The Yorkies' Regular Features

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Really, really bad looking injury sees Cann gone for 2011

This is not an injury for ants

What could be the worst way to repair a defence that just saw itself ripped open for six goals this past weekend? How about losing the anchor of that already porous backline for the remainder of the season? No?
Thought you'd seen the last of Ty Harden? Think again, as Aron Winter and Toronto FC received terrible injury news today after Adrian Cann took a bad knock at practice. Tests on the sometime Canadian International defender / sometime fashion model came back later with the news that he had damaged his ACL, an injury which devastates any athlete. “I can confirm that Adrian has torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the season” said Winter - who likely went off to weep gently and swear in Dutch.
With the transfer window set to open, TFC will now have another major hole to fill in a defence that was already a jigsaw puzzle of mediocrity. In the immediate future, Cann's duties should fall to Nana Attakora who may have a chance to win back his starting role. If the young Canadian doesn't get this opportunity, Winter's decision will be scrutinized loudly. Sadly, with Dicoy Williams at the Gold Cup with Jamaica, the much-maligned Ty Harden will likely see minutes - and likely cost the club more goals.
Read the rest of the horror story at the Toronto FC site.

Monday, May 30, 2011

THE STARTING 11: Shocking new allegations against FIFA

"Qatar #1, Russia #1... ethics...hach pewy!"

There isn't too much else we can, or want, to say about Toronto FC this week after sitting through their 6-2 drubbing on Saturday. So, we thought we'd take a look at another well-oiled football machine with no apparent problems - FIFA. Unless you've been living under a football rock (I think it's in Oklahoma) then you've heard about the many accusations and allegations of corruption coming out of The Death Star FIFA's Swiss headquarters. The leadership race between Sepp Blatter and.. er... well Sepp Blatter has brought things to a head, but what other bombshells are about to hit the footy fan?
11. Original Association Football Rulebook called for touchdowns, bayonets, handlebar moustaches and executions during all matches
10. Sepp Blatter's actual name? Chip Bladder
9. Remains of Loch Ness Monster buried under Hampden Park
8. Top secret 1981 plans to sneak into IOC building - cover toilet seats with cling film
7. Canada being kept out of World Cup by dark, right-wing anti-syrup industrialist conspiracy
6. FIFA Headquarters was built in Switzerland on the promise of unlimited Toblerone bars and Ricola
5. Confidential medical tests show Diego Maradona was only high on life... or possibly rhinoceros uppers
4. Five-year plan to clean up FIFA to be led by Mo Johnston 

3. Jack Warner has threatened to reveal "The Caramilk Secret" if corruption charges are not dropped immediately
2. Mohamed Bin Hammam is actually former 1980's wrestler “The Iron Sheik”
1. Brazilian National team? Robots.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

62 losses in a 6-2 loss

"I got 62 problems but FC Zurich ain't one"

When you are beaten down so badly by a 14-month-old expansion club at your home ground, it is hard to see much past the digits on the scoreboard. 24 hours later, most ardent Toronto FC supporters are still feeling wounded by the experience of the 6-2 loss to Philadelphia - The Reds most humiliating home loss in its history. As bad as Dan Gargan and Ty Harden's charitable donations to Union's scoreline were; the shockingly underwhelming display of heart in majority of the rest of the squad; and, the seemingly bewildered state of Aron Winter; this was more than just a lopsided one-match set-back. In dishonour of the pathetic scoreline of 6-2, here are 62 other things lost at BMO Field yesterday...

- Three points at home
- $50 dollars lost betting on "the under"
- Julian de Guzman's last twelve supporters
- Enough creatively effective swear words to aim at Ty Harden
- Atmosphere
- Richard Eckersley's refusal to return to League Two Football
- Away matches seeming tougher than home fixtures
- Plans (or necessity) for stadium expansion
- A summer without fake DP rumours to sell season tickets
- Zero viewers on GolTV (already too low)
- Dan Gargan's right to put word "defender" on resume
- Crowded Supporters' Sections
- A chance to stick it to French playboy Sebastien Le Toux
- Another chunk of Aron Winter's reputation for picking line-ups
- Demitrius Omphroy's planned "Suck It Philly" tattoo
- Interest in how many free pizzas won at halftime
- Use of positive adjectives in blogs
- A chance of winning the "Cheesesteak v Butty" Derby on aggregate
- 30% of hearing from blaring pre-match music
- Scalpers' kids university tuition payments
- Large numbers of people who once thought DeRo played selfishly
- Joao Plata's 6-inch shoe lifts
- The enthusiastic second verse of "The Dichio Song"
- A chance to watch The Champions League pre-match show
- Some half-digested Chip Buttys
- Don Garber's glowing compliments of TFC as a "model franchise"
- Sales of "This Is Our House" t-shirts
- Any regrets Kevan Aleman had about not signing with the Academy
- Rohan Ricketts' interest in tweeting about #TFC
- Two hours of life
- 1000 names off MLSE's famous season ticket "waiting list"
- Chance to watch Stevanage Borough's dramatic playoff win
- Dutch players' celebratory post-match pancake
- The ability to show our faces in Chester, Pennsylvania
- New fans
- Persuading Academy prospects not to choose clown college instead
- Chance to see Nick Soolsma's post-goal tribute to Latino Hip-Hop
- Fans caring enough to even bother booing
- Keith Makubuya's usual happy post-match "Booyah!" greeting
- Ignoring family when they ask "why you pay money to be miserable"
- Stock in Jurgen Klinsmann's "Soccer Solutions" company
- The last 3 1/2 chapters of Union's 5-Year Plan
- Stefan Frei's chances of a summer transfer to FC Zurich
- Any chance of selling extra seats
- Nana Attakora's belief in himself
- Not a minute of sleep on the MLSE Board of Directors
- The unlikelihood of cheerleaders, thundersticks and a fluffy mascot
- Bob de Klerk's mind
- Another day in our second 5-Year Plan
- Adrian Cann's photoshoot in "Winning Athlete" magazine
- Other clubs' transfer interest in any TFC players
- Complaints about noise
- Players making eye contact with supporters
- Maicon Santos' desire to Lambada the night away
- Our one match with non-biblical weather
- Opportunities to make Fresh Prince jokes at Union's expense
- Chance for one Winter press-conference without word "pity"
- Time before Danny Dichio inevitably named next manager
- Any feeling that you weren't in a one-way love affair with TFC
- Whitecaps' nerves over NutCan replay
- Dicoy Williams' "Irie"-ness
- Player's self respect... we hope

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT: Toronto v Philadelphia... or Why we need a weather disaster to counteract the football disaster

Dude I had the strangest nightmare this week. I was in paradise and then there was a flash monsoon and lightning and Vancouver's Eric Hassili and then I was wearing lots of bubble wrap running into people screaming "I'm a pinball!"... That musta been some bad Pacific salmon I ate.

Philly is apparently good. Does it make for poor journalism if I don't research the opposition? Am I not a journalist? Answers : yes, no, and I don't give a sh*t.
Wait, wha?

