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Saturday, March 24, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v. San Jose... or at least these injuries have suitable replacements

The [bad] Cheesequakes logo has been retired in favour of this NASL rehash.

Canada right?  Cold?  Wintery?

That's bullsh-t.  It's broken 20 C every day for the last 9 days.  Today's forecast, cold, rain and misery.  And talking about the weather is typically clichéd, but in football terms, it's important.  Not for the players but for the supporters of course.

On the off chance that this blog is your only source for Toronto FC news [pause for 8 minutes of laughter], here's what you've missed out on.  Frings has a 4-6 week ouchie as he didn't take the string off of his ham when he was cooking it and ate it.  Yeah.  Frei has a 8-10 week leg ouchie.  So I don't know the medical terms.  I'm a graphic designer and a match reporter.  Barely.  Unlike the 8 or 9 defender injuries we've had/we have, in this case there are suitable replacements.  deGoo will have to revert back to the pre-Frings days, which isn't all that bad but we can all agree they play better together.  Kocic will get to play superman in goal.  Not so bad, right?

And San Jose is a bunch of dummy faces for not knowing what to do with Attakora.  He's a quality young lad.  What the hell?  Felt like I needed to say something.

Onto the match!

Quote of the Match :
We have optimism and a $400 scarf
~ denizen of row 13 on the season of SIXual healing

-2' - A row of flares and a low flying bomber screams past us to welcome to the new season.  Then we find out that a bunch of tickets for the game was sold via Groupon.  The golden goose may not have been killed, but it certainly has suffered from some severe blood loss and broken wings.

8' - GOAL - Wondolowski is one of four Earthquakes that's behind the defense and ultimately gets on the end of a Cronin cross to head it past a stranded Kocic.  At least Aceval stayed with his man.

[sarcasm] It's a good thing that Wondolowski is a nobody in this league.  I'd hate to think that a proven pure goal scorer would be left completely unmarked on a corner kick scenario. [/sarcasm]

Robins 0, Earthquakes 1

26' - bit of pinball just outside the Earthquake penalty area ends with Silva sending a half-volley attempt over the bar.

30' - Kocic gives Winter heart palpitations with his bobbling of the ball on the goal line with Wondolowski sniffing for the leftovers.  All cleared, but surely someone needed some oxygen.

32' - Toronto shows a complete fear of the San Jose penalty area by controlling the perimeter and leaving Silva to have a go from 20 yards out.

Half time mood : Retro is in, cuz it feels like Season 3 TFC.

45 - SUB - Dunfield out for Koevermans.  Odd as we thought Dunfield was running the midfield quite well.

56 - GOAL - Chavez gets sent in on the wing and crosses a low ball in front of goal 15 yds out where it can end up with any choice of three or four other Earthquakes and there's only two defenders.  Ball finally settles for Salinas and slots it past an again-stranded Kocic.  Aceval and Morgan were nowhere to be found.  Phil figures Kocic could've done more to come out to challenge.  Thoughts?

Robins 0, Earthquakes 2

64' - SUB - Harden off for Maund.  Speculation is that Winter either needed or found a scapegoat for the defender blunders that have led to the deficit before us.

68 - GOAL - Cronin chips brilliantly to Baca who slides one low across the face of goal to Wondolowski who buries it.

Robins 0, Earthquakes 3

82' - They announce the winner of the 50/50 draw.  The masses in our section begin to file out from the miserable weather, the clearly struggling home side and their own inabilities to win $3700.

85' - SUB - Plata makes way for Soolsma.

87' - Another dissecting of the Robins defense as Wondolowski ends up with a low cross with just a tap in for his hat-trick and he rattles it off the post.  Tragic and undeserving.

Full time : Toronto 0, San Jose 3

Man of the Match : We're gonna go with Reggie Lambe as he was rarely caught out of position and played aggressively.  We were also digging Dunfield's game, but his half-time substitution took him out of contention.

