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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Letters from Camp: United they stood

"Aww Adrian... you didn't have to"

From a results point of view, Toronto FC's participation in this year's Carolina Challenge Cup won't go down as their most successful stop in Charleston. Winning a friendly tournament trophy is never high on the pre-season goals list but this year in particular, the tourney was obviously a training ground for The Reds and not a place for wins. Going into tonight's final match against DC United, many wondered if the performance would be closer to what is expected 7 days from now or a continuation of that training style.
Facing DC United was a good test as the club from the US Capitol is coming off a season even worse than the dreadful one seen in Toronto. United are rebuilding under a new coach with a new style and will be a team TFC needs to be superior to if they want to dream of playoffs. However, when DC add a guy like Charlie Davies while Toronto adds Nick Soolsma, many will see United as the better of the two clubs going into 2011. Here's briefly how the "Battle of the Titans" went down earlier tonight...
TFC match starters... Frei, Gargan, Attakora, Harden, Yourassowsky, Sturgis, Cordon, De Rosario, Zavarise, Peterson, Maicon
2' - Yourassowsky starts as he means to go on by "assing" up a defensive marking
7' - Literally dozens of rabid fans on hand. Some actually rabid.
12' - GOAL! Charlie Davies eats 3 TFC defenders alive and blasts it high past Frei
DC United 1 - Toronto FC 0
15'- DC's 87-year-old Canadian GK Pat Onstad a symbol of good socialized health care. DC Republicans will hate him
19' - PENALTY DC's Dax McCarty hauls down Gianluca Zavarise leading us to chant "When you're fouled from behind like a big pizza pie, Za-varise!" GOAL! De Ro takes PK
DC United 1 - Toronto FC 1
25' - Toronto energized by goal and controlling play
28' - Stefan Frei does a major Aron Winter no-no and boots a long-ball... however Maicon Santos gets on the end of it and GOAL! Past Onstad's walker!
DC United 1 - Toronto FC 2
32' - Oscar Cordon showing his youth and having his worst game
34' - Charleston advertising hoarding of the night: "RENT A PARTY TENT! 971-GOAL Oooh! I can get some Piggly Wiggly and eat it in my party tent!
37' - Two quick yellow cards for Yourassowsky leads to a RED CARD and a sending off. You sir, are an ass owsky. TFC down to 10 men.
43' - Charleston Battery president/ amateur announcer Andrew Bell wonders aloud why Nick LaBrocca didn't start tonight. Maybe he had his tax forms filled out too.
45' - Overmatched Oscar Cordon off and replaced my The Prodigal Defender: Adrian Cann. Someone must have bought the team a box of Pot Of Gold chocolates
50' - DC pouring on the pressure trying to get an early equalizer. Makes us miss the show The Equalizer
58' - Pretty sure Pat Onstad just put Metamucil in his water bottle
61' - GOAL! TFC can't hold back the offensive wave and Joseph Ngwenya puts the ball past a sprawling Frei
DC United 2 - Toronto FC 2
67' - Andrew Bell informs us that the pro shop at Charleston's Blackbaud Stadium sells vuvuzelas. Precious.
71' - Matt Gold in for Maicon Santos. Bob de Klerk yells "I love Gooooold!"
75' - Reds holding their shape well and managing to counter-attack
78' - Javier Martina on for Dwayne De Rosario
82' - Two party tents successfully rented during the match. Happy Birthday Bobby
89' - Gianluca Zavarise ends a good night and is replaced by Keith "BOOYAH" Makubuya
91' - TFC close out the match with some solid defending.

So, after a journey that started in late January in Turkey, Toronto's preseason matches are over. A solid draw tonight that was equally promising and frustrating. While the defensive lapses continue, The Reds managed to hold it together despite being a man down for nearly half of the match. Good performances by Zavarise, De Rosario and Frei were tempered by less than stellar nights for Cordon and Yourassowsky.
There is a sense this evening that it is upwards and onwards for TFC with a week to go before the opener in Vancouver. The sense of optimism was encapsulated by Adrian Cann's very public post-match mea culpa. "I'd like to apologize to the fans in Toronto, the organization and my fellow teammates, as well as Aron" said the remorseful Cann who with that hopefully shut the door on the only negative episode of camp. Changes are still possible but tonight's TFC may be what we can expect when the season begins in 7 short days.


  1. There is no doubt that positive movement ensues. I actually enjoyed this game.
    Highlight was DC United when they tried to show us how well they played in "Total Football", they sucked.
    We did not.
    Common' late summer when we gel.

  2. I appreciate the post game write up so quickly after the games. Some blogs used to do this but have lost the plot I guess lol.

    I watched the Cann interview on TFCTV and I think you can hear the sincerity in his voice, I wasn't expecting a public apology.

  3. Appreciate the comments Helmut. Can't promise they will be as quick when we have to TTC it back from BMO Field but we'll do our best!


  4. Hey Yorkies. Solid analysis and light-hearted fun. You guys and Red Nation are my go to sites. That other set of blog sites is a little too "inside baseball" for my liking. Keep up the great work!

    C to the D

  5. I know why Adrian is back, Winter probably thinks he's Tiesto's cousin!



  6. I got a chuckle out of the socialized health care comment regarding the seemingly ageless Onstad. I don't think the guy has received Canadian health care since his CSL days.

  7. There should be signings soon. The regular MLS season commences and players cannot play unless they are signed in regular season games.