The Yorkies' Regular Features

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Friday, August 31, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Toronto FC desperate for performance enhancement at Livestrong

"And second half action is about to get under way.."

While we are definitely not implying that any member of Sporting KC is involved with any kind of doping - someone should really be looking into that Lance Armstrong endorsed stadium of theirs. We thought it was suspiciously nice for MLS... hmm.
One club that is eternally seeking performance enhancement however is TFC. With MLS playoffs a never-was and the CCL now in "miracle-only" territory, the hapless Reds officially start playing out the string. The only thing to play for now is pride in the badge and employment in 2013. Also, they should try to play some football so that Kei Kamara doesn't refer to them as an English League One club again... after all, that was such an insult to Yeovil Town.
SPORTING KC: Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara, Jimmy Nielsen
TORONTO: Quincy Amarikwa, Eric Hassli, Darren O'Dea
- Don Garber to investigate reports of suddenly enlarged seating at Livestrong Park as well as rumours of shrunken footballs: 10-1
- Drain water from stadium sent to labs for urinalysis: 20-1
- Kansas City to be stripped of its MLS Cups and all Tour De France medals won under the name Wizards: 100-1
While banned substances may be the talk of Livestrong Park, one substance that is sweeping The Midwest is an invention of Sporting KC midfielder/ true American Jacob Peterson. The former Red's new power-drink "AmericaJuice" (TM) was developed by Peterson himself along with a group of creationists and the NRA. The drink provides a 24-Hour boost to your patriotism and helps ward off evil-doers while accomplishing missions! The hot-selling beverage is made from all-natural ingredients including Vitamin U, flag extracts, concentrated freedom, diesel gasoline, pure Iowa corn husks and Jacob's secret blend of spices and gunpowder. It's available in three exciting flavours: "Iced Tea Party", "Barbeque Sauce Throwdown" and the brand new "X-Treme F*ckberry"
And... since it's Friday and we could all do with watching a game where something fun happens for once... here's a preview of Kansas City hero (and surely no fan of steroids) Bo Jackson's excellent new video game...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"I can haz Santoz?"


Dear teh Toronto FC's,
Do you want to know why you really lost to teh Santos Lagunaz?
Me. Ow.
That is right spaniel-lovers, that handsome devil who ran across the pitch last night was I - Suarez Soolsma! I have single-pawedly ruined any chance you have of progressing in teh Championz League and finally... (Please wait... must lick my nether regions...)
...Finally get revenge on you for disrespecting my human life-partner Little Nicky Soolsma.
We used to be friendz teh Toronto FC's. I even let Terry Dunfield scratch my belly. (Soft hands... a bit sweaty). But now... I would not uze BMO Field as a litter tray! Well, not intentionally.
Little Nicky is doing better now - not that you asked. I'd say purrrr-fect even.
GRP! GRP! GRP! GRP! BLEEECCCHH! Pardon me... hairball.
Meanwhile you are left with your bunch of dog-happy felinists. Enjoyz.
You have officially been Suarezed teh Toronto FC's.
Suarez Soolsma
Kralingen-Crooswijk (Cat Flap)

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Santos Laguna... Or (upside down exclamation point here)VAMOS LOS ROJAS!

Hard to believe that I worked on this logo for 14 hours.

The Ex is still on. I genuinely fear for these events because it feels like a ridiculous money grab from the gate onward.  This is amusing because once you get to BMO, prices dramatically increase.

Pre-match music selection isn't good this early.  With all the anti-cussin' initiatives, you'd think these hypocrites wouldn't permit Mumford & Sons' lyric of  "I really fucked it up this time" blaring.

Weather is perfect for an upset... Or at least a draw, which is an upset. I'm calling for a squeaker of a finish, either a draw or eeking a 2-1 victory. @kzknowles is pro-Reds at 3-1. @philbot101 isn't as positive calling for 3-0 thrashing as is @theyorkies1812 says 2-1 loss.  @WakingtheRed plays it safe with a 1-1.