Goat of the Game : (Ty Harden [delete this name from template if it isn't him]) Whoever was co-ordinating the defense needs to be smacked around with a wet towel.  Individual performances were far from perfect but no one individual was worse than others.  Caught out of position more times than a side of professionals that are in the semi-final of a major continental competition should be.  Somewhere there is a Santos Laguna side planning elaborate trick plays and taking bets on how many goals they will score in total in between the fits of giggling at Toronto's back four.

Ref Rating : 4 out of 5.  He wasn't falling for San Jose's whining and diving bullsh-t however he needed to hand out at least a card to Steven Lenhart for being a douche.

Toronto wasn't completely horrible as much as San Jose was very good and Yallop put together a masterstroke.  A neutral watching this match would very much like what San Jose has to offer... Someone pointed out behind us that Steven Lenhart was likely wearing one of these things... Plata is playing like the coach's favourite with his watch-me-I-can-beat-this-guy-then-lose-the-ball tactics far too often.  For this act not to get old, he needs to either beat the defender with a little more regularity or learn to pass sooner... Cronin, wow... I was secretly hoping that Eckersley was going to pound the hell out of Lenhart for his unsportsmanlike behaviour.  Would've been nice to see some justice there. 

Someone needs to explain to the MLSE bean-counters what the actual definition of "attendance" is.  If you're present, then that's counted as attended.  If you bought a ticket and didn't show, you're absent.  Think high school.  There was not 20,000 people there, no matter how bad your eyesight was... man, it was good to see the regulars... Morgan had more than one occasion where he played like he had a player right behind him and made a massive error under no pressure whatsoever.  It was hard to watch has he had been a rock most matches he's had a prominent role.  Relax son, you're doing fine... Johnson did well with his positioning but there were times it felt like he needed to settle every ball for having a go and lost legit opportunities by taking that extra tap...

And though we have been annoyed by capo/flag antics in the past, we are thrilled and wish to extend a hearty congratulations to Bobby Brasz from U-Sector for co-winning the TFC Dream Job competition.  As much as a pretty girl is aesthetically pleasing, someone who cares deeply for the side should and will make for much better television.  Beauty is temporary.  Passion is infectious.  All the best and thumbs up to MLSE for at least getting one decision correct. :)

Kocic 6.5,  Morgan 5, Aceval 5, Harden 5.5 [Maund N/A], Eckersley 6, deGoo 6, Dunfield 6.5 [Koevermans 6], Silva 6.5, Plata 5.5 [Soolsma N/A], Johnson 6, Lambe 6.5.


  1. Without Frings out there, De Guzman is just another role player.

  2. san jose fan reporting in, and i have a couple comments...

    -thanks for giving us cronin
    -im glad johnson is doing well for you, we couldnt fit him into our lineup
    -lenhart winds up everyone, its just his style
    -excited to see you guys become a legit team, hopefully the new owners/aron winter can put something together

    1. If we had had our way, you'd never have got Cronin! :)

      Thanks for the visit.

  3. I am struggling with the general view that the defenders are a concern. I feel that the midfield should share the blame. I think Toronto lost the midfield in the second half and San Jose knew they could overload the passing lanes when Aceval or Harden were trying to make plays. I thought the second goal killed TFC . My take was Aceval was caught forcing a longggg pass to Morgan down the left wing. You had to think of Morgan as Plata's partner at that point. JDG should have made the tackle on the San Jose player who had intercepted the pass, but did not.

  4. I guess I did not open that tirade clearly, I know the defenders are a concern. I just don't think of them as THE concern.

    1. You make a good point. My biggest concern for the 'defender' problem is that there doesn't seem to be a leader of the back four amongst those who are healthy. I thought it was strange that the leader ended up being Frings, and he makes a mediocre defense look capable. Aceval is still new, probably doesn't feel comfortable telling these guys what to do. Morgan is a kid. Harden is, well, Harden. I would fancy Ecks to step up in this role but he hasn't. I'll be much more relieved when Cann comes back as he seemed someone capable of getting the defense to act cohesively.

      To me they're the largest gap in the side. Once they can be tooled/retooled, then I can start being more critical to the midfield, who did contribute to the defensive woes.