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Monday, July 21, 2008

Match Report: San Jose @ TFC

It seems like we haven't done one of these suckers in a while. You know, a league game. And looking at the schedule, it'll be a while until we do this again.

The Mighty Reds are still crap on the road, but if it is of and consolidation, so is most of the league. So much for being unique.

Lately, our forwards have been absent for anything resembling regular service that could turn into one of those back-of-the-net thingies. In all fairness, possession has been favouring Toronto in many of their games, but on target shots are rarer than a TFC all-star.

San Jose has two Toronto turf rejects. Politically, i can't hate the Quakes. I like Yallop and their supporters were robbed of a quality side due to bigger dollar signs guiding the owners to the promised land that is Houston (1837). Match predictions : 2-1, 3-0, 4-0, 2-0 all pro-TFC

1 min - Huckaby is already getting a song. Sadly his song is better than the 'TFC Olé' that followed it.

2 min - Adult film star Joe Cannon (AfsJC) makes a sprawling save with his giant hands.

6 min - Ricketts cross, Ibrahim holds it too long, fires wide

7 min - Ibrahim fires a shot wide but AfsJC doesn't have the 'length' to reach it. Yes, those jokes will write themselves.

10 min - Ibby chipped AfsJC, Rosenlund got to it but clearly offside.

14 min - 19SJ gets a low shot that Sutton grabs easily. Marshall goes down hurt, but will continue the match

16 min - Ricketts fires a low ball across the grass, AfsJC 'thrusts' himself as the ball to stop it

18 min - SJ free kick fails against the wall, but not before Ibby gets booked for encroachment I suspect

23 min - Dichio gets a song, guy behind is recording it for CBC... So i sang it.

25 min - Ibby gets held for 10 yards and the grabby one goes into the book. Ensuing free kick, Robert bends it just wide of the right post.

33 min - Wynne fires it in, AfsJC double-fists it away. That guy is all about fis... nevermind.

37 min - Laurent double-teamed beats both for a cross, cleared out for a corner. Laurent's corner flies by everyone in red.

Half-time emotion : same as it ever was, they better get better sometime soon

49 min - Toronto gets tunnel vision as they cannot seem to use the entire east side of the pitch

51 min - now they don't want to shoot. If the game could be won with passing alone, we'd be the greatest side in the world.

55 min - Ricketts crosses the ball to clear the entire 18-yard box. How effective.

63 min - Huckaby can no longer take the punishment that the artificial surface dishes out and has to be subbed out. Good thing we're holding out for Dickov... Probably not a bitch.

68 min - Ibby gets bulldogged down and the ref points to the spot. SJ Riley is getting the business from the ref and his own teammates. Che Guevera steps up for the penalty, fires it slightly to his left, stopped by AfsJC 'girth', big rebound is popped way over the bar.

70 min - SUB - in comes Cunningham, out comes Rosenlund

74 min - Wynne to a shot that ended up nowhere near the net, but at least someone is shooting.

78 min - we need a forward. We need Schweinsteiger! I know he not a forward, but his name is hella-fun to yell.

83 min - TFC controlled the entire half yet can't do anything in the final third of the pitch that could be mistaken as threatening, less the blown penalty

87 min - SJ first legit attempt at net results in nothing. What a shit game...

89 min - Where are the no frills players from Tuesday? At least they gave a shit.

90+2 min - blow the damn whistle already

Man of the match : Ibrahim

"Budgie" award for heart : nobody worthy today...

Thumbs up : umm, no goals conceded

Thumbs down : few shots threatened, the raving disinterested by the players for the last 20 minutes

Goat : the alcohol/testosterone fuelled fracas that happened infront of us post match.

Match Report - Independiente (ARG) v. TFC

OMG, this thing is SOOOOO LATE and there's still another one coming. Blah, blah, blah... TFC good, Independiente bad... yada yada yada, useless exhibition in a crowded schedule... OK, screw it, onto the breakdown.

Match predictions : 3-1 for either side, 0-0, 2-1 Independiente, 3-1 Independiente, 1-0 TFC, 2-0 Independiente

TFC starts the match with the reservists and Edu. Independiente also started with reservists, but they are Racing Club's reservists, AKA Independiente starting XI. Ha! Take that!