Onto the match.

Quote of the Match :
 It's Sounders Laguna!

~ @theyorkies1812 on our opposition wearing their away kit

15' - YELLOW - O'Dea gets booked for two-handing a defender while waiting for the corner to be delivered.  The other guy totally deserved it.

19' - Wiedeman has a long range attempt that just misses to the right of goal.  Helluva go there...

24' -  Ramirez crosses a dangerous ball low in front of Freddy Hall which finds Peralta who misses an absolute sitter and it skitters past the wide open net.  Bullet dodged.

30' - YELLOW - Dunfield for something.

Half-Time Mood : Getting out of that without a goal conceded, I'm gonna say relief.

45' - SUB - Hassli comes off for Amarikwa.

46' - Wiedeman has a second near miss of the game, just wide of the right post again.  He's getting closer.

49' - GOAL - Quintero gets past his marker as a ball comes over the top and from a tight angle, he blasts one past Freddy Hall, who did not look like he was expecting a shot.

51' - Wiedeman turns a defender around and sends another shot just wide of the net, but Amarikwa manages to get a foot on it, only to skip around the post.  Unlucky.

69' - GOAL - Back clearance from Sanchez lands in front of Amarikwa who skips a ball past two defenders.  Heady stuff.

84' - A black cat runs across the pitch just in front of the TFC goal.  Casual supporters and Groupon purchasers find something to cheer at which they understand.

90' - GOAL - Ugh.  Luduena does a give and go, then slides it past Hall.  Top class finishing.

2 minutes of extra time

90+2' - GOAL - That's all folks.  Ramirez bags it in almost identical fashion to the previous goal.

FULL TIME : Toronto 1, Santos Laguna 3

Man of the Match : Wow... Amarikwa gets it, not for the goal, but for being aggressive.  Felt that Ecks and O'Dea had very good games.

Goat of the Game : the f'ing cat.

Ref Rating : 2 out of 5.  If you think that refs are unbiased, watch some of the free kicks that Toronto dealt with where a Santos player stood a few feet in front of them without showing any sportsmanship to move into a suitable place.  Then watch the ref not do enough to stop the epidemic of ass-holery.

In all reality, Santos are dangerous.  The quality balls can come from everywhere.  Quick passing, there were a few times it looked like Toronto were chasing shadows... A curious advertisement behind the north end goal reads "GONHER" which could be anything. Hypotheses ranged from Mexican detective agency, STD treatments, a 'scottish waxing' product (as if that's a real thing), canned vegetables, dog food and electronics.  Apparently they are selling car parts... It has been brought to my attention that Wiedeman is lost playing behind the centre line.  I can see that.  Defensively, he's clueless.  Offensively, he was making runs, taking chances.  Kinda fun to watch.

An open letter to very select members of supporters groups (but not certainly all and you might not even belong to them but you were in the appropriate areas),

It is amusing to see how much flack we've received from singing, if you can call it singing, Bohemian Rhapsody.  The reasons we sing it are simple, it's fun, it's a tune we all know, it's lyrically appropriate when we're losing and it is different compared to the unofficial song book that has barely flirts with change in six seasons.

If you don't like to sing it, don't.  All stop.  You don't have to protest it.  You don't have to get our attention to get us to stop.  You don't have to express your $0.02 at us.  We're certainly not barking at you to join in with a megaphone.  We don't cast self-important downward glances at you if you don't.  Which is cool, because we don't really want to sing your songs anymore either.  Certainly not when they're playing frustratingly bad, or when they've just conceded their second goal, or when no one it trying.  It's difficult to sing a song about "loving a team" that is giving up right before you.  I certainly can't.  I sing when I become highly emotionally involved in a game.  Like in the 60th minute onward.  I sang.  A lot.

