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Saturday, April 2, 2011

AFTER 90: Frustrating Reds draw Goats in Faux-Mexican Standoff

Seriously BMO Field ad people? Mean.

Hours of bluster. Since the Dwayne De Rosario trade madness started up 24 hours ago it's all we've faced. Chattering media, confused fan's banter and an ex-captain who always wants the last word. It was the bluster of wind however that howled through BMO Field today as Toronto FC played the first game in their post-DeRo era. A cold and indeed breezy environment welcomed the Reds onto their home turf as they were led out by newly minted, and rather surprising, captain Maicon Santos. This is what it sounds like when Goats cry...
1' - There would have been a larger ripple of surprise that Maicon Santos was the new TFC captain but BMO Field doesn't fill up until the 20th minute
2' - GOAL! Perhaps TFC's defence was surprised by the announcement as they failed to concentrate and allowed Chivas USA's Alejandro Moreno to scramble home a messy goal after missing four opportunities to clear it
4' - The only thing flatter than the cold and still sparse crowd is the painfully tepid start to the match by TFC. They can't be THAT depressed about DeRo
12' - TFC still refusing to attack Chivas' goal while the Mexi-Mericans squander numerous chances
15' - Stirrings of life as Alen Stevanovic shows some class on the ball. He is the new DeRo after all
17' - Former Red and current tax attorney Nick LaBrocca hauls down Stevanovic in a move we call "Getting Audited". If the ref wasn't MLS-worst Baldomero Toledo there may have been a call
20' - Bored elements of crowd wish Chivas USA's "Chivas Girls" dancers were a road act
24' - Javier Martina pulling team up by bootstraps. Earns a corner which Alan Gordon gets his head solidly onto only for the ball to rattle the post.
31' - New captain Maicon Santos sends a 20-yard screamer into Chivas GK Dan Kennedy's gut
33' - BMO Field misses the boat with lack of "Goat" themed food available today. C'mon - "Goat Roti in a Waffle Cone" too much to ask for?
36' - GOAL! TFC capitalize on a period of good play as Alan Gordon's giant noggin successfully slices home a great free kick from Jacob Peterson
42' - BMO Field staff don't see the irony of the new electronic ad hoardings flashing Red Bull logos at the crowd
44' - TFC controlling the match and nearly take the lead after Maicon Santos scrambles the ball into the Chivas net only to be called minutely offside my the linesmen. "MLS Officiating - Catch The Taste"
46' - Crowd excited that no local rappers were "entertaining us" during the half but also by Julian de Guzman's return to play as a sub for Jacob Peterson
50' - TFC shockingly start the 2nd Half as flat as the way they started the 1st. Winter needs to start giving pep talks in English
55' - Good thing he has his looks. Adrian Cann is a good shot-blocker but his feet are like bricks when dribbling. Not adapting to "Torontotal" football well
57' - Chivas' Corona sponsored kits make throwing limes at them seem justified
59' - Maicon Santos reverts back to his non-Brazilian alter-ego "Mike Sanders" as he walks the ball towards a wide-open Chivas net but somehow manages to miss. What is Brazilian-Portuguese for "side of a barn"?
62' - MLS referees. Did we mention them? So choice.
65' - DeRo bounty Tony Tchani gets on end of a cross and somehow produces a slow-motion header into Dan Kennedy's hands.
65' - No faking - Dicoy Williams in for Nana Attakora
68' - The Corona must be kicking in because Chivas looks drunk-guy confident
69' - Alen Stevanovic slightly hobbles off as 3 foot 6 inch striker Joao Plata makes his TFC debut. Bottom of his shorts touch the grass
75' - Aron Winter's head may actually explode at Baldomero Toledo. Welcome to MLS
80' - Chivas controlling the offence. Stefan Frei and his day-glo green jumpsuit are the only thing between a draw and ugly
82' - Fans surprisingly angry towards Nick LaBrocca. I was nice - haven't filed my taxes yet
85' - Total football degrading to Mo-tal football
90'+ - Best thing referee Toledo did all day. Blow the final whistle.
Flat was probably the most apt word to describe the match. A strange 24 hours for the club, its players and its fans which expressed itself onto the pitch. The single point at the end of the match was a fair result for two clubs who will likely spend majority of the year holding up the MLS table. Hopefully by time TFC's next fixture rolls around, the DeRo mess will be drifting into the horizon. However, if De Rosario thought he could get a parting shot at Winter's club, the Dutchman put things to rest in his own way. Enough he said, he shed for now though... I've still got limes to put in Coronas.
PLAYER RATINGS: Stefan Frei 7 / Danleigh Borman 7 / Adrian Cann 5 / Nana Attakora 6 / Ty Harden 6 / Jacob Peterson 6 / Tony Tchani 5 / Alen Stevanovic 6 / Alan Gordon 7 / Maicon Santos 6 / Javier Martina 7 / SUBS: Julian de Guzman 5 / Dicoy Williams 6 / Joao Plata N/A
MATCH IN FIVE WORDS: Blustery. Flat. Frustrating. New era.

* Many thanks to Mike Santos for use of his great pic of Red Bull not only taking our captain but then flashing their name in our stadium!


  1. Attakora made some nice recovery runs where he chased down and closed down a couple of opponents, but his marking when his opponent doesn't have the ball is too loose. Braun too easily ghosted away from him on two occassions and too easily lost Harden on the one second half corner kick, with header saved by Frei.

    Considering it was his first game with new teammates in an important part of the field Tchani had a better match than a "5" rating. He's going to be a good pick up in that ballwinning mid position: he's better than Sturgis and definitely better than the stiffs who filled that position alongside De Guzman last year: Nane (managed to find employment with Colorado), Sanyang (unemployed after failed trial with Chicago), and Saric (overrated by some local supporters as "serviceable," but also clubless).

  2. I was really surprised with Tchani today, thought he had a decent game, really fought for the ball. Toledo lives up to his reputation. Maybe MLS can get some DP referees?

  3. Like the report but can't agree on the rating for Tchani. To arrive at a new club last night and go straight into the line-up in the heart of midfield for a young 20-something was rather impressive. I thought he was solid and looks to have plenty of potential. The other ratings I'd pretty much agree with though perhaps an 8 for Gordon, he always looked dangerous - scored a nice goal, won everything in the air and laid on a gimmie to Santos who happened to balls it up.

  4. Thanks for the feedback guys. Ratings are a funny thing when you do them after watching a match live. Think your thoughts are justified. Watching replays I would change Tchani to a 6 and Attakora to a 5. Cheers mates!

  5. Great shot of the East stands.

    Images of Columbus about to appear at BMO Field.