3 - GOAL - What a dream start! The defender gives up a howler of a ball and its slotted past the keeper for an early 1-0 lead. Sadly, the howler was by Gargan and the goal was scored by Gabriel Farfan

11 - GOAL - Its magic time here as the mighty robins cough up another howler courtesy of Ty Harden and Justin Mapp let's a low shot fly past Frei.

22 - Pa...

25 - ...the...

33 - ...tic!

35 - A counter by the only two non-pathetics on the pitch as Plata gets the ball deep into Philly territory to lay it off to Eckersley who rockets it just over the bar.

38 - Plata appears to get hauled down in the box, but appeals for a penalty are unheard of.

Dear Philadelphia Union,
Its our turn to have Le Toux. You've had him long enough.

44 - GOAL - here's what you need to know : Kyle Nakazawa, Harden's fault. Again.

HALF-TIME : there isn't a curse word strong enough to be yelled loud enough to properly convey how the entire south stands feel at this moment.

45 - SUB - Gargan off for Borman

45 - SUB - deGoo off for Martina

To all you wanna be managers out there, letting a pathetic uninspired side "play out the half" cost them a third goal. And how Harden has a JOB let alone another chance this half must make more sense in Dutch than English.

48 - Santos tries to chip Philly keeper Mondragon which would usually be a good idea except Mondragon looks about 6'7" (standing next to Plata, but surely most people do next to the little buddy - turns out he's only 6'2 1/2")

51 - GOAL - What the fffff... Santos! Philly's trap is sprung and our favourite on-again/off-again Brazilian pushes the ball around Mondragon and slides in a very empty net. One more touch and it would've been an epic fail seen around the world... 3 defenders were a step away from him...

60 - GOAL - Seriously, what the fffff... Borman exploits a screw up by the Philly trap breaking down the side with an oh-so-pretty cross that Soolsma couldn't get to, but Santos does. 3-2 and the Robins are mounting one hell of a comeba...

62 - GOAL - Borman's weak pass to Plata gets picked up by Philly. Ends up with Mapp who side steps his marker and lofts an uncontested shot into the back of the net.

64 - Though TFC were completely worthless in the first 45 minutes, this half they've figured them out and keep pressing. The question of "aren't these games on tape" comes up as TFC should have known this before kick-off.

72 - GOAL - Philly corner and Mwanga gets his head to it to beat a handcuffed Frei

73 - SUB - Stevanovic for Harden which by my watch is 73 minutes too f'ing late.

77 - Someone in section 114 is shooting beer down the hollowed shaft of a supporters flag and it is causing a commotion. We now have the fraternity of Phi Beta Fail. Scarves, message board and link off of TFC's website to come shortly.

Come to think of it, I would love a scarf of Phi Beta Fail...

89 - GOAL - Danny Mwanga. Didn't see it. Stopped caring 5 mins ago.

FULL-TIME : Toronto 2, Philadelphia 6

Man of the Match : Santos if only for the goals.

Goats of the Game : Harden and Gargan were "seriously doubting the existence of footballing skills" level of bad.

Ref Rating : at least a 4 out of 5. Very good stuff.

Player ratings : Frei 5.5, Gargan 3 (Borman 6), Harden 3 (Stevanovic NA), Williams 6, Eckersley 6.5, deGoo 5 (Martina 6), Tchani 5.5, Yourassowsky 6, Santos 6.5, Soolsma 6, Plata 6.5

We wanted to rate Gargan and Harden with 1's, but it is humanly possible to play worse... The south end supporters couldn't be bothered to sing after 3-0, and again at 5-2 which tells us there is a limit to their blind devotion and there's nothing wrong with that... 4-3-3 is fun, just missing 7-9 more players to use it properly... That's one and a half games in four days where Toronto has looked embarrassingly bad... We predicted a loss, but not an 8 goal smashfest... No weather system to bail them out this time... Le Toux was robbed from a well earned goal all game as he was all over the defenders and it scared the hell outta me... Speaking of MLS wish lists, I want Cronin and DeRo back ASAP, and lets go after Jamison Olave of RSL... As a United supporter, Barca looked amazing, full credit to them.

Friday, May 27, 2011

THE MATCHUP: "Yo homes to BMO!"

"TFC, up to no good - gotta play better in the neighbourhood"

- How has Philadelphia become such a rounded squad in one season as opposed to the 15-year plan Toronto FC is currently under?
- Surely Union's leading scorer isn't the same Carlos Ruiz who pouted through five games with TFC in 2008?
- Has the pitch at BMO Field drained at all or has Thursday and Friday's rain just poured on top of Wednesday night's biblical flooding?
- Did playing 59 minutes and getting a free shower make Wednesday night's TFC starters too tired for Saturday's tilt?
- Are Union playing this well because they are Philadelphia born and raised and on the playground is where they spend most of their days?
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "UEFA Champions League Pre-Match"
TORONTO FC: Stefan Frei, Joao Plata, Dicoy Williams
PHILADELPHIA: Sebastien Le Toux, Faryd Mondragon, Carlos Ruiz
- MLS issuing scuba gear to both clubs pre-match: 10-1
- If losing, Aron Winter to abruptly pull team off the pitch when he claims he hears thunder in the distance: 20-1
- TFC supporters spontaneously breaking into a chant based on "Whoomp!" but with the words "Roof! Where it is?": 100-1
- Despite on-field success, there is a Plan B in place if Union aren't a financial success in Philadelphia - the club has a contingency to move to Bel-Air
- Carlos Ruiz may miss the match on Saturday as it usually takes him 2-3 weeks to show up at BMO Field
- MLSE had to petition Toronto Health to broadcast the UEFA Champions League Final on the BMO Field screens post-match. Officials feared that football fans watching Man United vs. Barcelona after 90 minutes of TFC would be at risk of confusion, depression and possible brain aneurysms
THE WAGER: 1-0 Philadelphia (2011: 11-5 with 4 exact scores)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: God hates Whitecaps... Now with 50% More Updates!

For those of you not currently prune-skinned from head to toe and looking for some type of NutCan post-match report... look out the window. With Vancouver up 1-0 and leading a flat Toronto FC comfortably, nature called and let her damp fury loose over BMO Field.

Late this evening, due to lightning, biblical rain and possibly the delayed Rapture, the NutCan Final 2nd Leg was abandoned and a full replay will be attempted tomorrow. We will aim to bring you a dry (moisture, not humour) recap whenever this match takes place.

Oh, and that Viking screaming heard in Toronto right now? Teitur Thordarson.

More on Earth vs. Vancouver Whitecaps here ...

UPDATE (MAY 26 - 930AM) - The match has been officially postponed after Parks Canada confirmed that schools of Lake Ontario trout have been found in front of both BMO Field goalmouths. Also, the search for Joao Plata amongst the 5 Foot 4 puddles has yet to be concluded - God speed "Santos' Little Helper".

Match to be replayed in its entirety on July 2nd (aka Canadian Boxing Day). Details here

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT: Toronto v Vancouver... or a dream start!

What a gorgeous spring evening on the shores of Lake Ontario. The warm breeze kisses our cheeks with the promise of beautiful football tearing through the fresh cut blades of the hallowed BMO turf with national supremacy on the line. Don't you wish you were here.

