few needed extra fans to Toyota Stadium with the allure of holiday treats. However, where other grounds may opt for a traditional chocolate egg hunt, FC Dallas embraces their Texan heritage and invites families to a Lone Star Easter.

Children dressed as Walker, Texas Ranger are lined up with a Junior High-Powered Assault Rifle while bunnies, force-fed on T-Bone steaks for a month, are released on the pitch and hunted down by freedom-loving toddlers. The child with the most bunnies after 90 minutes must then eat a BBQ'd 8-pound steak-filled bunny and a gallon of cheese balls to win a chocolate egg.

WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS:
 
ON THIS DAY IN TFC HISTORY:
APRIL 19, 2012: Danny Koevermans tore his meniscus on a Cadbury Creme Egg.

Monday, April 14, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Strange TFC injuries

 
The Bloody Big Deals have turned into Bloodied Big Deals at BMO Field as Toronto FC's depth charts are being stretched to their limits. Results like Saturday's tepid loss to Colorado are not to be unexpected with so many key players out to injury while new ones seem to keep cropping up. The Reds are faced with quite a challenge at the moment but the club has a long history of dealing with injuries, some of them quite unusual...

11. MISTA: Bulged Wallet

10. NICK SOOLSMA: Cat Scratch Fever

9. MAICON SANTOS: Multiple Personalities

8. MIGUEL ACEVAL: Nightclub Foot

7. JIM BRENNAN: Overextended Employment

6. COLLIN SAMUEL: Consumption

5. TERRY DUNFIELD: Twisted Tassels

4. DANNY KOEVERMANS: Syrup Hemmorhage

3. RICHARD ECKERSLEY: Gingervitis

2. RAIVIS HSCANOVICS: Vowelnutrition

1. DWAYNE DE ROSARIO: Bruised Ego


Sunday, April 13, 2014

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT - Toronto v Colorado... or The One They Should've Won


It's a beautiful day today.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the weather situation, it's been extended cold with no relief, but this weekend, it's practically shorts weather.

On one hand, Colorado is about as much of a grey mouse club as they come in MLS, with minimal star power or excitement.  They're littered with a few ex-TFC players (Wynne, Buddle, Labrocca to name a few) and they've eeked out most of their wins this year.

On the other hand, Toronto's injury list could probably qualify for the play-offs right now. TFC are missing Defoe, Bradley, Osorio, Rey and Henry from the starting XI as they are all on the mend.

We shouldn't miss our top talents too much against a team that's been coasting on luck, should we?

We'll see.

On to the match!

5' - Hall blows possession just a few feet from the penalty area, but Colorado's best long range attempt sails well over the bar

17' - YELLOW - Caldwell booked for a seemingly deliberate handball just outside of the box.  That looked close.

29' - Two chances back to back, Issey lets forth a rocket that nails a defender, but the ensuing rebound is a cutesy lob that beat everyone but the keeper.  Solid attempt.

39' - Edson Buddle (remember him?) tortures the back four, but Julio Cesar bails them out with a solid save.

Quote of the Match
He got hit in the little cesars
~ @Hitchorado with a bit of accuracy

43' - Brilliant long cross finds the diving header from Gilberto, but the ball curls around the post.

44' - Bekker is either scared or disoriented as his every touch of the ball results in a pass backwards.  Seriously, have some confidence and go forward.

Half-time Mood : Underwhelming.  Game still stuck in second gear it appears.

57' - OK, we're awake now.  Just a flurry of action in the box, many attempts, solid blocks, nice passes.  About f'ing time.

58' - Bekker takes a corner that's a little on the brutal side and skips low, but the clearance isn't much better.  Bekker picks up the clearance and floats one into the box finding Caldwell's head but that just goes over the bar.

62' - DeRo gets on the end of a cross and instead of taking the shot (like he should), he lays the ball off for Jackson, who wasn't ready for it and can't get to it before it trickles over the goal line.

67' - SUB - De Rosario comes off injured for *gulp* Weideman.  #ooooohboy

76' - Bekker free kick from 20+ years out curls one around the wall, beats the keeper but not the post.