3 - Attakora-Gyan ripped the ball off of IND #7

4 - I pitch Bohemian Rhapsody as the club song to ForeverRed. He's not feeling the idea

5 - Jeeered Smeeth fires a shot just wide of the net

7 - Cunningham got a shot off, that appeared to go forward, but having no depth perception, it went straight up in the air.

8 - TFC Reservists look pretty good executing plans. I change my prediction to 2-1 Independiente, I’m that confident.

9 - IND #31 gets booked for stupid unsportsmanlike conduct ever displayed in a meaningless game

11 - Edu booked. Worst display of acting ever as once the card is shown, he gets up from rolling

13 - ¿que eres? After Idiotpendiente #7 moans over a legit offside call.

15 - goalie Edwards rushes out to make a brilliant tackle on an Independiente through ball.

16 - Ibrahim with a pretty ball to Cunningham who held it too long before shooting with no angle.

17 - Rosenlund gets rocked by a deflected ball clearing.

19 - Edwards is NOT screwing around out there

21 - IND #7 is a weak little girl who has no business pretending to be a pro. He goes down grabbing his left thigh, stays on the ground to get his right ankle treated.

- the atmosphere is piss tonight because no one brought the drum or the megaphone tonight, completely true -

29 - the fans have no clue what they're doing. Need proof? The suit named MLSinToronto has got a song sung about him. Twice.

30 - After a nice spell of control, Ibrahim is hauled down by IND#12 and gets book for his troubles

36 - ball across the face of goal, and Smeeth skied it over the bar from 4 yards out.

41 – Attakora-Gyan fired the ball just wide. Meanwhile at the other end, Edwards is yelling like its a cup final.

44 - our TFC Reservists are playing smoother than our starting XI with crazy Barcelona type passing. Magic.

Half-time mood : unimpressed, pathetic, sombre

48 - Ibrahim does a 1-2 with Gala, lays it off to Smeeth who may never score a goal intentionally. Shades of Lombardo circa 2007.

56 – IND puts the ball into the box, #9 gets to it but misses... should’ve been a goal.

58 – SUB – Ibrahim off, Rickets on.

67 – GOAL – IND free-kick, headed the ball into the box, scramble, #9 put the ball into back of net.

68 – SUB – I think Cunningham is out, Frank Jonke (#19) is in

70 - SUB – Smeeth is out, Murphy Wiredu (#8) is in apparently a CSL tryout

76 – SUB - Gala out, Gerard Ladiyou (#2) in, apparently a CSL tryout. Neither Jonke, Wiredu and Ladiyou have names on the backs of their shirts.

78 – Edo musters up a shot at net. You will notice that this was the first thing of action note 11 minutes.

Quote of the match: “If you paid $70 for this ticket, you’d be pissed.” I’ve seen better CSL games.

80 - Rosenlund took a free kick and got it around the wall, Julius James gets around his defender, goes up and damn near back-heels it from behind his body in the air (you had to see it) and just curls around the bar. THAT GOAL WOULD’VE BEEN WORTH $70. We now bring you back to your TFC Reserves.

88 – Ricketts on the wing, crosses to Rosenlund and Wiredu tries to chase down the ball, only to have the keeper grab it

90+1 – IND #22 gets booked, but Ricketts gets a shot off beforehand, ending up about 24 feet wide of the netting to the left.

90+1 – Rosenlund, half-volley, shanks it over the bar. He’s playing really really well tonight.

Thumbs Up : The ref was OUTSTANDING

Thumbs Down : I lost precious sleep for this abomination. If you are going to have a game against international opposition, could you please guarantee that the domestic side fields its best team. Otherwise, have them and give the tickets away or something.

Goat of the Match : Ummm... whoever overbooked the month of July with games. Idiot. Don’t do it again next year.

Man of the Match : Edu worked hard, but in hindsight, I’m giving it to Rosenlund. Played outstanding.

“Budgie” award for heart : Brian Edwards. He wanted to win so bad, you could feel it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Match Report: Vancouver @ TFC

My mp3 player does not want to do prolonged voice recording. So I'm winging it again. Hopefully it reads less like a blog post and more like witty commentary.

Today was a beautiful, sunny, and not too hot, day to spend celebrating Canada Day than amongst the few that opted in for the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, from here on in referred to as "The NutCan" and watch the homestand juggernaut that is Toronto FC.

Unfortunately, things don't always pan out as you hope for.

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the USL (yes, there are other Canadian teams that play professional soccer) are no slouch. These lads play well together and they proved it... by doing what no MLS team could do : Beat Toronto at home.