1 -Winter fields his strongest side to date. deGoo and Tchani the powerful midfield engine driving the attack of Plata, Santos and Soolsma. Cann and Williams poised to anchor the mighty Robins to a famous victory over their west coast rivals.

4 - the skies darken and precipitation begins to fall. Nothing can ruin tonight...

10 - Ok, is it getting wetter... oh it should clear up shortly

15 - Sure, I'm ill-dressed with a fabric zip-up sweater, but surely I won't get soaked through everything

18 - GOAL - how is this rain causing this? Hassli gets a lucky deflection off the deGoo... but what a howler by Cann. Seriously. Annoying.

22 - Toronto has a ton of possession right now but can't do anything in the final third. And my hat is soaked right through

27 - Oh come on, what the hell! Shoot the f**king ball!!! C'mon, I'm soaked through my jacket and pants and I can see my breath.

29 - Oh my lord the rain is going into my ear. It's in my ear and down my neck, trickling down my back.

33 - Everything is soaked. My toes. Numb. Toronto can't pull the damn trigger. It's freezing, miserable and TFC is playing worse and worse with every touch.

38 - We are going to die!! Not due to flood, but from frostbite or electrocution from the lightning storm!

42 - Ok, that drop went down the back and to the crack of my rear. It's so chilling. Have you ever felt that sensation before? Have you ever had the living hell scared out of you in a cold dark cellar? It's like that except it's wet and the football is total garbage!

45+1 - I hate everyone with a tarp, a rain jacket and the audacity to call this farce football. So I despise 99% of the attendees of BMO Hole. And can we get a damn roof on this dump already? Seriously, just sell Frei on to Neuchatel Xamax for half a mil and BUILD A LID ON THIS CAN ALREADY!!!!


We would like to take this time to apologize for this report as our reporter has been overcome by the overwhelming amount of ice cold precipitation. He left at halftime and, with thanks to foursquare, appears to be crossing Richmond St. W over and over again in an attempt to be the "mayor of the Consulate General of Romania" while meowing aggressively at passers by. Hopefully he'll recover in time for Saturday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Once...Twice... Three times a NutCan?

Joao Plata poses behind The Voyageurs Cup

- With a 0-0 scoreline all that is needed for the trophy, will Winter resist the temptation to play defensively and will his players have the nerve not to?
- Will Whitecaps come out aggressively and try to expose TFC's infamous slow starts even if it opens them up in the back?
- If Dan Gargan gets (yet another) start, how many seconds will it take for Caps' Shea Salinas to turn him inside out like last week?
- After making a late substitute appearance, will Nana Attakora play a part in the Final?
- If Vancouver loses the cup in a controversial fashion, will Teitur Thordarson be the second Icelandic thing to explode this week?
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "NutCan 2: The Nuttening"
TORONTO FC: Julian de Guzman, Stefan Frei, Joao Plata
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS: Eric Hassli, Jay Nolly, Shea Salinas
- Eric Hassli smashing the Voyageurs Cup into pieces after tackling it from behind: 50-1
- During post-match celebrations, Joao Plata lifting the cup above head - sinking comically into mud: 100-1
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford organizing an impromptu ticker-tape parade for those Socialist, Pinko "soccer" players and their little trophy: 5000-1
- While The NutCan may struggle for local media attention in Toronto, it's not the case in BC. You can't open a paper on the West Coast without reading about "Cup Fever"!
- The Nutrilite Canadian Championship is currently ranked 3rd in FIFA's "Best Health-Care Product Sponsored Tournaments" behind Scotland's "Vicks Vapour-Rub Vase" and the German Regional League's "BundesErekt Viagra Pokal"
- If TFC does win the cup we don't recommend searching "3 time NutCan" on Google at work. Chances are it won't involve football.
THE WAGER: 0-0 Draw

Monday, May 23, 2011

THE STARTING 11: Other TFC donut flavours

Sadly "The Ali Gerba Dip" didn't make the cut

Happy Victoria Day! As Canadians enjoy their first long weekend of the summer and celebrate what American soap actress Victoria Principal did for this country, many will crack open a big box of our national dish - the donut. From the Cod Fritters of Newfoundland to the Marijuana Glazed of BC, Hosers love their fried dough - especially the Tim Hortons type. The venerable donut dealer is a Canadian institution and this week, released a special "Toronto FC" donut in some of their GTA locations. We had to wonder though - if the TFC donut was a hit, would it lead to more Reds-inspired flavours?
11. Jacob Peterson's Old Fashioned Amish Plain Donut
10. WalNutCan Crunch
9. The MoNut (Discontinued September 2010)
8. Fritter Away a Lead
7. The MLSE Iced 5-Year Plan with Hopeful Sprinkles
6. Boston Cream Butty
5. Adrian Cann's Really, Really Good Looking Cruller
4. Collin Samuel Eats 7 of your Dozen Donuts
3. $9 Dollar Carlsberg Dip
2. JoaoBits
1. The Dutchie Philosophy

Happy Victoria Day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

AFTER 90: Battling Reds baffle Burgundy

"Rapids are smelly pirate hookers"

In the midst of a ridiculously crowded fixture list, with arguably the season's most important match a mere three days away, Toronto FC faced a difficult trip to face MLS Cup holders Colorado Rapids. Playing the boys in burgundy from The Mile High Suburb is never easy and Aron Winter had some big squad decisions to make with visions of NutCans dancing in his head. So it was off to Commerce City for a tough Sunday evening tilt. Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it Colorado, which of course in German means 'a whale's vagina'.
1' - Let's go over the ground rules. "Rule number 1: No touching of the hair or face... AND THAT'S IT!" Kick-off...
2' - Never a good attendance sign when you can read "COLORADO" on the seats at Dick's Sporting Goods Park
4' - Injuries and suspensions leading Aron Winter to field an experimental line-up. The Manhattan Project was an experiment too
8' - Richard Eckersley hustles to pull a cross into Rapids' box but no TFC finishers. Shocking... we know
12' - The Javier Martina / Richard Eckersley right-wing combo causing Rapids early problems
15' - I think someone is playing jazz flute in the stands
17' - Dicoy Williams with a great sliding tackle in the TFC box on Quincy Amarikwa - whose name sounds like Jamiroquai on GolTV
25' - Marvell Wynne is being marked by Dan Gargan. Someone needs to call the UN, that has to be a human rights violation
27' - Jamaican defender Dicoy Williams takes elbow to the face and gets an open cut. Bloodclot!
34' - "Knights of Columbus, that hurt" Ex-Red Tyrone Marshall chops down Super Villain Mikael Yourassowsky. No call
37' - Conor Casey may have spent his injury rehab at Krispy Kreme. Big boy got bigger
41' - Play mostly contained to midfield as both teams having trouble with finishing
44' - "By the beard of Zeus!" A fantastic run by Joao Plata followed by a neat Martina pass sees Nick Soolsma with an open chance but blasts his shot straight into Rapids' keeper Matt Pickens' arms
45' + - Jamiroquai does a virtual insanity dive in TFC's penalty area but the referee correctly (shocking, we know) waves off claims for a Colorado penalty
45' + - Watching last five minutes of the half was like being "in a glass case of emotion"
45' - Will the plan to drink as much warm milk at halftime as possible work for TFC? It sure didn't against Vancouver. "It's so damn hot...milk was a bad choice."
49' - A great run down the wing by Eckersley who fires a shot and forces a good save from Pickens
52' - Dan Gargan's handball leads to a free kick taken by Sanna Nyassi. Cleared by Nathan Sturgis (he exists!) after a scramble in front of Stefan Frei
56' - Conor Casey collides heavily with Dicoy Williams. "Right in the ovary... A straight shot. Right in the babymaker."
59' - SUB: "Look, I don't speak Spanish" Joao Plata off for Maicon Santos or possibly Mike Sanders
61' - "Sweet Lincoln's mullet!" Mikael Yourassowsky with a surging run but his drilled shot hits the Rapids crossbar. So unlucky
64' - Teams trading chances at goal, surprisingly The Reds looking more likely to capitalize... for now
69' - Rapids succumbing to constant foul calls and getting up in the ref's face. They need to shut their "dirty whorish mouths"
74' - SUB: Adrian Cann comes off in what must be a NutCan preservation plan. "Mr. Mobility" Ty Harden
 his replacement