77' - GOAL - Well, that was nuts.  From what we could tell, the ball kept being passed, desperately, amongst the Rapids and SOMEHOW they keep finding one another and SOMEHOW it ends up with Edson Buddle 5 yds out with Julio Cesar left to fend for himself who is beaten easily.
ROBINS 0, COLO COLO COLORADO 1

86' - Toronto counter attack with some nice ball movement, cross sent to the left side Gilberto who's half-volley end up right at the keeper.  Ugh.

89' - SUB - Hamilton comes on for Bloom

90+2' - All hands on deck as Bekker sets up for a free kick 20 yds out dead centre but his attempt flies over the bar.

FULL TIME : TORONTO 0, COLORADO 1

Man of the Match : Jackson had hustle and caused some problems.  Jackson earns it.  Jackson.

Goat of the Game : Hall was probably the least effective player out there.  He wasn't truly goat-worthy, but he was the most superfluous.

Ref Rating : Equally inconsistent for both sides.  3 out of 5

Kit Spotting : What was with all of the Croatia kits today?  I spotted 4 different ones...

I Am Not the Gaffer But : I likely would've made a change earlier than when started, and it only started after DeRo took a knock.

Bekker was one goal away from silencing critics and nearly had it... What is with the turf? It looks all spongy and fragile. Perhaps the break will allow the grass to finally root... The lack of Bradley must have meant instituting a 'no-play-through-the-centre-of-the-park' policy. A little disturbing resorting to the wings when attacking from the back... Where the hell did the sun go?... After the home opener buzz, it was back to square one as many supporters opted not to make it for the kick-off... I'm still not sure about Gilberto. He probably is the goods, but I just haven't seen conclusive evidence. I want him to deliver... Secretly hoped for DeRo to bag one. He kinda needs one. Or at least set one up.

Player Ratings : Julio Cesar 6.5, Bloom 7 [Hamilton N/A], Orr 6.5, Caldwell 7, Morrow 7, Jackson 7.5, Bekker 6.5, Hall 5.5, Issey 6.5, Gilberto 6.5, De Rosario 6 [Weideman 6]

@ignirtoq can't figure out where the time has gone. He knows this is late, but he was working on the Vocal Minority podcast, which is also up now. He will probably take a nap or two today.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

THE MATCHUP: Smile High City

Feeling the good vibes dude
 
TORONTO VS. COLORADO
BMO FIELD - SATURDAY 4PM ET
TV: TSN


WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
- Faced with a lingering injury list, can TFC overcome their shortcomings with second-stringers twice in a row?
- Who gets sent back to the bench despite strong performances against Columbus?
- Now that marijuana is pretty much legal in Colorado, are the Rapids less "rapid"?
- Can BMO Field start to earn a fortress reputation?
- Has the late arrival of spring helped that pitch?
- Can Gilberto lead the Defoe-Free strike force and open his TFC account?
- Can a 4 and 1 Toronto FC actually exist in nature or will a victory cause BMO Field to implode in on itself in a supernova?

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"El Passpasspuff"

THE DUEL:
Alvaro Rey vs. Jose Mari

WHO ARE YA?
This weekend will be our first look at Colorado Rapids since their home state put some of North America's most liberal marijuana laws into effect. Despite concerns from conservative naysayers, the sky hasn't fallen in the Rocky Mountain State but there have been some minor changes at Rapids matches.

Kick-offs are now listed as "whenever it feels right man"; halftime is now an hour long to take naps into consideration; Rapids' four mascots pretty much just tell each other inside jokes all day; ZigZag is lined up to become the club's first shirt sponsor; there is pressure from fans to trade for Kyle Beckerman; and, nacho sales have skyrocketed.

Otherwise, no change.

WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS:

 
ON THIS DAY IN TFC HISTORY:
April 19th, 2010 - New TFC midfielder Nick LaBrocca misses two matches after being made to file all of his teammate's taxes because "he looked like an accountant".

 

Monday, April 7, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Derogatory nicknames Americans call Michael Bradley

He's got no hair but we don't care...

