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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Letters from Camp: Dinamo, Dynamo... discuss.

You say Dinamo we say Dynamo

Despite leaving Turkey two weeks ago, Toronto FC kept with the Balkan opponent theme by playing Dynamo this evening in Orlando. Okay, it wasn't Dinamo Anyone or even a Dynamo followed by a wacky Cyrillic alphabet-spelled city - it was our old orange pals Houston Dynamo.
TFC's opening match at one of North America's finest theme park related football tournaments was mostly newsworthy due to MLS streaming live video for the fans. That of course meant that hundreds of Reds supporters and well over seven Houston supporters were glued to their computer screens enjoying the "top-notch" commentary from ESPN3. In case you missed the online action (or you just love text updates... weirdo) here's what went down in Mouse Town...
TORONTO FC 1st Half Line-up: Stefan Frei, Demetrius Omphroy, Nana Attakora, Adrian Cann, Mikael Yourassowsky, Ivo De Heus, Dwayne De Rosario, Nick LaBrocca, Jacob Peterson, Jamal Gay, Javier Martina
HOUSTON DYNAMO 1st Half Line-up: Brian Ching and a bunch of dudes we'll see later this year
1' - Aron Winter instantly upset that Houston line-up didn't include one Disney character
4' - TFC playing their very sharp 4-3-3 short pass style and controlling possession
5' - ESPN3 announcers are truly "fantastic"... Nick LaBrocca is forever now referred to as "Nick LaBroker". Okay, he looks like an H&R Block rep but a broker?
7' - GOAL: The Broker himself shakes off the ESPN butchering of his name and feeds Jacob Peterson who shows great control and blasts the ball past the out of position Houston GK Tally Hall. Tally Ho! HOUSTON DYNAMO 0 - TORONTO FC 1
9' - Sparse crowd at Disney due to long lines at Space Mountain. Few in attendance are big fans of the Argos-esque foghorn.
11' - GOAL: Right up Yourassowsky! TFC's defence is broken down too easily as Houston's Geoff Cameron hits a laser off of a great inswinging cross. HOUSTON DYNAMO 1 - TORONTO FC 1
13' - ESPN3 classic as announcers call a Houston corner a "free kick piece". Simply wonderful.
19'- Houston controlling the play as TFC fail to break into Dynamo final third
22' - Ivo "In" De Heus flattened like a Dutch pancake but manages to get back on his clogs
25' - Dynamo continue to control the possession with physical play
26' - ESPN3 informs us that TFC's Head Coach "Mark Winter" is bringing the Dutch influence. Good to know. Good luck Mark.
28' - PENALTY: Gay bashing! Houston defender hauls down Jamal Gay in the box and the ref points to the spot. De Ro to take the PK and... GOAL! HOUSTON DYNAMO 1 - TORONTO FC 2
37' - ESPN3 feeling the "wrath" as they refer to TFC defender as Adrian "Kaaahn"
42' - GOAL: Dynamo's Brad Davis hits a bullet on a free kick from just outside of the box. HOUSTON DYNAMO 2 - TORONTO FC 2
44' - Demetrious Omphroy threads a great cross onto a charging De Ro who collides with Tally Hall. Tally Ho!
TORONTO FC 2nd Half Line-up: Who really knows? TFC Twitter and ESPN3 feed equally useless. Dan Gargan, Matt Stinson, Nick Soolsma and Gianluca Zavarise in. Martina, Attakora, Omphroy and somebody else out... unless TFC is playing with 12.
HOUSTON DYNAMO 2nd Half Line-up: Really?
45' - Best part of ESPN3 Half Time was on-field reporter Michael Caine. Loved him in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Jaws 4
48' - Second stringers for both teams slowing down play as they feel each other out
50' - Announcers mention twice that Toronto hasn't had a winning season since being founded. Thanks.
55' - Game far choppier and recklessly physical compared with 1st half
58' - De Ro goes down a bit hard but gingerly gets up
59' - Double substitution - De Ro and Gay out (stop that); Oscar Cordon and Maicon Santos in
62' - Rowdy fans playing some kind of samba beat on their seats. Just waiting for that Disney Electric Parade thingy to start
64' - ESPN3 announce that the game has fallen into a "half court set". Priceless.
67' - The only thing you can hear on the broadcast is the wacky Dutch accent of the screaming Bob de Klerk. Like an angry Rotterdam pimp.
68' - GOAL: Houston's Cam Weaver wiggles past a lead-footed Dan Gargan and heads it past Stefan Frei. HOUSTON DYNAMO 3 - TORONTO FC 2
69' - Sub - Jacob Peterson out, Joao Plata let out of his shoebox and comes in
71' - Maicon Santos goes close from 20 yards but just over the bar
74' - If this half had a Disney dwarf he would be named "Sloppy"
79' - Handful of fans start the classic "USA! USA!" chant. Really? Where's Nikolai Volkoff when you need him?
80' - Houston go close as Frei caught out of position then get a second attempt but Frei makes a great diving stop
84' - ESPN3 announcer genuinely refers to himself as amazing. When I say it I use giant quotation marks
89' - Zavarise hits a great long range free-kick into Houston area - sadly Joao Plata's 5 foot 2 head was the target and the ball was at least 5 foot 7 in the air
91' - Referee being pressured to end the game before Goofy stabs Pluto out of frustration
Let's go down to Get Carter's Michael Caine...
And so ends Toronto's opening match of the Walt Disney Pro Soc... blah, blah, blah. TFC showed some first half signs of good technical football but often looked bullied in defensive situations. However, it's still early days and this match did involve a number of trialists and featured a second half that was stiffer than Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen head. With the loss, TFC cannot win the Mouse Cup (how will I sleep?) and are forced to play Orlando City in this weekend's 3rd Place match. Let's see, ESPN3 announcers, a USL side... yeah, Saturday's recap may be shorter folks.


  1. My favorite part was when the Houston coach told the camera guys to get out of the way. "Can you guys move? I am sorry.. do you really need to film me this long.."

  2. Underwhelming, like the calibre of trialists on TFC. Yes, you can critique with all the normal (and yearly) euphemisms but I am no longer that naive.

    This is a mediocre product at best, in a massive developmental process. One streamed shot of the coaching bench was clearly written into Winter's and De Klerk's faces and shouted "damn it, this team is rough".

    Long season ahead folks. What will hold me will be the possession styled with myth-attacking football that my dreams consist of. Trades are a coming.

  3. I watched the first half with my brother. He said the midfield was crap, but they made a lot of good runs and hell, even had a defence that kept the opposing attackers on ther toes.