But I cannot sing a song about Danny Dichio who scored 14 goals in 66 games when we never had a song for former players Maicon Santos or Chad Barrett (both understandable), or current players like Ryan Johnson or Danny Koevermans, who has a strike rate at better than 1 goal per 2 games.  We had a song for DeRo... and THAT is a legend.  He scored a hat-trick once.  He took a mediocre team and a front office that went back on their word on his back and won games on his own.  He's not even on the wall of honour!

And all of those players have an equal or better strike rate than Dichio ever did.  So how about putting an effort into a song for the CURRENT squad. A different tune would be nice. I like Men Without Hats as much as the rest of the south stand, but there are other songs out there if you can believe it.

If the results on the pitch are getting stale, at least we can amuse ourselves in the stands.  Evolve.  Grow.  Change.  The songs are beyond stale.  Our little enclave have offered change.  We are responsible for the "There was a boy from Scarborough..." chant, the "La Marseillaise" song for Laurent Robert, and a few others that fell by the wayside when that player moved on.

So, if you don't like change and you feel the need to express disappointment or anger or resentment to someone trying to offer something else to the south end repertoire, I guess this is an apology for ruining your love of 'the same old shit'.

But we'll try again.  Promise.


The Yorkies

@ignirtoq can be followed if you're bored. He's not usually this frustrated with people. In fact, he's quite affable and had a little conversation with the woman who runs @TorontoWUFC Twitter account.  Mind you, he often gets stick for the ability to have random conversations with strangers everywhere. Sorry mom.

Monday, August 27, 2012

THE MATCHUP (with bonus STARTING 11!): All our huevos in uno basket

Poor Santos and his savage heart... so much passion!

Those of you who frequent this site... hello you three... know that Monday is reserved for our STARTING 11 feature but as there is an unusual Tuesday fixture this week it's "Buy None - Get Two Free" today. All of the STARTING 11 you love with a dose of THE MATCHUP you kind of enjoy with none of that pesky AFTER 90 you have to tolerate! Enjoy your BNGO!
Through no choosing (but definitely by performance) of their own, Toronto FC must now put all of their efforts into CONCACAF Champions League. With The Reds' annual boycott of MLS Playoffs still underway, the continental tournament is the only way the club can raise season ticket prices retain an ounce of respectability.
Of course this year's CCL makes it much harder to escape the group stage and to add insult to injury, our old foe Santos Laguna stands in our way. The Mexican powerhouse is about the closest thing Toronto has to a continental rival as it was the boys from Sanders' Lagoon who ousted TFC from the 2012 CCL semi-final. Much is being made that Paul Mariner rested a lot of his starters on the weekend in preparation for this match but TFC must be far better tactically to beat Santos. If The Reds think they can play like they did against Houston - despite Paul Mariner farcically calling it "the best the team had looked in a long time" (!) - they won't be stealing any last second equalizers.
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "Return to Sanders' Lagoon"
TORONTO: Torsten Frings, Eric Hassli, Luis Silva
SANTOS LAGUNA: Herculez Gomez, Daniel Ludena, Juan Pablo Rodriguez
BONUS! THE STARTING 11: Disparaging names the Mexican press uses to refer to Toronto FC
It's no secret that this tournament is treated with the respect it deserves anywhere south of the Rio Grande. While it is gaining some traction in MLS cities, it has yet to garner the media's attention. In Mexico however, it makes headlines - and the newspapers aren't afraid to resort to a little name-calling...
11. "NAFTA-happy Butty munchers"
10. "Ungrateful Plata-droppers"
9. "Non-alcoholic Frozen Margaritas"
8. "El Gigante Frenchmen de los neck tattoos"
7. "Club America('s Hat)"
6. "Apertura-hating puck monkeys"
5. "CONCACAF's tall, awkward nerd"
4. "Lazy non-migrant workers"
3. "El Managerios Shorty Pants"
2. "Los Cinco Anos Planners"
1. "Major League Gringos"
And... since we're confused by Tuesday fixtures, here - straight from Tijuana (Brass) - is the Santos Laguna anthem. Kind of like "You'll Never Walk Alone" just disco-ier... and brassy-er... and Alperty.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

AFTER 90: Grand Theft Dunfield

"To Club Escobar! Tell 'em Terry sent ya!"