In four matches he has vaulted easily to become one of MLS' premier players. There is an argument that he is CONCACAF's finest talent at the moment. He carries the USA's World Cup hopes to Brazil on his shoulders this summer. He plays in Canada. What a conundrum for our mega-patriotic friends to the south! They love Michael Bradley when he suits up for the U, S and the A but feel the need to vent at him over the audacity to choose to play in Soviet Canuckistan over a more freedom-filled franchise below the 49th. This love-hate relationship has made for some colourful language being thrown in Bradley's direction...

11. "Syrup-slurping Tackle-monkey"

10. "Benedict Headbutts Arnaud"

9. "The Bald Eagle Beaver"

8. "Backstabbing Backbacony Bonehead"

7. "Michael Bradl-Eh"

6. "Left-wing Pinko Gretzky Sympathizer"

5. "Molson-guzzling Igloo-renter"

4. "Healthcare-happy Hoser-hugger"

3. "America's Sticky Head Bandage"

2. "Lex Loser"

1. "Drake Dodger"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

AFTER 90: TFC 2 Live-ly 4 Crew

"We lost to TFC?! Gimme some Colombian 'nose kibble'!"
 
COLUMBUS CREW - 0

TORONTO FC - 2
Michael Bradley - 11'
Issey Nakajima-Farran - 86'

 

WHAT WE EXPECTED: A really ugly affair with TFC forced to field a line-up of subs, kids and also-rans with a Columbus Steamroller (not a sex act - we presume) as the result.
WHAT WE GOT: Possibly the grittiest, hardest-working and unexpected TFC result in a long time. An inexperienced yet surprisingly composed back four and a midfield that stymied Columbus, holding them to wide crosses and long-distance attempts. Colour us impressed. And shocked.

THE GOOD:
- Dwayne De Rosario making himself a nuisance in the opening minutes (Now see BAD)
- Michael Bradley lifting teammates with half his skill to their best
- A defensive line that scrapped and fought but didn't lose their heads
- More than a few players claiming a stake for a starter's role

THE BAD:
- Watching Dwayne De Rosario's rapid aging manifest itself in physical shortcomings that take away from his skill set
- Another 2nd Half started on the back foot
- The massive drop-off in depth (Wiedeman and Hall) when injuries mount
- That 60th through 75th minute period. Squeaky. Bums.

THE MALARKEY:
- Down 1-0 at the half, Columbus to their credit resisted the temptation to start one of their famous scoreboard fires and postpone the match
- Sadly Crew supporters were not in the midst of their inventive and unique "USA! USA!" chant when Ultra-American General Michael Bradley stabbed them in the back. The irony would have been... so choice.
- Jackson and Crew Cat both leave Crew Stadium with the same ailment: distemper
- Aggravated with another match where he didn't see the pitch, the construction worker on the left side of Crew's badge has demanded a transfer

PLAYER RATINGS:
Julio Cesar 7 / Mark Bloom 6.5 / Bradley Orr 7 / Nick Hagglund 6.5 / Justin Morrow 7 / Jackson 6.5 / Michael Bradley 7.5 (SUB: '70 Jeremy Hall 5.5) / Kyle Bekker 6 / Alvaro Rey 6 (SUB: 78' Andrew Wiedeman 5) / Dwayne De Rosario 5 (SUB: 69' Issey Nakajima-Farran 7)/  Gilberto 6

THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Bradley Orr

And... Since it was 2-0 Live vs Crew.. and... Since "We're like Crew Cat in heat, a team that is storming; We have an appetite for wins - 'Cause we've got Bradley..."



Thursday, April 3, 2014

THE MATCHUP: "Hey You, The Not Red-dy for The Crew"

Yeah. No drugs there.

COLUMBUS VS. TORONTO
CREW STADIUM - SATURDAY 6PM ET
TV: SPORTNET 360

WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
- Well apparently Columbus are our heated rivals. Apparently.
- Can TFC manage to look much different than TFC 2012 without the likes of Jermain Defoe, Steven Caldwell, Jonathan Osorio and (PENDING) out of the line-up?
- Is Ryan Nelsen able to juggle a starting eleven and change his tried and tested tactics to paper over the big challenges The Reds have this week?
- Which club will win the annual prize of the world’s supply of trillium seeds?
- Is DP Gilberto capable of spearheading an attack alone?
- Will Crew Cat be in one of his pussy stupors?
- Who the hell will start in the back four?!
- What noise does it make when tourists jump off a bandwagon?