80' - Rapids suddenly pouring on the pressure and causing Gargan to be more involved. Never a good thing
82' - YELLOW CARD for Javier Martina as things get scrappy in the midfield and the Dutch dread gets testy
83' - SUB: "Son of a bee-sting!" A rare sight as Nana Attakora makes an appearance and come on for the equally phantom Nathan Sturgis
86' - Frei makes a big save on a whipping Rapids cross only to be hit hard by a charging Jeff Larentowicz. The Goalblerone is okay... Thank God
89' - "Oh TFC, there are literally thousands of clubs that I should be with instead but I am 72 percent sure that I love you."
90'+ - Marvell Wynne's pace has successfully eliminated 99% of Toronto counter-attacks. How does a club acquire a player of his ilk?
90'+ - Ref finally closes the (very) long extra time, signalling the end of an entertaining draw
The usual line on a TFC away match is "60% of the time... they lose every time". Despite low expectations due to fatigue, injury and the Mile High conditions, The Reds surprised tonight with a rag-tag line-up that performed admirably and were rarely inferior to the MLS Cup holders. Some very good wing play from both Richard Eckersley and Mikael Yourassowsky was positive but did however illuminate the woeful finishing options on the squad. Overall, a reasonably good performance and a welcome away point - something as rarefied as the Colorado air. Stay classy Commerce City.
PLAYER RATINGS: Stefan Frei 6.5 / Richard Eckersley 7.5 / Dicoy Williams 7 / Adrian Cann 6.5 / Dan Gargan 5.5 / Alen Stevanovic 6 / Nathan Sturgis 6 / Mikael Yourassowsky 7 / Nick Soolsma 6 / Javier Martina 6 / Joao Plata 6 / SUBS: Maicon Santos 5.5 / Ty Harden 6 / Nana Attakora -
TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Richard Eckersley
Point made. Attakora over Gargan every time. Discuss

Friday, May 20, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Will Reds go limp at Dick's?

Another big Dick's crowd

Disclaimer: If religious kooks are somehow correct and there's a Rapture this weekend, the match may be delayed - if not, business as usual. Either way, Dick's Sporting Goods Park will be nearly empty. Considering only the "righteous and pure" are meant to be taken... The Yorkies post-match will be unaffected.
Two questions stand out in the lead-up to this match: Will Aron Winter rest his 1st Team to prepare for the far more important NutCan Final 2nd Leg on Wednesday? And... How many "Dick's" puns are too much? Answers: Possibly and no such thing. Wang... Computers. Whatever happened to Wang Computers?
Reigning MLS Cup Holders Colorado are always stiff (1) competition at home, no matter their form, due to the impressive vertical (2) altitude of the solid (3) Rocky Mountain region. The Burgundys will also be playing on a full 7 days rest on Sunday which will see them full of vigour (4) and stamina (5). Expect them to play long balls. I know... but guess what? (That's 6)
It will be interesting to see how Aron Winter handles (7) his line-up. The NutCan (8) Final should be the priority to the club as it represents their only real chance at success in 2011. A full slate of fixtures, mounting (9?) injuries and lengthy (10) travel have pounded (11) TFC recently. While we never promote tanking in any match, resting the 1st team and giving some of the bench squad a run out seems to be the pertinent thing to do. If The Reds try to muddle starters through this match only to inevitably lose 1-0... and then lose to Vancouver - they will just look like dicks. Oh yeah... (12).
COLORADO RAPIDS: Drew Moor, Matt Pickens, Jamie Smith
TORONTO FC: Richard Eckersley, Stefan Frei, Maicon Santos
- Rapids staff laying loose clothes over the many empty seats and claiming The Rapture affected match attendance: 10-1
- TFC's performance described as flaccid, limp or impotent: 50-1
- Dick's Sporting Goods Park" puns getting old: 500-1
- Former Red and current Rapids favourite Marvell Wynne apparently took a financial bath on a line of ill-timed, Charlie Sheen inspired "WYNNE-ING" merchandise
- Dick's Sporting Goods Park is located in the Denver suburb of Commerce City. Residents are called "Commercials" and the main exports are wraparound sunglasses, John Denver and football apathy.
- Despite sharing an owner and the exact same stadium atmosphere, Rapids have distanced themselves from sister-club Arsenal by managing to win a trophy
"Breeding ish hard in de Mile High Shity"
TURGID (13) SAYS: 2-0 Colorado
STURGIS (14?) SAYS: 0-0 Draw

Thursday, May 19, 2011

AFTER 90: "V" is for (sort of) "Victory"