Will the choice to play a B squad destroy any chance of TFC fight?
At this point in TFC's season does it really matter?
Will fans feel let down if TFC loses to Santos Laguna anyways?
Do you guys know any good clubs in Houston for later?
Is that Miguel Aceval over there?
Did someone put something in my drink..?
Are these Paul Mariner's shorts?

21' - GOAL: Houston: Will Bruin

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: A TFC record six defended corner kicks
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: That hole where a midfield should be


59' - SUB: Eric Avila on for Andrew Wiedeman
68' - SUB: Ashtone Morgan on for Logan Emory
85' - GOAL: Toronto: Terry Dunfield
89' - SUB: Adrian Cann on for Quincy Amerikwa

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Terry Bearfeather's smash n' grab
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: Paul Mariner saying that this was "the best the team had looked in a long time." Umm. Okay.


PLAYER RATINGS: Freddy Hall 5.5 / Jeremy Hall 6 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Darren O'Dea 7 / Logan Emory 6 (Ashtone Morgan 6) / Andrew Wiedeman 5 (Eric Avila N/A) / Aaron Maund 5.5 / Terry Dunfield 6.5 / Ryan Johnson 5 / Quincy Amarikwa 5.5 (Adrian Cann N/A) / Luis Silva 6.5


The criminal masterminds that are TFC have once again got a felony on their hands in Houston, Texas. No Torsten Frings wasn't arrested at Club Escobar's "Hot Bavarian Fridays" but rather Terry "Canadian Pirlo" Dunfield stole a late equalizing goal in a match that saw Houston dominate TFC. Was it a well-crafted "rope-a-dope" by Paul Mariner to lull Houston into naptime? Not likely but it showed that The Reds didn't give up and had heart if not anything in the way of tactics.
Many will agree with Mariner's choice to sit the starters in preparation for Santos Laguna's CCL visit. It's hard to argue prioritizing the CCL over MLS right now as TFC have no hope at the playoffs. However, if the manager doesn't find a way to make The Reds a far more potent offensive threat then smash n' grabs will be the only results they muster and Central America is no place to go and try to steal anything.

Friday, August 24, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Not in Da Club

In a year of terrible headlines for Toronto FC, none may match those that followed the club's last visit to Houston for sheer farce. The arrest of three Reds - Miguel Aceval, Luis Silva and Nick Soolsma - may have been much ado about little but it sort of encapsulated the embarrassment of all things TFC. Stumbling, bumbling and only being famous for doing everything wrong.
On the field, the story has been equally lamentable. It was this very same Dynamo team who started TFC's current MLS winless streak (5 matches and counting) by defeating The Reds 2-0 at BMO Field and will push Toronto hard towards another road loss. Despite new faces and a new regime, TFC has returned to familiar territory and a loss to Houston coupled with a potential banana skin against Santos Laguna in CCL will have fans lighting torches. With season ticket renewal time around the corner, MLSE must wish its worst problem was at Club Escobar.
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "Escobar II: Luigi's Revenge"
HOUSTON: Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Cam Weaver
TORONTO: Richard Eckersley, Darren O'Dea, Luis Silva
- TFC setting player curfew for 1PM: 2-1
- Miguel Aceval found wandering shoeless at stadium: 3-1
- Nick Soolsma's case accusing the Houston Police Department of "Feline Profiling" leading to a cash settlement: 500-1
"Where are they now?" 'The TFC Three':
The case of Toronto FC's three most hardened criminals - well apart from Martin Saric (shoplifting), Maxim Usanov (horse punching) and Collin Samuel (death by chocolate) - has been well documented but what has happened to the three since that night at Club Escobar?