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"The New Soft"

THE DUEL:
Steve Clark vs. Julio Cesar and/or
Crew Cat vs. His Demons

WHO ARE YA?
Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may be an international laughing stock but has a surprising supporter in the form of Columbus celebrity - Crew Cat. The notorious MLS mascot bad boy has had more than his fair share of very public run-ins with the law and shared his kinship with the Toronto "mayor" with Ohio press this week.

"Look, them left-wing dog-owning commies up there in Toronto don't realize how lucky they is. Rob Ford is the single greatest civic leader since my former owner Marion Barry. Like me, Crew Cat, Robbie loves pullin' on that sweet glass kibble, has more than enough Crewzer Dancers to eat at home, loves pissing in public and has a whole litter of totally awesome party siblings..." (Crew Cat then paused for 20 minutes to tongue-bathe his genitals and make a call to someone named "Itchy Dave" about "his order")... "Also" Crew Cat continued "I have equally little patience for Nelson Mandela and Paralympians. Overrated. I'm Crew Cat and I approve this message."

WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS:

 
ON THIS DAY IN TFC HISTORY:
April 5, 2008: Mo Johnston was informed by MLS Head Office that it was literally impossible to accept his trade offer for the three construction workers on Columbus Crew's badge despite his overly generous offer.

 
And... Since they already have sweet yellow shirts on...



Monday, March 31, 2014

THE STARTING 11: TFC Google searches

 "Parade routes... I'm Feeling Lucky"

If there's one thing Toronto FC has always struggled with - it's erasing their history. The front office have been doing their best recently to bloody big deal their way out of the past but even the most well-connected staff needs some research help sometimes. TFC executives are just like us, they put their $3000 trousers on one leg at a time - they also use Google when they need to find an answer. Sometimes they forget to erase that history too...

11. Butty stain remover

10. How do I tell boss his jacket too tight?

9. Tiny hawk clothes

8. Naked Marco Velez pics

7. How many maple leafs on a shirt is too many?

6. Is New Zealand a real place?

5. Giant paint-sucking grass vacuum cost


4. Is Jim Brennan still a thing?

3. Bright or Bee-rite?

2. Nice areas in Columbus?

1. Can you staple someone's head?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

AFTER 90: Utah taints

Kyle Beckerman: He knows he's pretty

REAL SALT LAKE - 3
Alvaro Saborio - 11' (PK)
Luis Gil - 28'
Alvaro Saborio - 55'

TORONTO FC - 0


WHAT WE EXPECTED: The toughest test TFC would face so far this season and most likely a difficult loss in a match where The Reds would see little possession.
WHAT WE GOT: Some pretty fuggo stuff. Disjointed, overly-scrappy and tactically lacking. RSL is a quality club but if Toronto FC want to play with the big boys this season they can't trot too many of these out.

THE GOOD:
- Michael Bradley just can't stop. Win, lose or draw that engine keeps going.
- The Bradley to striker laser-passes are still working.
- They don't get pushed around.

THE BAD:
- Slow starts to both halves becoming a theme for TFC this season.
- Defensive composure from first two matches not on show tonight.
- Steven Caldwell's studs-up challenge on Ned Grabavoy could end up costing him further if MLS Head Office reviews it.
- Jermain Defoe came off in the 60th minute holding his leg - possibly hamstring related.
- Out possessed by massive margin and even if you don't rate that stat - did little with the possession they did have.
- The feared depth issues reared their heads in a big way. None of the starting 11 replacements had any kind of impact.

