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Saturday, April 23, 2011

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Columbus... or how to spot multiple plagues in 90 minutes

Well how's that for a weather turn around? Last week, on the cusp of freezing rain and freezing temperatures, today a balmy 21C. The setting was perfect for an afternoon of... PLAGUES!

Just before kick-off, we were greeted with swarms of mosquitoes! All of that money raised for malaria nets could come in to good use right about now. Kidding. Sorta. Anyways, Toronto has never defeated Columbus apparently, and the Crew haven't allowed a goal in 4 matches. Another ideal scenario for a (goal) drought from the mighty Reds Robins! Oh the pressure, the stigma.

At kick-off we acknowledge the 6 to 7 supporters who made their way up from Columbus to see their "fightin' bananas" play. A special shout out to whomever borrowed mom's minivan for the day. The afternoon kick-off really affords them the chance to get back home before curfew. I guess having that play-ground in the stadium was a meeting place after all.

Highlights :

25 - Counter attack found Martina on the wing losing his man and firing a low shot, parried away by Willie Hesmer.

35 - Renteria for Columbus who has been poaching like a... um... poacher (so much for that simile) manages to intercept a pass, and lays it off to Rogers who proceeds to curl it around the south stand. Well squandered.

36 - YELLOW - A wee scuffle at the Columbus bench earns Tony "Touch" Tchani a booking, and someone else on Columbus... but peculiarly enough, no one on the bench got as much as a stern looking at.

41 - GOAL - Brilliant ball over the top onto the path of Tony "Touch" , one hop and half-volleys the ball low past Hesmer. He scores his first goal for his new club, much to the adoration of the North End Elite which leads us to...

41 - RED - The ref, who clearly doesn't follow the MLS past the paycheque stage, books the over-enthusiastic Tony "Touch" for excessive celebration. As noted, he pulled the "Dichio" of a goal then a shower immediately thereafter. It was a fair but stupid booking. Yes, I'm biased. If you want real journalism, you wouldn't be reading a blog...

45 - SUB - Gordon is off for Yourassowsky.

48 - GOAL - And we joked that it was only going to be a matter of time before Columbus finds the hole (here's a hint, it's most of our defence) and exploits it. The poacher, Emilio RenterĂ­a, nabs it.

54 - The pitch has opened up, more real attempts at each side. Seriously, WTF is with TFC playing better with 10 than 11? It's as rediculous as fighting blindfolded.

63 - SUB - Martina off for Eckersley, the new loan acquisition from Burnley.

76 - SUB - Maicon off for Plata. That dude is so pocket tiny...

79 - Plata is on the receiving end of an absolute hammering from Julius James. James was booked for his frustration in being unable to dislodge Plata from the ball.

FULL TIME : Toronto 1, Columbus 1

Man of the Match : Dicoy Williams was a beast in the back today. Looked great and the reason why I put "most" in the exploit line.
Goat of the Game : Dan Gargan wasn't bad, but his lack of skills exposed him too much. He wasn't fast when he needed to be and his judgment of high balls was really off, often under or over running where the ball's trajectory will end up.
Ref Rating : He was equally bad on both sides, but we feel that Tony "Touch"'s second booking was unnecessary. Let the man have his moment, then talk to him in the tunnel at the half. 3 out of 5.

Team ratings : Frei 6.5, Cann 6.5, Williams 7, Borman 6, Gargan 5.5, de Goo 6, Tony "Touch" 6.5 until the red, Santos 6.5 (Plata -), Peterson 6, Gordon 6 (Yourassowsky 6), Martina 6.5 (Eckersley 7)

The security seemingly were pulling people at random around the 75th minute, so if there was any sense of solidarity, the fans should havv walked out in protest but chose to think a "who are ya?" chant would send a message. It didn't... Dear MLSE, you have our money, your have our commitment, you have our attention. If you're not going to give us anything of value for our money, leave the supporters alone and pray that we remain stupid enough to keep coming back... I really was digging Eckersley and what he can bring to the side as he was playing in the middle of the pitch when TFC had the ball then moved back when they didn't... it took me a good 20 minutes to realize that we had reverted back to a 4-4-2. I thought "Total Football" was a 4-3-3 for the most part. I guess that's covered in Chapter 9 - Formation, when they're only on Chapter 4 - Clearing the Ball.

Up the Robins!


  1. Regardless of how this draw happened it is not good,we need home wins. 6 out of 15 points at home is brutal even for a "rebuilding" team. The game against Edmonton this week is going to be very interesting. I haven't read anything yet on how Winter sees the NCC.

  2. You should've given the reef a 1 out of 5 rating. For the first time in many weeks, I think he was the biggest, and probably the only reason we lost.