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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

TFC rule the road at "401 Derby"

Not just a highway... a rivalry

Le party is over at Stade Saputo once again. The "Pink Provolones" aka L'Impact du Montreal have been L'eliminated from the 2010 NutCan by Toronto FC. On a chilly night at the "House That Le Cheese Built" (and of course massive provincial payouts) TFC managed to outwork the hometown Impact just enough to grab the win and three points which puts The Reds in a solid position in the tournament.

To use a Quebecois analogy, the first half of the match was like a cold plate of poutine washed down with a warm, flat Pepsi. In other words, stale and boring. In front of a half empty stadium (apparently Montreal has a fairly popular ice hockey team also playing tonight) the two teams did not play anything resembling quality football. Many errant passes and sloppy runs dotted the first 45 with The Reds midfield pairing of Gabe Gala and Martin Saric looking particularly uncomfortable while Nick Garcia continued his hobby of clearing balls to the opponent. Luckily for Toronto, Montreal was even worse but that didn't stop several roars emanating from the crowd unexpectedly. Initial reports that Joey Saputo was throwing salami into the crowd proved to be wrong and it was actually in regards to The Habs scoring goals hundreds of miles away.

The second half saw Preki sub in "The" Chad Barrett for Maksim "Slow-Viet" Usanov and Barrett immediately improved TFC's offensive structure. Toronto started to control the match going forward and the second substitution, which saw O'Brien White replaced by Nick LaBrocca, changed The Reds' gameplan completely. Dangerous shots, good passing and a series of close calls were only denied by some quality goalkeeping by Montreal's Matt Jordan. Impact continued it's sloppy play only to be greeted by a loud cheer - not a prosciutto-cannon, another Habs goal.

TFC finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute when a terrific run and cross by the confident Barrett was clattered into the net by a sliding Dwayne De Rosario. With TFC up 1-0 Montreal became more frantic on the ball as they tried to salvage a win in vain. Their poor offensive form was met with a raucous cheer from the few thousand in attendance - or the Habs won. Whatever. TFC held off a late Impact surge with some solid play from Sam Cronin who had a solid second half display at rightback and also some very commanding goalkeeping by Swiss Mister Stefan Frei. At the whistle it was TFC who took the 3 points and once again the dominant male role in the "401 Derby".

In a week where Montreal's football community celebrated its membership into Major League Soccer this will be a major let down. Oh well, 2012 isn't too far away... but maybe Mr. Garber best not schedule any matches when the Canadiens are playing. The random cheering from an empty stadium is just tres bizarre.



  1. I know Habs were playing but is that the best crowd that city can do for its main rival? Is that wht they will do in the MLS if hockey is on?