LUIS SILVA: The only job-survivor of the three continues to ply his trade in Toronto while wondering what bad karma led to TFC drafting him. He has scored a few goals against all odds while never giving up his dream of impersonating a young Freddie Mercury on Broadway.
NICK SOOLSMA: The ever-youthful Dutchman has gone back the The Netherlands with his cat tail between his legs. Met at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam by his trusted cat "Suarez" (who sprayed him in disgust), Soolsma has taken an oath of sobriety and has opened a cattery outside of The Hague for alcoholic kitties. He continues his work as the poster boy for "Dutch Boy Paints".
MIGUEL ACEVAL: While waiting for his eyes to go straight for the first time since his mugshot, the burley South American has returned home to straighten out his life and "work on his music". His famous left-foot has come in handy for kicking empty bottles down the lonely streets of Santiago. Wants to pursue a career in Chilean mining.
And... Since it's Friday and we all love to watch dangerous behaviour, here's some footage outside of Nick Soolsma's motel room the last time TFC were in Houston. Pretty sure that's Ty Harden in the yellow. MAJOR LAMBZER!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AFTER 90: Short-stemmed trilliums

"Oh the humanity! florae!"

Can TFC stop giving up late spirit-crushing goals?
Will the O'Dea/Eckersley defensive pairing continue?
Does any man still use Barbasol?
Can Mariner find a permanent partner for Eric Hassli?
Will it ever feel like Columbus 2008 again?
How many of you still consider Crew our main rival?
How many trilliums need to be sacrificed before we end the violence?
4' - GOAL: Columbus - Eddie Gaven
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: That time TFC nearly shot at Crew's goal
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Freddy's 4th Minute Nightmare
58' - GOAL: Columbus - Federico Higuain
60' - SUB: Jeremy Hall on for Andrew Wiedeman
68' - YELLOW CARD: Darren O'Dea
70' - SUB: Quincy Amarikwa on for Torsten Frings
71' - GOAL: Toronto - Luis Silva
85' - SUB: Aaron Maund on for Dicoy Williams
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Eckersley defending well with one shoe
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: Reds not waking up until the 70th minute


PLAYER RATINGS: Freddy Hall 5.5 / Richard Eckersley 7 / Dicoy Williams 6 (Aaron Maund N/A) / Darren O'Dea 6.5 / Ashtone Morgan 6 / Andrew Wiedeman 5 (Jeremy Hall 5.5) / Terry Dunfield 5 / Torsten Frings 6 (Quincy Amarikwa 6.5) / Ryan Johnson 5.5 / Luis Silva 6.5 / Eric Hassli 6


Despite a hopeful and frantic final 20 minutes, the realization that this is about all we will see for the rest of 2012 is sobering. However, it is most likely fact. The TFC on show tonight is pretty much the squad - playing at the level - we will live and die with. Yes there may be slight improvements as younger players like Luis Silva develop further and newcomers like Eric Hassli and Darren O'Dea settle but as in all years previous, autumn will be long.
Things will certainly not get easier for The Reds, who looked lost creatively for all but the last part of the match, with Houston awaiting deep in Texas and the very good Santos Laguna wanting to take a stranglehold in the CCL group stage. Alas, it will be another trying end to a season for the abused fans of TFC who will have to exist on meagre bursts of hope while putting up with the other 3/4 of the time. In the end, no amount of moral victories or glimmers of hope can change "winless in five", "another away loss" and worst of all "another lost season".

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

THE MATCHUP: The Auld "Enemy"

"I can has tazer?"

