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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Letters from Camp: Lions King at Disney

From Austin to Orlando... The Circle of Life

Well, if there is a such thing as "The Circle of Life" in preseason then Toronto FC's tactical training and integration of new players is still emerging from its infancy. While it's fair to expect that a massive overhaul in football theory, which Winter and Co. are attempting, will take a while to happen, the progress has been incremental.
The birthing pangs of "Total" Toronto FC were well on display during much of tonight's friendly against USL Second Division newcomers Orlando City (formerly Austin Aztex). In a match, admittedly a meaningless one, where most fans would expect an MLS side to dominate, The Reds struggled to create any quality offensive chances out of their quick passing 4-3-3 system. For you sick little monkeys (like us) who want the briefest of MLS v USL 2 preseason recaps, here goes... For the rest of you, go watch The Lion King, it will make you feel better.
TORONTO FC 1st Half Line-up: Milos Kocic, Dan Gargan, Chris Hunter, Adrian Cann, Mikael Yourassowsky, Matt Stinson, Ivo de Heus, Dwayne De Rosario, Nick Soolsma, Jamal Gay, Javier Martina
6' - Toronto defence undone early with Yourassowsky the goat. A man with that name needs to be more careful. Kocic with a good save
10' - ESPN3 announcers are just precious. At least no "free kick pieces" or "half court sets"
22' - Orlando has had at least 3 free kicks from dangerous areas. TFC still trying to find an offensive outlet
32' - Walt Disney's frozen head not in attendance tonight
38' - TFC getting a little closer to the Orlando goal with Javier Martina looking like the only one with a goal in his boots tonight
42' - Does anyone else remember "Sport Goofy"?
45' - Stinson goes close but finish is a let down as is the half which mercifully ends
TORONTO FC 2nd Half Subs In: Ashtone Morgan for Yourassowsky, Nick LaBrocca for Cann, Jacob Peterson for Gay (It doesn't get old)
48' - Second half starts the way the first ended for TFC. A bit like watching a plumber try to paint the Mona Lisa
54' - Toronto owning possession but still unable to crack Orlando's final third
59' - Just realized Disney World's tiny football stadium has a better roof than BMO Field
67' - Keith "Booyah" Makubuya and Maicon Santos in for De Rosario and Martina
70' - Mouse Butty anyone?
76' - GOAL: Not only does Orlando City sub in their Assistant Coach Ian Fuller but he decides to cut through the TFC "defence" like the proverbial knife through butter. Some very poor defending. ORLANDO CITY 1 - TORONTO FC 0
80' - Why does it seem more embarrassing when a USL 2 side's fans sing the "Na na na Goodbye" song?
85' - Makubuya tries to make something happen in the Orlando box but results in nothing more than a goalmouth scramble
90' - Match descends to time wasting. Disney’s head is giggling in its brine.
Unlike any number of animated Disney films, the heroes didn't come out on top today. In fact the whole trip to the "Magic Kingdom" was far from magical for The Reds who come in last in the Mickey Mouse Cup.
Despite being a preseason friendly, losing to a club two divisions lesser than you never feels good. While Toronto continues to build its new system from the ground up, Reds supporters may now be getting the feeling that early season patience will be needed. The passing game has improved, the style is better but the defensive shape and offensive output is definitely not there yet. Good outing for youngsters Demetrious Omphroy and Javier Martina but the defensive lead feet from the likes of Dan Gargan and Mikael Yourassowsky will stand out tonight. As Toronto move on to non-Disney pastures, "work in progress" is most apt.


  1. The mouse butty I had was best served with the extra hot mustard. The ears wear wonderfully crunchy.

    Did anyone see the TV shots of our coaching bench. Grown men watching a horror story. Shock and disbelief in their eyes. Real human emotion.

    Someone who went to Orlando stated that De Klerk was bemoaning the lack of pasion in players who want to make a squad. I believe it.

  2. ^It's interesting that De Klerk would say that as I think it is something that most TFC fans have felt from a number of (most of) our players past and present. I can think of only a handful of players that had/have an obvious passion for the game and TFC.

  3. Dan Gargan has to go. He is not good. Fan favorite maybe, but shit player.

    This smoke and mirrors new TFC is shit. IT's a joke. MLSE is still behind the bullshit.

  4. Sometimes I think that we just cannot attract players of at least MLS quality. We seem to attract players who believe that they can play in the MLS, but in honesty would have a difficult time trialing for a USL team.

    Gargan is not a great player, but he certainly is not the worst on the field. This team has a very long way to go.

    Were we not supposed to get Central and South American trialists in Florida?

  5. That Aleman kid from the Academy on the U-17's is better than half the team at TFC from what I saw in Orlando recently.