Take that Stan Smyl

On a night where majority of Vancouverdelphians (it's what they're called - read it in a book) were watching the Canucks, preparing to overturn cars in celebration/despair and/or colour coordinating their Lululemon pants, the Nutrilite Canadian Championship took to the pitch. Toronto FC revisited the scene of its 2011 opening match disaster with an eye on taking a 1st Leg advantage in the Final against Whitecaps.
With the announcement from CONCACAF earlier today that the winner would get a generous draw against the Nicaraguan Champion in the preliminary, as well as the chance to be in a fairly weak Group C, the NutCan suddenly became that bit more attractive. Would Vancouver remember they had a football team? Would Dan Gargan get beaten down the wing before kick-off? Do these yoga shorts make me look British Columbian? To Empire Field!
1' - Pre-game highlight package reminds us that Dwayne De Rosario once played for Toronto. How odd. Kick-off...
2' - The power of Stan Smyl as Empire Field's usual full house has been Canucked
3' - Whitecaps controlling early as Terry Dunfield shoots just wide of Stefan Frei
5' - Dan Gargan makes a good tackle AND stays on his feet. Maybe Sunday is the apocalypse after all.
8' - VWFC's Shea Salinas eating Gargan alive on the wing. Apocalypse cancelled - out of your bunker
12' - Disappointing that Whitecaps aren't wearing giant "V" kits a la disco-era Canucks
15' - Is a dominatrix the groundskeeper at Empire Field? So much black rubber in the field turf
20' - Nick Soolsma delivering many decent crosses but no finisher to speak of... again
23' - Empire Field security removing supporters for throwing granola and Birkenstocks during Toronto FC corner
29' - Stefan Frei the only thing keeping TFC in a match as Camilo tears The Reds' defence open but is stopped by The Goalblerone
32' - SUB: Jacob Peterson picks up an injury and has to come off for Matt Gold. Bob de Klerk - what do you say? "I love... Gooooold!"
36' - Maicon Santos and Joao Plata invisible so far. Who knew Vancouver had such good Latin nightclubs?
41' - Empire Field's plastic carpet eating hamstrings like the proverbial fat kid on cake
43' - Frei plays chicken with Whitecaps' resident bully Eric Hassli and luckily gets the call his way
44' - Nick Soolsma with a sharp volley at VWFC keeper Jay Nolly - the Dutchman has been the only offensive spark in the 1st Half
45' - Referee ends the half with Vancouver in the ascendancy
45' - SUB: Tony Tchani out for Oscar Cordon as 2nd Half starts
46' - Adrian Cann gets away with what many refs would have called a penalty kick after a rash tackle
47' - Eric Hassli blasts one against the post. Toronto FC has come out in their regular 2nd Half "Nap Time" formation.
50' - TFC's policy of downing warm milk at halftime needs to be questioned
51' - YELLOW CARD on TFC's Dicoy Williams after a crashing tackle
52' - Camilo nails a strike that hit's Frei's crossbar. Pathetic play from a lazy Toronto FC
59' - Davide Chiumiento gets the ball from a terrible Adrian Cann clearance attempt and puts it just over the TFC goal. It should be 3-0 Vancouver by now
60' - There must be some ruined pairs of Lululemons in the crowd
64' - GOAL: Eric Hassli curls a beautiful strike past the outstretched hands of Frei
67' - Frustrating that young Oscar Cordon is the only player on TFC showing any effort in the 2nd Half. Veterans are MIA
71' - Cann with a half-chance to grab a sneaky goal after a TFC corner ends up in a messy goalmouth scramble
72' - GOAL: The true meaning of "against the run of play" as Maicon Santos appears for the first time tonight to deflect a Soolsma cross past Jay Nolly and giving TFC a valuable away goal. Shocking!
76' - SUB: Joao Plata out in a "defensive" substitution as Ty Harden lumbers into the match
77' - Whitecaps owner Steve Nash would have loved this if he hadn't have gone to the Canucks game instead
79' - The Reds opting for a very un-Dutch 7-3-1 formation
82'- Hipsters drinking smoothies angrily
85' - Gargan gets away with a ref's gift as he arguably back-passes to Stefan Frei
87' - Sections of crowd almost too upset to smoke their weed. Almost.
88' - Stefan Frei doing what he has to do every game. Making giant saves in the final minutes to preserve results
90' - Dan Gargan doing what Dan Gargans are meant to do. Waste lots of time.
90'+ - Alain Rochat comes within inches of giving Whitecaps a very late win off of his head. The ref blows the whistle to end the match and give Toronto a very gratuitous escape
So many times have we seen Toronto FC deserve a bit better but still leave with nothing from a match. Tonight, The Reds truly stole a "victory" from the jaws of a potential disaster. After scrapping through a 1st Half which was fairly even, TFC came out in the 2nd looking as if they had all taken Nyquil in the dressing room. Vancouver pounced on TFC as any team would do but were only able to score a single goal. While most, including yours truly, expected further folding from Aron Winter's squad they managed to find a little on-field presence and steal the precious away goal. Some defensive steel held off a superior Whitecaps for the rest of the match but in the end it's TFC looking like the victors and returning home for the 2nd Leg only needing a 0-0 draw or better to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.
Stefan Frei 7 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Adrian Cann 6 / Dicoy Williams 6 / Dan Gargan 5.5 / Jacob Peterson INJ / Tony Tchani 6 / Julian de Guzman 6 / Nick Soolsma 7 / Maicon Santos 6 / Joao Plata 5.5 / SUBS: Matt Gold 6 / Oscar Cordon 6.5 / Ty Harden -
TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Stefan Frei - Honourable mention to Nick Soolsma in his best TFC match
TFC GOAT OF THE MATCH: Dan Gargan - sorry if I'm mean
You don't always have to be good to be lucky. Discuss

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Reds seek Empire strike back

TFC's defence shows its mobility


Episode II
It is a dark time for Toronto FC.
Although Mo Johnston has been destroyed, The NutCan has driven the Reds forces from the safety of BMO Field and pursued them across the country.
Overcoming the humiliating Opening Match embarrassment, a group of cup contenders led by Stefan Freiwalker has travelled to a temporary base in the remote pot-smoking world of British Columbia.
The evil lord Darth Lenarduzzi, obsessed with one-upping Toronto, has dispatched thousands of hipsters in Lululemon gear into the far reaches of Empire Field....
THE DARK SIDE: Jay DeMerit, Alain Rochat, Eric Hassli
REDI KNIGHTS: Julian de Guzman, Stefan Frei, Joao Plata
- Adrian Cann's ball dribbling skills compared to "an AT-AT Walker with a football": 10-1
- Teitur Thordarson revealing he is the Nash brothers' father: 100-1
- Aron Winter and Bob de Klerk dressing as Lando Calrissian and Cloud City pal LOBOT: 250-1
- TFC defender Dan Gargan's form this year has caused many to wonder if he had been frozen in carbonite over the off-season
- Upon tending to an open cut Eric Hassli, the Whitecaps' physio was heard saying "And I thought he smelled bad......... on the outside"
- Vancouver's revamped BC Place Stadium is rumouored to have a vulnerable design flaw in its Hypermatter Reactor Core
"May de Forsh be wit you... alwaysh"
R2deGU SAYS: 0-0 Draw
Many Bothans died to bring us this match preview.

Winter and de Klerk head to Empire Field

Monday, May 16, 2011

THE STARTING 11: TV promos for the Canadian Championship Finals

The Halftime show has t-shirts and everything!

We love us a bit of the old NutCan. While the Canadian Championship may be a far cry from England's FA Cup (we kind of lack the 755 other clubs), it is our national equivalent and has usually been good fun. 2011 saw a change to a knockout format which has led to an exciting two-leg final between the two "best" clubs - Toronto and Vancouver. Fans of these teams and Canadian footy fanatics in general are very excited about the final which starts this Wednesday but broadcasters are still struggling to attract more casual viewers. Could these catchy taglines be just the promotion needed to get more eyes on our NutCan?
11. "It’s like Europa League... with donuts!"
10. "Two clubs. One dream. Economy class to Nicaragua."
9. "Now with 50% more Lenarduzzi!"
8. "Teitur Thordarsen vs. Aron Winter press conferences: Where the English language goes to die"
7. "You will obey the wishes of Craig Forrest... or else!"
6. "For the love of Stan Smyl... please watch"
5. "Because darts has been pre-empted"
4. "The Canadian Champion: Like being FIFA's tallest midget"
3. Stay tuned for the halftime extravaganza: Former TFC managers in a musical tribute to "The Human Centipede"
2. "So much better than the Latvian Football Cup"
1. You can't spell "great" without "aggregate"!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