It's hard for any TFC supporter to think about an away fixture at Columbus without harkening back to that frozen day in 2008 when thousands of hearty Torontonians invaded Crew Stadium. Many of them leaving without a tasering! That of course was in the early days of a manufactured rivalry over the rights to a flower but a mere four years later and such a fan mobilization seems sadly
Back in 2008, Reds supporters puffed out our chests as "the league's best support (TM)" and travelled in large numbers throughout the Northeast and beyond. Columbus was our shining moment where we "arrived". However, a half-decade beatdown by bumbling management has seen us stumble into near-oblivion while gritting our teeth at a Columbus club that has been steadily solid during that time.
God bless the hearty TFC supporters that still brave road trips and are usually rewarded with a loss (and yes, we still have Montreal) but watching that empty away end at Crew Stadium on TV is a stinging reminder of what could have been but was badly injured by corporate greed and stupidity. Now, instead of boldly invading other stadiums, we are left trying to avoid seeing BMO Field turn into "one of those MLS stadiums" we used to smugly mock. Can that magic ever return or has TFC's management done to support what the Ohio State Police used to only be capable of?
COLUMBUS: Will Hesmer, Chad Marshall. Tony Tchani
TORONTO: Eric Hassli, Darren O'Dea, Luis SIlva
- Trillium Cup now used to display hard candies: 2-1
- Crew Stadium police tasers replaced by Nerf darts: 3-1
- Mocking TFC supporter giggles replaced by ambiguous shrugs: 5-1
In order to keep track of emerging football derby rivalries in "The New World", FIFA created an alert system based on Scottish football science to track potential crowd disaster - similar to a tornado warning, terror alert or pregnancy test. The "Trillium Cup" was one such categorized derby but as you can see, it has been downgraded as the years have passed:

Monday, August 20, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Toronto FC-related CNE attractions

Cummins, Carver, Preki, Winter and Dasovic - Live at The Bandshell

Every year around this time, a long-honoured tradition takes place at Toronto's Exhibition Place. No it's not when Toronto FC is mathematically eliminated form the playoffs (you correct cynics!) but rather the Canadian National Exhibition. The 134-year old civic institution brings citizens from across Southern Ontario to bask in a two week bacon-covered, carny-hassled, Def Leppard souvenir mirrored festival of delights (and bargain-priced leather belts) which marks the end of summer. Of course, the Exhibition Grounds are also host to local go-getters Toronto FC which leads us to wonder how the carnival would look if The Reds & Co. ran the whole show...
11. MLSE's House of (Smoke and) Mirrors
10. Adrian Cann's Guess your Age, Weight and Number of Abs
9. Nightly fireworks/ 2013 season ticket renewal form giant bonfire
8. Whack-A-Mo
7. The Bulova Playoff Watch Tower (DEMOLISHED)
6. Ex-TFC managers sing the hits of The Village People
5. The Overpriced Food Building
4. The Annual Butty Carving Competition
3. Eric Hassli Kiddie Neck Tattoos
2. Ice Cream Waffles/ Front Office waffling
1. The Better Living Next Year Building

Sunday, August 19, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Kansas City... with ref quality as low as it is, there's nothing "Major" about this league

Seriously, make me happy and call them the Comets already!

What a gorgeous day.  It's so nice, even if we take a beating, we'll likely forget about it and get a corn dog or two while getting scammed by carnies on the midway at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).

Toronto were 3 points adrift of the basement pack of the East, while Clube Desportivo da Cidade de Kansas, a.k.a. Sporting KC, are flying at the top with a 23 point gap between the two sides.  Psh.  That's nothing.

Predictions are mostly pro-Toronto, with @kzknowles prediction 2-1, Phil 2-0 and I'm calling a 3-2 barnburner.  @theyorkies1812 predicts a 3-1 loss and when prompted for a prediction, @RohanKoomar calls for "Brendan Rogers out by December" after Liverpool's 3-0 whupping from West Brom... sorry, silly me, this is MLS.  There's no other real 'soccer' out there, isn't that right Mr. Garber?

On to the match...

7' - YELLOW - Frings goes into the book for a late tackle early into the match.

36' - SUB - Emory comes on for an injured Henry.

