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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

AFTER 90: "We've got 2nd Legs... We know how to use 'em"

Zed Zed Top. Two better legs than TFC v Edmonton

Second legs don't happen a whole lot when you play without a single table. Okay, The NutCan and the MLS format have nothing to do with each other but furniture puns are so rare in football blogs. Sue me IKEA. Despite such houseware platitudes, Toronto FC indeed found itself in The NutCan Semi-Final 2nd Leg tonight at BMO Field, a week after dispatching their opponents FC "We Heart Tories" Edmonton 3-0 in the 1st Leg. Could "The Monties" overcome 3 away goals? Would Aron Winter roll the dice with a B-Squad? Could I make more leg references? Let's leg it over (YES!) to Toronto's breezy lakeshore...
1' - Despite the 1st Team line-up, Toronto fans try to make FC Edmonton feel at home by not showing up. Kick-off...
3' - If Richard Eckersley didn't have that shock of cropped ginger hair, he'd be translucent
7' - Alan Gordon gets his head (including his European headband) on the end of a Danleigh Borman cross but can't direct it on goal
10' - Nana Attakora has still not been released
15' - Jacob Peterson get a decent ball on his feet in front of goal but puts it onto Princes' Blvd.
18' - Joao Plata drives a low ball after an Alan Gordon lay-off. Stopped by FCE keeper "Colonel" Lance Parker
20' - GOAL: A sweet little cross from "El Mosquito" Joao Plata and a fantastically placed first-touch from Alan "Yankee Dichio" Gordon. TFC's own "Little & Large"
23' - Fans singing the "Yankee Dichio" Song? Oh... wishful thinking... it's that song… again
28' - Jacob Peterson doing his "Amish Beckham" impression with a great cross into Edmonton's box but cleared by FCE defender Paul "I'm A Pretty Lady" Hamilton
38' - FC Edmonton trying to muster some offence but do need to score a goal every 10 minutes if they are to win this semi-final. Okay, stop giggling now.
41' - The font on FCE's player names on their kits looks a lot like the original Star Trek titles. Nerd.
45' - Little time added to the end of a half that TFC rightfully dominated
45' - Aron Winter puts an unchanged squad out for the 2nd Half. Punishment?
50' - Is Stefan Frei ever going to get a day off? I mean... before he leaves for the Swiss League this summer
55' - First actual chance of 2nd Half as a Tony "Touch" Tchani chance from a Peterson feed goes out for a corner
58' - First card of the night as Mikael Yourassowsky does his super-villain act and chops down Paul "Pretty Lady" Hamilton. FCE can't capitalize on the free kick from 30 yards
61' - Nana Attakora still not released
63' - Alan Gordon drops to the ground holding his groin. Not in a funny slapstick way.
64' - SUB: Gordon and his achy crotch make way for Maicon "Mike Sanders" Santos
67' - Joao Plata with yet another sweet little pass to Yourassowsky which gets blocked in the box. Plata really is the Muggsy Bogues of Major League Soccer
70' - SUBS: Tchani and Julian de Guzman both out with knocks - Nick Soolsma and Matt Gold in to replace them
72' - Aron Winter's 1st team run-out suddenly looks short-sighted with a potential raft of injuries to Gordon, Tchani and de Guzman
76' - Poor Plata, so deserved of a goal, is denied by "Colonel" Parker's fingertip save on a good shot
81' - Eckersley working his socks off to get ball into FCE area but no one on TFC to help with the finish
84' - Many cold and restless supporters who were expecting many more goals start heading home
88' - Double-whammy for FC Edmonton as they are about to be eliminated and just hear they have to return to Alberta
90+ - TFC mail in a 2nd Half performance that was "good enough" to see them through to The NutCan Final. Attakora still with the team.
Whether it was a sign of a hardened competitive streak or a little passive aggressive punishment to underperformers, Aron Winter decided early to play for the win. TFC fielded close to a 1st Team line-up while FC Edmonton rotated and the result followed but at a potentially high injury cost. In the end, deep in the heart of an NDP riding, TFC eliminated the Alberta Blues who weren't very right-wing... nor left-wing over two matches. Positive performances by part-timers Richard Eckersley and Joao Plata justified their extended minutes and hopefully an improved winning mentality for the rest of the squad. The Reds and their supporters now anxiously await the result of the Vancouver v Montreal semi-final to see who stands in the way of a return appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League.
PLAYER RATINGS: Stefan Frei 6.5 / Danleigh Borman 6 / Adrian Cann 6 / Ty Harden 6.5 / Richard Eckersley 7.5 / Jacob Peterson 7 / Julian de Guzman 6 / Tony Tchani 6 / Joao Plata 7.5 / Alan Gordon 7 / Mikael Yourassowsky 6.5 / SUBS: Maicon Santos 5.5 / Matt Gold 5.5 / Nick Soolsma 6
TFC GOAT OF THE MATCH: Julian de Guzman's knee
MATCH IN FIVE WORDS: Five Foot Awesome. Injuries. Aggregate.


  1. Plata as the Muggsy Bogues of MLS = awesome, but can he dunk?

    Eckersley needs to be permanent RB; period.

  2. lets hope they can use this momentum even though Edmonton FC is an inferior squad. Need to start winning now to make a playoff push

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