AFTER 90: Mist opportunity

BMO Field: as seen from above tonight

Mother Nature is not a fan of chip buttys. Four out of five matchdays at BMO Field feature weather patterns / forces of nature that are taken out of the scary bits of the Bible. Frigid temperatures, searing heat, infestations of insects and today's Combo #5 of driving rain, mist, humidity and cold lake effect wind. As if we don't have enough to put up with in Toronto FC who were hosting the equally inept Chicago Fire tonight. Would 12,000 show up and 20,000 be announced? Would an ark be built for Bitchy The Hawk? Would Joao Plata simply blow away?
1' - It's wet but not too biblical as the match gets set to start with an impressive Chicago away support in the corner. Kick-off...
2' - Maicon Santos starts the match fast with a close-range effort
5' - Jacob Peterson brought down at the edge of the box. Maicon Santos drills the free kick into the Fire wall. Not a firewall.
7' - Dark grey skies looming in distance. That's good right?
9' - GOAL: Joao Plata takes the ball from the midfield, dazzles the Chicago defence and blasts a 25 yarder that stuns Jon Conway to give TFC the lead. He may be the real thing.
11' - Nick Soolsma showing some silky Dutch skills on the TFC counter-attack but pass to Santos goes out for a corner
15' - Ponchos outnumbering people 2-1
18' - Nick Soolsma having his strongest showing for TFC so far
20' - Dicoy Williams, Adrian Cann and Richard Eckersley having to cover for Dan Gargan's (yes he started) obvious shortcomings
25' - YELLOW CARD given to Julian de Guzman for a hard collision. He will miss the next match on suspension. Take that depth-chart!
28' - Gargan getting burned on the wing. Chicago has a game plan.
30' - Drizzle returns. Birds acting shifty.
32' - Plata mesmerizing Fire defenders with confident skills
37' - Chicago offence awakens. Marco Pappa don't pressure - we'll be losing sleep
40' - Wind acting shifty.
44' - Stefan Frei makes a massive save and Dan Gargan luckily escapes the MLS referee wrath in the ensuing scramble
45' - Someone turned the page to Revelations. Wind swirling. Rain driving. Local wildlife hiding.
46' - GOAL: Joao Plata lays off a gorgeous pass to Maicon Santos who takes a speculative shot on goal - Jon Conway works on his Heurelho Gomes impression and the ball dribbles through his hands and into goal
47' - Nothing can go wrong now!
50' - Five minutes of driving rain and gale force winds have turned the pitch into a mess
54' - Rain is running the ink on my notepad. Please forgive the remaining report. I think it says "Plaza drivels to thy daisies"
60' - SUB: Alen Stevanovic in for Joao Plata. Surely that can't backfire.
63' - GOAL: Marco Pappa curls his free kick over the TFC wall - Frei didn't see the ball as it sliced into his goal. The crowd collectively inhaled nervously.
65' - Think a seagull just flew backwards overhead
68' - Soolsma's good game continues as he goes close on Conway
70' - Stevanovic playing well and draws both "oohs" and "ahhs" as he goes close on a stepover and shot
74' - Weather is truly throwing it down. Can't possibly get worse...
75' - GOAL: Dan Gargan is turned inside and out and Fire's Orr Barouch ends up sliding in the tying goal as the crowd all wonder why they put themselves through this
82' - Luckily Stefan Frei wasn't taking a call from any number of European clubs as his fingertips are the only difference between a draw and a loss as "The Goalblerone" makes yet another huge save
83' - SUB: Maicon Santos leaves the field for the "Doghouse Dreadlock" Javier Martina
86' - SUB: Matt Gold replaces Nick Soolsma in a defensive switch
89' - Toronto hanging on with all they have just to preserve a tie. Weather downgraded to Maelstrom
90'+ - Referee blows final whistle and ends any chance for The Reds to further self-destruct
As much as the weather was a big part of the story tonight, if the club uses it as an excuse - the groan from supporters will be heard across Canada. There is really no excusing a club for blowing a two-goal second half lead - at home - to an opponent who is winless in six games.
The disappointing fact will be how dominant TFC were through the first half of this match. The club was playing some inspired football lead by the talismanic teen Joao Plata. It would be easy to blame manager Aron Winter for making a bad substitution but that isn't really the case. Stevanovic was a solid sub for Plata and no manager would expect to see his team turn off their drive like a light switch. Blame can perhaps be placed for the inclusion of Dan Gargan which did directly lead to Chicago's tying goal but chastising Gargan alone is too simplistic for a club that is not ready to compete week-in and week-out at a high level. Much like tonight's weather, we need less storm clouds and more blue skies in the forecast.
Stefan Frei 7 / Richard Eckersley 7 / Adrian Cann 6 / Dicoy Williams 6.5 / Jacob Peterson 6 / Tony Tchani 6 / Julian de Guzman 6 / Nick Soolsma 7 / Maicon Santos 6.5 / Joao Plata 8 / SUBS: Alen Stevanovic 6.5 / Javier Martina - / Matt Gold -
If you get worse at a job, can you demand a 30K pay raise? Discuss.

Friday, May 13, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Great Lakes. Not great clubs.

Saturday sees Chicago Fire visit BMO Field in the unofficial "Dichioversary" of that famous match in 2007 where Danny Dichio scored the club's first goal and something happened with seat cushions. If only there was a song to sing every match ad nauseam to remember it! Fast forward four years and TFC is still in a building process - one that hit a stumbling block in Dallas. Aron Winter has been angrily (and justifiably) slating MLS referees for their part in the loss while glossing over the fact that TFC's 2nd Half response to going down by a goal was abysmal. BMO Field will have to be the resource for TFC points as road wins seem few and far between... again.
Having an equally bad go of things this year is Chicago Fire. The club that famously won the MLS Cup in its first year of existence missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2004 and has started this season 1-4-3. Manager Carlos de la Cabos is starting to feel the Illinois heat as Fire are winless in 6 and are coming off a tepid scoreless draw at home to Vancouver. For either club, a loss will seem devastating.
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Great Lake Lollygagger"
TORONTO FC: Julian de Guzman, Stefan Frei, Tony Tchani
CHICAGO FIRE: Diego Chaves, Dominic Oduro, Marco Pappa
- Bob de Klerk angrily suplexing a referee midfield: 10-1
- John Carver showing up at BMO Field to commiserate with Aron Winter: 100-1
- After four years, TFC supporters ironically refusing to sing "The Dichio Song" in the 24th minute of the match: 5000-1
- The so-called "Dichioversary" gives TFC fans a chance to reflect on how things have improved since that memorable day. Like how much better.... umm. Oh! What about when... no that's not good... Remember when we won.... wait... that wasn't us. DeRo? Oh, yeah. Shall we just sing then?
- Be sure to get to BMO Field early as the Canadian Institute for the Blind will present the Major League Soccer referees union with a special award for competency in the workplace
- Former TFC goalkeeper / giant human, Jon Conway may be weary of returning to Toronto with the Fire after parting on bad terms. The huge shotstopper, apparently angered by his trade, dressed as Godzilla and rampaged down Yonge St. causing millions in damage and frightening the local Japanese community
"Bob, do not be shuplexshing de refereeshe!"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

