The Yorkies' Regular Features

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

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hitchhiker's Guide to Drawing the Galaxy

"Don't Panic."

The Hollywood script on tonight's match between TFC and LA Galaxy was practically written in most circles before the first whistle. Most Hollywood observers (not the "Hollywood Observer") would have predicted a Galaxy win as confidently as predicting the ending of a Jennifer Aniston rom-com (she gets the guy) or that Lost's series finale will bitterly disappoint its fans (Heaven, time-warp, aliens, fat guy's dream - who cares). However, it seems as if Preki did a re-write, went all "M.Knight", and threw in a twist.

The pre-match news seemed to add to the seemingly inevitable horror that has been The Reds' road show in 2010 as Julian de Guzman was rendered ineligible due to a bad hamstring. His replacement, Martin Saric is definitely stuntman to JDG's Fred Astaire and with O'Brien White already down with injury, most TFC supporters expected TFC to come out and immediately turtle. Preki instead directed his rag-tag cast differently and took the game to Galaxy.

Perhaps emboldened by his first return to Home Depot Centre, the "Smiling Serb" played a fairly aggressive counter attack while the defensive line, particularly Adrian Cann and Nana Attakora, marshaled from the back. Although they didn't manage to get many good scoring chances in the first half, the real result was that neither did Galaxy. In fact the 0-0 scoreline at the half was fair to both clubs who played an entertaining 45 minutes with pace and some flair.

The second half saw Toronto try to up the offensive pressure on the counter attack and any opportunity was going to come from the aggressive and increasingly confident Chad Barrett. "The Chad" had a few chances and if Peki can increase his confidence to take the first time shot he may well continue to improve. Galaxy's strong defence however did manage to hold off TFC's bold attempts and as the half wore on, the inevitable TFC fatigue began to appear.

With about 20 minutes remaining, The Reds (who are in the midst of a hectic schedule) ran out of gas and their forward momentum faded. Preki made a trio of defensive minded substitutions which eliminated any chance of TFC sneaking a late goal but did give the squad just enough fresh legs to hold off the late Galaxy pressure driven by Landon Donovan. With help from some unlucky Galaxy forwards, surviving Maksim "Nyet Nyet Slow-viet" Usanov's red card and heroic goalkeeping from Toronto's Stefan Frei, The Reds managed to crack the hoodoo of road futility in 2010. While still seeking their first league win on the road, this far more confident showing from TFC at least defied the inevitable Hollywood ending... enough at least to deserve a sequel. Preki 2: Electric Boogaloo?


1 comment:

  1. It was a good result. Not the prettiest but solid. Preki is turning it around and Mo needs to get some credit too.