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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The South Stand Report : Toronto v San Jose... or game + nice weather = suspicion

This joke is kinda meta, as it's both a San Jose joke and a Clash/Big Audio Dynamite joke.
My apologies but this is the inner music nerd's idea of "crossover funny".

Seriously. Seriously. The weather huh? Seriously. If this were a bus stop and someone wanted to make small talk about the weather, I'd consider making a shiv with my house key and stabbing them repeatedly. However... talking about the weather at BMO is almost expected at this point. And it was with a dose of irony too since the last game was an epic electrical storm with threats of tornadoes, it was an absolutely perfect summer evening. Gorgeous even.

There is something to be said at a sporting event taking place in the middle of a festival. The magic, even in small doses, really adds to the spirit walking towards the ground.

Predictions came in at 1-1, 2-1 for San Jose and a 1-0 for the mighty Robins. Varied enough. Onto the match.

Pre-match had a moment of silence for a federal political party leader Jack Layton. There's only one...

5' - San Jose is starting to terrorize the Toronto back four. 85 minutes to go and not a lightning storm in sight.

8' - Julie informs us that the Human Cannonball just outside of the ground was totally worth it.

12' - San Jose lays the ball dead centre and Iro gets a leg in front to deflect the ball over the bar.

15' - Johnson patiently waits for a lane to lay a pretty pass off to Plata, cross to Marosevic is desperately deflected to stop the chance. These boys been reading that Total Football manual I've heard so much about...

29' - Collision with Eckersley and the Earthquakes keeper Busch has both go down, Busch gets up but is caught a little out, Marosevic has a go but ends up firing right at the keeper. Busch holds onto it, then collapses in a heap from the apparent "injury" he just suffered. If MLS hands out Bad Performance of the week because I'd totally vote for this one.

32' - GOAL - It starts with Marosevic getting sandwiched by two rough-looking tackles on the edge of the box, but the ball squirts out to Avila on the wing and one touch later, slots the ball coolly past Busch. Good call on the ref to play the advantage.

37' - Frings free kick loops behind the defence but just too far in front of Johnson. So close.

HALF TIME MOOD : Holy crap this has been really good so far!

52' - Frings turns a ball a little too far into a great chance as a sweeping left foot connects at close range forcing Busch to make a stop.

58' - SUB - Stinson in for Marosevic. Not sure, but Stinson is a work horse so we're good.

75' - Plata has a legitimate goal taken away after he beats the last defender, pushes the ball around the downed keeper and slots it into the empty net while the idiot linesman gets it very wrong.

Quote of the Match:
I'm gonna drug'em and sell'em on Church and Wellesley!
~ Lattes' reaction to the refs blowing the call

83' - Andy Iro proceeds to give most supporters heart palpitations with a patient, yet successful, clearing of the ball from within the box.

84' - SUB - Avila comes off for Viator and receives a nice round of applause.

86' - Kocic comes up with a very nice stop from 12 yards out. San Jose is mounting the final offensive.

87' - GOAL - Ugh. A throw in ends up on the back of the head of some random Earthquake and it lands at the foot of Wondolowski near the far post who puts it in. Tough to stop, any way you cut it.

90+3' - In a chase down the touch line, Iro and Luzunaris race for the ball but neither get to it before rolling out of bounds. Iro crashes into the signage and Luzunaris crashes OVER the signage. Both OK, but not the kind of thing you see around here unless there's ice on the ground...

FULL TIME : Toronto 1, San Jose 1

Man of the Match
: Eric Avila for being quick and calm to slot that ball in and for taking an absolute pummelling and staying in the match.

Goat of the Game : ummm... N/A. Yeah.

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5. They had a really good game but they blew a few massive calls that ruined their appreciation factor.

Player Ratings: Kocic 7, Eckersley 7.5, Harden 7, Iro 7*, Morgan 7, Frings 7.5, deGoo 7, Avila 8 [Viator N/A], Marosevic 7 [Stinson N/A], Johnson 7, Plata 7.5 [Borman N/A]

* not a typo he played a very good match

The patience and imagination for TFC was at the forefront tonight. You'll never confuse them for Barcelona, but for TFC standards, this was a huge step forward... Some of the kids in the system leaves me with much optimism for the near future. Hard to believe this academy could actually be the start of a real talent pool to draw from, and not just fill-ins and substitutes either... I marvel at the cast of misfits in our section (The Yorkies very included) and the personalities they bring, could almost make for a sitcom... This whole Ex thing is a beautiful thing and a crime as the healthiest thing you might actually get in the food building is the walk through it. I mean does a burger NEED to be served on a split Krispy Kreme donut or in between two grilled cheese sandwiches?


  1. "The patience and imagination for TFC was at the forefront tonight. You'll never confuse them for Barcelona, but for TFC standards, this was a huge step forward"

    However, I think TFC confused SJ for Barcelona for most of the second half. This is a weak, on-a-long-winless-streak, playing-out-the-string MLS opponent, who is on the road, and yet they dictate the play to the tune of 65-35 in the possession department. Explain to me how last night's performance was a "huge step forward?"

  2. @Anon 1:22
    I felt that it was a huge step forward because we haven't seen anything as far as imaginative, ambitious playing and distribution of the ball in the final third in too long. It was far far far from perfect, but we saw periods of it that could be measured in minutes rather than the usual seconds followed by writing it off as an accident.

    When the team has been playing at a 1 out of 10 for much of the season, it's easy for basics to seem like high levels of play. Just pointing out that TFC needs much more of this and that potential is starting to show.

  3. "I felt that it was a huge step forward because we haven't seen anything as far as imaginative, ambitious playing and distribution of the ball in the final third in too long."

    In relation to the other performances this year, in the first half you definitely see better play than in earlier efforts, and I see your point, and the second half energy let down (resulting in the disproportionate possession in favour of the road team) was not surprising considering the busy fixture schedule and the reliance on a key core of players for most of these matches. It helps when better players are now available: the Frings bump has been noticeable, for instance, and Avila has been effective, and though Johnson doesn't look comfortable leading the line in Koevermans' absence his other contributions have been positive.