AFTER 90: Damp in the heart of Texas

Pizza The Hutt - Head of MLS Referees

Mmm, wet Pizza Hut. The Texan weather god (I think his name is Jeb) decided to make Toronto FC feel at home by absolutely ruining FC Dallas' home pitch with a day full of wind, rain and other biblical misfortune. Seriously, that's downright BMO-like. Have you seen this week's forecast? Sun-sun-sun-sun-sun-pissing/football-sun. Anyhoo... back to Texas. Pow! Doritos! Lynching!
The second leg of TFC's Texas Two Step would indeed be played under stormy Frisco skies but would The Reds continue where they left off against Houston? Would Aron Winter rotate his line-up? Would Joao Plata blow away in a sudden gust? Does Pizza Hut Park have cheese in the seats? Let's shoot J.R.!
1' - TV coverage shows a post-storm rainbow in the Frisco sky. No, Joao Plata was not at the bottom of it with a pot of gold. In front of at least 17 Texans let’s kick-off...
3' - TFC's all-white away strip do make them look a bit like a missionary team trying to convert the heathens with God's game
6' - Wet surface making for a choppy start. Jacob Peterson with a couple of solid long-range efforts stopped by Kevin Hartman
10' - If football crowds are the "12th Man", FC Dallas are currently playing with 10 men
14' - Adrian Cann misses on a lunging tackle by about 7 Feet but FCD fail to punish The Reds on ensuing cross
19' - A Dallas fan went to the bathroom - attendance immediately dropped my 38%
21' - Richard Eckersley is one tough little ginger nut
27' - Neither team managing to hold possession for more than 7-9 seconds at a time
31' - Slippery turf almost causes Danleigh Borman to score an own goal on the end of an originally harmless cross
37' - "Flippin'" Eckersley almost "Breaks" Shea with crashing tackle and collects a YELLOW CARD for his efforts
41' - TFC has its first prolonged stretch of offensive possession
45' - PENALTY: All hell breaks loose as Dallas are gifted a dubious penalty on an inswinging corner. In a fit of Dutch rage, Bob de Klerk is sent off by the "oh-so-talented" referee. Daniel Hernandez steps up for FCD and GOAL. A terribly unfair way for TFC to end the half.
46' - Bob de Klerk seen eating a pancake angrily in the stands
48' - After some messy passing Tony "Touch" Tchani tests Kevin Hartman from 30 yards out but can't beat the portly keeper
49' - SUB: Joao Plata being blown around by the wind is replaced by Javier Martina
57' - SUB: Nick Soolsma out for Maicon Santos... or possibly un-Brazilian alter-ego Mike Sanders
60' - Pizza Hut Park has a thin crowd crust
65' - TFC unable to hold possession or build any useful offensive opportunities
69' - SUB: Super Villain Mikael Yourassowsky emerges from his secret underwater bunker to replace Alen Stevanovic
71' - FCD forward Marvin Chavez gets a clear route on goal but Stefan Frei saves his bullet shot preserving the one goal margin
74' - Javier Martina won't help his doghouse status by collecting a YELLOW CARD for diving pathetically in the Dallas area
79' - The TFC YELLOW CARD party is joined by Danleigh Borman. Maybe he was bored. I am.
81' - Most clubs play "garbage minutes" when holding a lead. TFC decided to try to play a whole half of it while down a goal
83' - Maicon "Mike Sanders" Santos goes down injured. Until that point had forgotten he was on the pitch
88' - Pizza Hut promo gives away free pizza slices to whole section at stadium. Forced to hand out 1 1/2 slices
90' - Dicoy Williams figures he has as much chance at scoring as the TFC "forwards" and takes a long-range blast. Ball last seen heading towards Ft. Worth
90+ - Remember back in 2007 (and 2008, 2009 and 2010) when we desperately needed strikers? Good times.
The match in one word? Damp. Sadly it wasn't just the weather falling under that description. A 1st Half that was decent at best due to a soggy pitch was ruined at quite literally the last minute by yet ANOTHER Major League Soccer referee who wanted to be the star of the show. The game-changing call against TFC proved to be the only marker on the scoreboard in a night where "sexy" football stayed at home - like most of the FC Dallas supporters.

The real damp squib for those in these parts however was the reaction of TFC in the 2nd Half. Would they be fired up and lusting on revenge after being unjustly penalized and having to watch their Dutch hitman/ assistant coach Bob de Klerk banished from the field? Umm... no. TFC played a shapeless, uninspired and totally-not-total football half which failed to threaten chubsy-wubsy Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman once. TFC will be able to lean on the penalty call as their excuse for this match but coming home with still only 1 point on the road is beyond poor referees.
Stefan Frei 7 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Adrian Cann 5.5 / Dicoy Williams 6 / Danleigh Borman 5.5 / Jacob Peterson 6 / Julian de Guzman 6.5 / Tony Tchani 6 / Nick Soolsma 6 / Alen Stevanovic 6 / Joao Plata 6 / SUBS: Javier Martina 5.5 / Maicon Santos 5 / Mikael Yourassowsky -
TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Who else? Stefan Frei
TFC GOAT OF THE MATCH: Adrian Cann... not the PK, the laziness
Does carrying a Brazilian passport really make one Brazilian? Discuss.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

THE MATCHUP: Deep in the Hut of Texas

Way better than Amarillo Wednesday

FC DALLAS (10th) VS. TORONTO FC (13th)
Pow! Freedom! Colt .45! Chuck Norris! Rodeo! Fatties! It’s all gone Lone Star for Toronto FC as The Reds head deep into the heart of Texas to face FC Dallas, fresh of a win against Hoops' state-rivals Houston. Unless this is a "Dallas" dream sequence of course!
Schellas Hyndman and his "Club Formerly Known as the Dallas Burn" have been steadily climbing the MLS table after stumbling out of the gate early. The 2011 MLS Cup runners-up haven't yet matched their form of late last season but are still a solid and dangerous team - especially at home in Pizza The Hutt Park. However, FCD do expect to be without talisman David Ferreira for this match as their leading scorer is still likely out with an injury.
For Toronto FC, momentum will be the name of the game. Coming off of arguably their best match of the season against Houston Dynamo, The Reds will try to string two wins in a row for the first time in 2011. It will be interesting to see if manager Aron Winter decides to give MLS Player of the Week Joao Plata his second start on the trot or whether squad rotation is in order. With two matches a week the norm for the foreseeable future, including The NutCan Finals, TFC's depth is going to be greatly tested. Rib eye steak! Pick-up truck!
TORONTO FC: Julian de Guzman, Stefan Frei, Alen Stevanovic
FC DALLAS: Fabian Castillo, Martin Chavez, Kevin Hartman
- Joao Plata disappearing... being found under 10-Gallon Stetson: 3-1
- Toronto hockey broadcasters wondering aloud why both teams are called "The FC's": 5-1
- 80's TV drama "Dallas" considered less a soap opera than TFC: 10-1
- Pizza Hut Park is located in the Dallas suburb of Frisco. Residents are called Friscolays and the main exports are bovine testicles, giant belt buckles, unexplained gunshot wounds and freedom
- FC Dallas were embarrassed last November by unveiling a giant "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner over their stadium a week before the MLS Cup Final
- Pizza Hut Park was built as a soccer-specific stadium but has been forced to share space with high school gridiron, the rodeo clown olympiad, amateur demolition derby and local executions
"Who ish shootingsh de J.Rsh?"
PIZZA PIZZA 50/50 SAYS: 0-0 Draw

Monday, May 9, 2011

THE STARTING 11: New Joao Plata nicknames

Mr. Platadopolous is hilarious!