Quote of the match:
I can see a hair battle between Espinoza and Frings.  I'm in Pantera!
~ Tony

Half-Time mood : a melange of melancholy and frustration.

49' - YELLOW - Hassli goes into the book.  We've established that the over-under for Hassli to be sent off is 5.5 games in a Toronto kit.  I've taken over as I think it'll happen in game six...

67' - OK, seriously, Wiederman, get off the pitch.  Just walk off, and Mariner should be able to figure out what to do next...

74' - KC's Collin is such a damn drama queen.  I don't know how this guy hasn't been thrown out of the game.

83' - GOAL - Kei Kamara has a go on a free kick 25 yds out, little deflection and bounce and Kocic can't quite get to it.  At least it wasn't that sell-out Teal Bunbury...
Robins 0, Comets 1

86' - SUB - Wiederman FINALLY comes off for Amarikwa.  Seriously, that was 25 minutes way too late.

4 minutes of extra time

90' - RED - OK, so our eyes didn't deceive us.  The basket-case referee brandished a red card, holding it high into the air, and nobody could figure out who was supposed to have been sent off.  Once he put the card away, no one walked off the pitch and both sides still had their eleven players intact. #discountMLSOfficials

90+3' - New acquisition O'Dea gets a head onto a floater towards goal but it's saved by Nielsen.

FULL TIME : Toronto 0, Kansas City 1

Man of the Match : uh... um... well, you see, there wasn't that much positive stuff.  I'll say Frings just because I felt bad for him.  He'd try to create plays but it wasn't for lack of effort or vision on his part when they collapsed.

Goat of the Game : The easy pickings is Wiederman... but I'm gonna go with Mariner.  I do not know what Mariner saw in Wiederman's game today that we clearly overlooked, but that kid got beat easily, held onto the ball too long, doesn't have a clue what a 1-2 give-and-go is, yet he played nearly the entire game?!?  If this kid is going to be your pet project, fine, but when a player is a clear liability from almost the first touch, give it up and take him off.

Ref Rating : 1 out of 5. Just pathetic. What constitutes a yellow card was neither consistent foul to foul, nor club to club.  Collin should have been shown a second yellow about a half dozen times today just for his whining all match long.  Then the red card debacle? The next DP signing the league should approve is 4 new officials.  Embarrassing and unacceptable.

Kit Spotting : Lots of kits out today, Stoke away, Swansea home.  After the match, I saw a Carlisle United home at the GO but the winners has to be the father and son duo both sporting home and away West Brom kits... passing a gentleman who was wearing the West Brom 3rd kit.

O'Dea is an interesting case for his first game out.  He was positioned well at the back, and is fearless going up for a challenge in the air which is nice to have lacking Danny K up front.  His ball distribution is something left to be desired... KC had been threatening all game with the amount of attacking control in the Toronto end, so the result is only a shock that it was only one goal... A discussion came up between Tony, Ro, Phil and @devontaylor113 that branded Dunfield as "The Canadian Pirlo", which was then rebranded "Disappirlo". If this brilliance could be bottled, we'd be stinking rich by now... Everytime I look at Sporting KC's crest, I get embarrassed for the league... Wiederman was just terrible today.  I can't even guess what Soolsma said to have him lose his job to this guy... speaking of which, Nick Soolsma has landed on his feet, just like a cat!  He's joined Excelsior in the Dutch second division... There was a distinct lack of ambition from Toronto as a whole.  They didn't seem to move for each other, which would lead to Morgan getting two markers on him and no one to pass back to, or Silva trying to dance his way through two or three defenders... Ryan Johnson, as slow as he is, tried like hell to put the team on his back a few times in the second half.  Running at defenders and having a go or two.  We need that from Hassli, not Johnson, but well done Ryan.