THE MALARKEY:
- Kyle Beckerman's dreads have gone full-out natty. The family of possums now living inside it are said to be healthy and happy.
- Looks like The Osmond Family have won this round of their vicious rap fued with Drake.
- Ned Grabavoy still has the perviest sounding name in MLS. Steven Caldwell may have been doing a Nightline investigation.
- John Stockton shorty-short-shorts spotted: 0

PLAYER RATINGS:
Julio Cesar 6 / Bradley Orr 4.5 (SUB: 60' Issey Nakajima-Farran 5) / Steven Caldwell 6 / Doneil Henry 5 / Justin Morrow 5.5 / Mark Bloom 4.5 / Michael Bradley 6.5 / Jeremy Hall 5 (SUB: 78' Kyle Bekker ) / Alvaro Rey 5.5 / Gilberto 5.5 / Jermain Defoe 6.5 (SUB: 61' Dwayne De Rosario 5 )

THE YORKIES' TFC MAN OF THE MATCH:
Michael Bradley
  
 The long and the short shorts of it

Thursday, March 27, 2014

THE MATCHUP: Bit off Mormon we can chew?

Marie Osmond! You traitor to Utah and the Spanish Crown!

REAL SALT LAKE VS TORONTO FC
RIO TINTO STADIUM - SATURDAY 9:30 ET
TV: TSN 2


WHY SHOULD I WATCH THIS?
- This is arguably TFC's stiffest competition so far.
- Ryan Nelsen has been poking RSL with a stick by wondering aloud if DP Alvaro Saborio should be banned for this match due to an infraction last week vs LA Galaxy. Will RSL use it as motivation?
- Will TFC sign Issey Nakajima-Farran and have his paperwork processed in time for the match? Would he take the banned Jackson's starting spot on the wing? (UPDATE: See news below)
- How will Jermain Defoe react when he finds out how many wives you're allowed to have in Utah?
- Will Michael Bradley prove his dominance after RSL's Nat Borchers publically claimed that Kyle Beckerman was the better player of the two?
- Do RSL's horrible new shirts come with matching John Stockton super-shorty-short-shorts?

MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME:
"The King Juan Carlos I Invitational"

THE DUEL:
Kyle Beckerman vs. Michael Bradley

WHO ARE YA?
We gently mock our MLS brethren south of the border for their tendency to add on concerts and other spectacles post-match to help draw bigger crowds to matches. Most are cringe-worthy local artist shows with a dose of fireworks thrown in but RSL have outdone themselves with "Tintopalooza" a huge show following Saturday’s match full of Utah's finest music. Come for the match, stay for...
TINTOPALOOZA
Featuring...
DA OSMONDZ: THE NEXT GENERATION
Folk-funk fusion duo STOCKTON & MALONE
UTAH SAINTS
THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR
UTAH JAZZ
MAJOR LUZER feat. Kyle Beckermon
THE MORMON TABERNACLE DEATH METAL ENSEMBLE
NICK RIMANDO'S RHYTHMIC BELLY SLAPPING

WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS:


ON THIS DAY IN TFC HISTORY:
March 29, 2011: Three days after scoring two goals in his home debut, Javier Martina - confident in the knowledge that his long, successful TFC career has begun - spends his full season salary on a boat named "BRACE YOURSELF"

BONUS NEWS SECTION NEWS!
ISSEY REALLY SIGNED?
According to Luke Wileman at TSN and now being "scooped" by MLS' official site, Canadian international winger and long-term trial aficionado Issey Nakajima-Farran has signed with TFC and the deal only awaits Commissioner Dong Grabber's erotic rubber-stamp.

The 29-year old Alberta native has one colourful passport as his professional career has seen him play in Singapore, Denmark, Australia and most recently Cyprus. With 30 caps to his name with Canada, Nakajima-Farran offers a lot of experience and some depth to TFC's flanks. As mentioned above, he may be pressed into immediate service versus RSL due to "InfrAction" Jackson's ban.

Most importantly, the winger adds some needed pun-meat to the club with "Issey or Isn't he?" lines due to see a sharp increase. He also represents one of TFC's few hyphenated players. Arguably the finest since "Young" Nana Attakora went by Nana Attakora-Gyan. Important football analysis 24/7 at The Yorkies.


And... If you like this kind of jibber-jabber but wished it could be shoved in your ear like a moist Q-tip - we've got you covered! The Yorkies and Waking the Red join forces weekly on The Vocal Minority Podcast... "Get used to it" here... (NEW EPISODE ON FRIDAY!)