I was 11 minutes late. I blame Gmail and Firefox for, somehow, opening up the game tickets to the Colorado match from a few weeks ago. Of course, I can't read, so I printed them, and marched merrily to the ground not thinking another damn thing about it

Will Call drama later, we enter New Fort York (We need a better name for the stadium other than a bank... seriously), grab a bevvie and head up to the stands. Vancouver apparently had a shot on net.

The penalty call was suspect, but sadly, warranted. TFC defender held a Vancouver player and threw him to the ground. Yes, he wasn't involved in the play, but that's still a foul, and in the box, it's still a penalty. Martin "Knowlton" Nash scored from the spot. This was the only goal of the game, but there should've been more. And few of them earned by the mighty reds.

Misconception #1 : The USL is shite. WRONG! The Lynx were shite (old school U-Sector knows... hell, I know first hand how bad they are) but the Impact and the Whitecaps are excellent sides. The gap between USL and MLS is NOT AS BIG AS YOU THINK. Just because it's called "Major League Soccer", doesn't mean it's "Major League anything". When you get a chance, go look up how the Red Bulls did in the US Open Cup this past weekend. They lost. 2-0. TO A USL DIVISION 2 SIDE.

Misconception #2 : TFC is infalliable. WRONG! We here at The Yorkies are very open with the concept of NOT SUPPORTING SHITE PLAY. When TFC is bad, we call it. Vancouver SCHOOLED Toronto. Watch the game again if you don't believe me. If all the great chances at goal were converted, Vancouver would've won the game 5-3. TFC were not anywhere near the dominant side. Pathetic, over-confident, under-prepared and really frustrating of you actually paid money for this game

Misconception #3 : The current squad is perfect for MLS supremacy. WRONG! We need a striker. Hell, Charles Gbeke who came on as a sub for the Whitecaps is ex-Lynx, ex-Impact, ex-Hamilton Thunder, ex-Rochester Rhinos is a journeyman striker who has a knack of scoring crazy goals from nothing. He was playing this week for Impact reserves and he stepped on the pitch and HIT THE POST. How many posts did Cunningham hit? Smith? Dichio?

I had a Whitecaps scarf on one arm. I don't believe that TFC has to "hate" everyone who comes into the ground. I believe in the concept of "friendly teams". There is no good reason to hate Vancouver. Kerfoot, the Caps owner, is doing more for soccer in Vancouver than our owners are doing for footie in Toronto. The Whitecaps should've got a nice cheer from educated folk. Personally, I'd like to extend a "friendly arm" to the following sides :

San Jose, Seattle, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Montreal.

Why? We're new school. That's a good start there. Especially San Jose how their fans got screwed out of a championship side... sorry, off topic.

Vancouver played excellent. Nolly was outstanding in goal for the Whitecaps. The Japanese kid was a sparkplug too.

However, we cannot forget the "genetically deteriorating officiating" for this match. Cunningham's goal was completely legit and they blew it (in more ways than one) offside. I will be able to justify my season's ticket going up another 10% if it means IMPORTING REFEREES and sending the current ones TO A REAL REF SCHOOL where they actually have to PASS IT instead of sitting in a room for 2 days and learning to ref by osmosis.

Man of the match : Sutton.

"Budgie" award : Wynne, the only player out there on TFC NOT in a keeper's kit who seemed like he was taking Vancouver as serious as any other MLS side. Thank you Mr. Wynne.

Thumbs up : Um, Sutton, Wynne.

Thumbs down : Anemic forwards. Our midfield took more shots than our forwards. If that's the case, I will happily embrace a 4-6-0 system for the rest of the season.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Since this is the first installment of The Starting 11, here is a little description. Simply, it is a sort of Top 10 list but because this is a “Football First” website we’ll go with a starting eleven! Look for this feature to bring you a Yorkies’ take on lists that will range from the serious to the absurd in the world of footy. Hope you enjoy it but if all 11 aren’t great, just remember, there’s at least one Andy Welsh in most 11’s! Cheers and now for the first Starting 11…


11. “THE PRAHA DERBY” A great derby in Prague that has the intellectual and artsy types supporting Slavia Praha while the working class fans follow the giant AC Sparta Praha. Sparta’s communist era backing still makes them the richest and strongest Czech squad but Slavia has equal history and has returned to give them a real challenge recently.

10. “THE SAO PAOLO DERBY” Sharing the mammoth 95,000 seat Maracana stadium only helps fuel the fire that truly rages between supporters of Fluminese and Flamengo. Fluminese’s aristocratic fan base is at odds with Flamengo’s working class appeal and tempers always flare. Not to be attended by the faint of heart.

9. “THE MERSEYSIDE DERBY” The city of Liverpool’s oldest team is actually Everton but for the last 50 years most attention has been paid to Anfield’s Liverpool FC. Everton were the far superior team in the early 20th Century and Goodison Park was the scene of many victories but LFC’s rise to prominence as one of the world’s major clubs has been a bitter pill for Evertonians. The two sets of fans simply don’t like each other even if Liverpool FC often overlooks the local rivals.

8. “IL DERBY CAPITALE” The 82,000 seat Stadio Olimpico in Rome is home to this heated derby that has vicious political undertones. Lazio’s base of support has always been the right wing conservatives and even Benito Mussolini was a supporter. The fascist leanings still have remnants with the team’s Ultras and are at odds with the left leaning workers who support the eternal city’s true favourite team AS Roma.

7. “THE ISTANBUL DERBY” On one side of Turkey’s biggest city is continental Europe, on the other side is Asia. An equally big rift is the support for Galatasaray and the support of its bitter rival Fenerbahce. Both teams have seen success and this derby is infamous for long standing hatred and constant violence. Don’t believe it? Just ask teams who arrive at Istanbul’s airport where supporters hang banners reading “Welcome To Hell”.

6. “DE KLASSIEKER” This one loses points because it is not a local derby but considered a national derby. However, when Dutch giants Ajax of Amsterdam and Feyenoord of Rotterdam meet, there is no mistaking the rivalry. Amsterdam, the free-thinking, pot smoking, red-lighting city has a fan base that is huge and tends to be more white collar while hard-working, industrial Rotterdam gives Feyenoord a blue collar base. Both sets of fans are tough though, and whether the match is at Amsterdam Arena or at De Kuip it is usually a touchy affair.

5. “THE BUENOS AIRES DERBY” The Argentine capital’s two main clubs were both formed in the tough docks by European sailors. Somewhere along their histories though River Plate moved north and became associated with Buenos Aires’ elite population and moved into the Monumental National Stadium. Boca Junior on the other hand stayed close to its roots and built the infamous Bombonera Stadium to cater to its working class fan base. This is one of South America’s hardest derbys and what doesn’t take place in the stadiums is often taken to the streets.

4. “THE NATIONAL DERBY” Once again we have a national rather than local derby but when Real Madrid and Barcelona meet there are major political forces at play. Barcelona plays in the Catalan region of Spain, which seeks independence from Spain. Real Madrid represents the republican aspirations of Spain. When Spain was under fascist rule, Barcelona and its supporters were under heavy scrutiny and many feel Real won many favours in the league during this time. In short, this derby has football, history and independence at stake. Take that Real Salt Lake versus Colorado Rapids.

3. “THE MILANESE DERBY” They share the massive San Siro Stadium. They have spilt titles and cups for 100 years. They have both seen some of football’s legends in their colours. Their fans couldn’t hate each other more. Inter Milan, once the home of elite support, is now the working class choice in Milano while AC Milan’s humble beginnings are now forgotten as the upper class follow the club owned by Italy’s 3-time leader and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi.

2. “THE NORTH LONDON DERBY” Here’s the story in a nutshell. Tottenham Hotspur played in North London. Arsenal played south of the River Thames in Woolwich. Arsenal got rich and moved to North London while its owners signed a deal to join the First Division without promotion. To make room for Arsenal, the FA relegated Tottenham without reason. They play about 15 minutes away from each other. They have taken turns through the 20th Century being London’s glamour club. Spurs fans have long memories. Arsenal fans have had a lot to celebrate recently. Neighbours who hate each other like few other sets of supporters.

1. “THE OLD FIRM” What can be said about Glasgow’s derby that hasn’t been said already? Celtic has predominant Catholic support. Rangers have traditional Protestant support. Hundreds of years of religious based hatred and rivalry, manifesting itself in green and white hoops or blue. Whether at Celtic Park or at Ibrox this is the world’s true king of derby matches. By the way, only one player has been on both sides of the pitch, some guy named Mo Johnston… anyone around here heard of him?