Team Rating : Kocic 6, Morgan 6, O'Dea 6, Ecks 6, Henry 5.5 [Emory 6], Johnson 6, Dunfield 5.5, Frings 6, Wiederman 4 [Amarikwa N/A], Silva 6, Hassli 5.5

@ignirtoq writes the match reports in his own 'style', which must be thought of as erratically consistent by the three or four people who read his drivel.  He would also like to apologize for the report before this, where he was dead-ass tired after taking 2 hours to complete a 30-minute drive. You could follow him on the twitters if you felt so inclined.

Friday, August 17, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Midwest value

Jacob Peterson arrives for training

Today's edition of THE MATCHUP has been written by a special guest columnist - The Dean of Studying from The Jacob Peterson Institution of America-Canadia Relationships & Things
TV: GOL TV (Likely in French)
RADIO: THE FAN 590 (Probably when hockey ends)
The patriotic and totally kick-ass Sporting Kansas City, current Kings of the MLS Eastern Conference, are being forced by the liberal media elite and left-wing policy makers to travel to North America - home of the Toronto FC's soccer team.
Despite the completely un-American and downright racialist hassle of being forced to produce a passport (and declare all weapons! WTF?) to enter their "country", the hard-working Midwestern Christian values of Sporting KC will easily overcome a socialist soccer team that has yet to find a replacement for Canuckistan-escapee and patriot, Jacob Peterson. The basement-dwelling communists from "America's Hat" are currently managed by an English dude in shorts and have players who are Germanian, a bunch of Caribbeaners and a man amongst men, Ty Harden - who is awaiting his release from that northern prison.
MADE-UP RIVALRY NAME: "The Mission Accomplisher"
FC's: Logan Emory, Ty Harden, Andrew Wiedeman
SPORTING KC: Jacob Peterson and brave evacuee Teal Bunbury
- Jacob Peterson fighting for our way of life: EVENS
- Socialist nogoodniks not appreciating the hardships endured by All American freedom-seeker Teal Bunbury: 2-1
- Whole thing being in French: 3-1
The rural town of Toronto on the St. Lawrence Seaway is the capitol city of the welfare/nanny-state Canadian North America. Toronto was a mere Eskimo trading post and beaver dam until the mighty U.S. Air Force invaded it during the War of 1812 in a world record 23 minutes. During occupation of the town, our troops burned down the CNN Tower and the SkyDome but left a few days later after getting bored of the summer snow and hockey. The U.S. Forces left Toronto to a dim, cold, gun-free, Obama-care loving existence where they misspell "color", "honor" and "misunderestimation".
And, since I don't know if they have Friday in Canada... here's a sneak preview of Jacob Peterson's new TV program. He changed his stage name to William Katt to avoid those Canuckistan spies.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT - Toronto v. Portland... or Who jumps bitches? We jump bitches?

The "who jumps bitches" is in reference to what we thought the capos were singing.
Not you Timber Army.

Tonight at BMO, the all-star teams of Toronto A, B and C against a relatively full-Portland side that's struggling.

21' - GOAL - After a block off of the line from Avila, Sal Zizzo puts home the rebound.
Robins 0, Tree People 1 

37' - In reaction to what is a boring-ass first half, we did a group exercise which we will present in a new feature:

Say Something Nice About Toronto for the Next Two Minutes. 
  • They're monochromatic 
  • T-sounds are funny 
  • The field has grass 
  • We treat our bird better than MarineLand 
  • Sports are good exercise 
  • "FC" leaves it open to interpretation 
  • Best supported team in Ontario 
  • Team that's for the people, by the people, but only slightly better than the people 
  • The club that Liberty Village built. 
That was nice, positive and entertaining.

Half-Time Mood : sleeeeeeepy

45' - SUB - Lambe comes off for Wiederman

57' - GOAL - Silva has a shot stopped by Rickets, but the rebound is bagged by Hassli.
Robins 1, Tree People 1

59' - SUB - Eric Avila off for Amarikwa.

63' - GOAL - Fantastic stuff here. