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Saturday, August 13, 2011

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT: Toronto v Real Salt Lake... or fixing the terrible defense with a potent offence has to be bad

I'm ready to make a Real Betis knock-off but it cannot be anywhere as entertaining as this one...

Hey kids, you realize that our beloved Robins are in the midst of a 4 game unbeaten streak? Sure, two of those matches were against the sub-NASL calibre Real Esteli (and won both) but in a season polluted with bad news (DeRo leaving) and worse news (I thought YOU were supposed to be centre back tonight?), spin is your new best friend.

Real Salt Lake are in town to halt the little momentum this side has. They're currently sitting in 5th (like the Easter bunny and taxes, we don't believe in the divisions) in the table. It's hot, a little humid, but a nice summer evening out at the park.

And now a joke:

Did you hear Tottenham just signed a new Italian striker? Grabatelli (say it like "grab a telly")
~ President of Luton Town Supporters Club of North America


5' - Plata is just getting warmed up with his ritual of turning defenders inside out. He's gonna cause headaches again.

7' - Danny Koevermans (can I get some love for calling him DeeKay? No... discuss) has a go 25 yards out -  just left of the post. It's comforting to see players with shooting confidence.

8' - Plata gets onto a Borman pass, turns Russel out, lays it off to Marosevic forcing Rimando to parry it away.

21' - some quick ball movement lands at the feet of Borman who plants his foot on the confetti and WIPES OUT! HE WAS 12 YARDS OUT DEAD CENTRE! F*cking Minor League Soccer... I can deal with bouncy castles and playgrounds but this is the field of play.

23' - Beckerman has a go from the edge of the box pushed over the bar by Kocic.

30' - Espindola gets a pass from Wingert 12 yards out in front of goal with only Kocic to beat and Espindola smacks the cross bar. Shoulda been 1-0...

33' - Iro commits a howler as Espindola easily gets around him to have a go at goal but fires wide. Coulda been 2-0...

41' - Kocic makes a great leaping save from a rocket across the face of goal from 30 yards out.

Quote of the match
"Amy Winehouse *clap* *clap* *clap*clap*clap*" being sung to a very drunk girl 5 rows down.
"Whoa, wait, too soon"
"Hey, she's been sober for 3 weeks..."

We're full of comedians tonight. Brilliant.

Half-time mood : uneasy after the last 20 minutes

64' - SUB - Iro comes out for Ty Harden. In light of what we know, that's a very good move.

66' - We've made another terrace classic.

"He's quick! / He Serb! / His saves are quite superb! Kocic... Kocic..."

You're welcome.

70' - Kocic comes out and gets his hand on a very dangerous and would've-been-on-target cross to spoil a tap-in attempt. Very good awareness.

73' - Borman with an almost too long run, lays it off for Plata who blasts one that Rimando has to push over the bar.

74' - SUB - Koevermans off for Martina. We were speculating exhaustion.

77' - GOAL - Plata lays a low cross that skips past two defenders and his target... and Rimando as well, smacking off the back post and rolling in. Happy accidents and all that.

78' - SUB - Stinson off for Henry. Stinson played a very promising game, well done sir.

89' - Salt Lake earns a corner after a badly played back pass from Henry. Ensuing corner sees Schuler comes flying in for a header but puts it over the bar. Too damn close.

90+1' - Salt Lake pouring it on as Kocic comes off his line but a strange deflection sees him caught way out - Henry calmly clears the ball off the line.

90+3' - I apologize for the following lack of description. All I wrote was "Kocic outstanding! Two MASSIVE saves!" and remembering exactly that, but I assure you, that was accurate.

FULL TIME : Toronto FC 1, Real Salt Lake 0

Man of the Match - Kocic played outstanding. He is a solid keeper and I believe he has the goods to start in this league without question. Well done Milos.

Goat of the Game - Confetti. I know MLSE and MLS endorse this stupidity because baseball, football, basketball and hockey do it ALL THE TIME, but it adds nothing to the game. Honestly. It's a mess and it's embarrassing for MAJOR League anything.

Ref Rating - 5 out of 5. He didn't call any real howlers, and when Toronto was up he wasn't swinging bias against them as it seems to usually happen (or maybe my memory is messed, I mean when was the last time Toronto had a lead at home going into the 80th?)

Kocic 9, Borman 6.5, Iro 8* [Harden N/A] Frings 7, Eckersley 7, DeGoo 6.5, Stinson 7 [Henry N/A], Avila 6, Plata 7, Koevermans 6.5 [Martina N/A], Marosevic 7

* Iro started with a 10 out of 10 and lost a point for every howler committed. He would automatically lose the 10 at any time another penalty was conceded at his fault. Below is a sign that was prepared to be unfurled in the event of another Iro penalty, courtesy of the President of the Luton Town Supporters Club of North America

Did we mention Kocic was outstanding? He was... I did feel a bit for Frei, who was injured with a leg problem. He's worked his ass off this season and has a goals allowed number undeserving of his talents and a clean sheet for him would've been nice... It's safe to say that some of these academy kids are growing into their own as Stinson and Henry looked like they belonged on the pitch... tonight was a combination of good luck for us, bad luck for them with a pinch of due karma thrown in, but I will happily take it.

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