For a fanbase that has had little to cheer about over four years, a little treat is well-deserved. And we do mean little. At a generously listed 5 Foot 3, Ecuadorian whiz-bang Joao Plata has stutter-stepped his way quickly into Reds supporters' hearts with his skilful play and "against all odds" attitude. Plus, he's just so cute and adorable! The current MLS Player of the Week, who came to Toronto as a late SuperDraft gamble, arrived with the nickname "La Platita" (Little Silver) but we just wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't offer up these new monikers for your consideration...
11. Jwow Plata
10. El MosQuito
9. Grandes Piquenos (aka Biggie Smalls)
8. Joaopoleon Dynamite
7. Elfcuador
6. Joaoggsy Bogues
5. The $9 Pint
4. Fivethreedinho
3. Half A Man - Half Amazing
2. Santos' Little Helper
1. Los Webster

An Investor's Guide to Toronto FC Salaries

"Everybody's got a price..." We're just surprised about Gargan's

Every year, Major League Soccer's financial boffins do their best to hide player's salaries from the public in a New York City vault. Every year, Major League Soccer's Player Union releases the numbers anyway. 2011's numbers were made available this weekend and Toronto FC's spreadsheet made for some interesting reading.
Since The Reds are operated by a group of old, white rich men whose bottom line never includes a trophy - we thought we'd help out by breaking down the numbers investment style. Get out your portfolio and Buy! Buy! Or... Sell! Sell! Salaries are listed in American funds and represent the approximate guaranteed salary... currency exchange into Dutch Guilders available upon request*.
Should increase with new contract. IF there's a new contract
Not everyone's favourite but a usable winger at a bargain price
At any price - where would TFC be without him?
Potential cult fave and just 19 years old. Sadly not paid per inch
A bit raw but a big upside and a big body on defence
Pre-season blip forgotten - has been steady in defence
Early signs show a capable MLS winger with upside
Very useful target man and good veteran influence
A little bit shaky lately but still a high-skilled player
Disappeared early but now looks like a useful squad forward
The prize from the DeRo trade has a very big upside
Worth it for the name puns alone
Versatile young Canadian at a low price
Anyone know if he still exists?
He is quality - but position could be filled for much less in MLS
A 30K pay raise but still can't mark an attacker to save his life
Seems pricey for a very one-dimensional defender
Versatile with decent skills but hefty price for his output
Need to see much more consistency... and Brazilianess
Could be great - if he learned to involve teammates
The legacy of Earl Cochrane: General Manager
Could make more at McDonald's - a decent future ahead
Has had chances recently - squad capability in future
Reserve team for now
On standby for when UEFA clubs snatch Stefan Frei
Spend it on better winter hobbies son
See you in the reserves for now Booyah!
Reserve-ing judgement
Top pick yet to make the jump. Spending cash on tattoos
Not on the First Team radar for 2011
*Not available upon request. Blame the Belgians.... or Virgil.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT: Toronto v Houston... Or how to lower your standards in 90 minute increments

After last Wednesday's classic against Edmonton where the side scored early and then auto-piloted all the way home, it's hard to get amped for a game with real meaning. Coming off a loss in the league that really put a dent into our Cascadia Cup campaign against Seattle, perhaps home can bring back some focus, stability and a positive talking point beyond the traditional "Frei played well..."1 - Ahhhh... Beautiful weather. Not a cloud in the sky!

11 - deGoo puts one heading towards the top corner but stymied with a great stop by Hall
30 - Nothing terribly noteworthy other than TFC has had a long spell of control which in itself is terribly noteworthy. Its so Matryoshka dolls...
33 - Dynamo is really seeing the theatre skills really pay off with all of the play-acting
36 - Soolsma crosses to Peterson and heads over the bar. Fun stuff
38 - Ref is falling for the acting again... Masterpiece
42 - YELLOW - Williams for catching his man and getting punished for more than a push
44 - Plata can't (or could never) get to the long ball well over his head, or "just over his head" for normal height people.


46 - Peterson gets free and puts a low shot bottom right stopped by Hall
49 - PENALTY - Soolsma gets his shooting foot taken out from under him in the box. Clear and correct decision
51 - GOAL - Plata converts. Grande Piqueno puts it under the bar so simply. Next time Tchani...
53 - Eckersley sends a pretty low ball across the face of goal, Peterson was there for it but Hall got there first. Heady stuff
56 - Eckersley runs a Houston attacker off the ball enough for Frei to get the ball. Williams, already in the books did well not to haul him down.
59 - Eckersley with two fab crosses and Peterson is craving the taste of a goal so bad you can feel it.
62 - Wow, WTF. Penalty for Plata and a card to Hall for the tackle... Then card rescinded and no penalty... I didn't know you could do that. All the refs that have screwed up calls in big games and it turns out there is a mulligan in the FIFA rule book. Or these discount refs are just making up shit as they go along. Wonder when he'll produce a blue card...
75 - SUB - Stevanovic off for Santos
76 - SUB - Peterson off for Gold
81 - GOAL - Wow. Plata lays it through to Maicon who one touches, into the box and slots it past hall like a pro. F*cking magic.
87 - GOAL - Lovel Palmer gets a hold of a long pass backwards and rockets one from 20 yds out. Frei wasn't going to stop it, but the only true lapse in a good game for the TFC back four.
89 - YELLOW - Eckersley booked for a clumsy tackle after losing the ball pushing too far ahead and taking out the Houston defender

3 mins of ET
92 - SUB - Plata for Gargan. Queue standing ovation.

FULL TIME : Toronto 2 - Houston 1

Man of the Match : Plata. Absolutely brilliant. Legendary perhaps. First Robin to deserve a standing ovation sub in a very very long time
Goat of the Game : n/a

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5. It would be 2 except he blew calls for Houston like he blew them for TFC and the last yellow was correct. Even in the face of the rewind debacle.

Team ratings : Frei 7.5, Williams 7, Cann 7, Eckersley 7, Stevanovic 6.5 (Santos 7 for the goal), deGoo 7, Youassowsky 6.5, Plata 8 (Gargan -), Soolsma 6.5, Tchani 6, Peterson 7 (Gold -)

First match in a long time that I've been fully satisfied in a performance... All character players showed the heart and strength the side needs to gut out three points... Sometimes it feels like their mediocrity allows one to feel that a good performance is a 'masterstroke' simply by playing well, so perhaps the bar has been lowered... check in next game... Good supporters know that you sing when you're winning, but scream when you're losing... Would've tweeted more (ignirtoq) during the game except I wrote the whole report on the phone... Note to self : pack more pens, idiot...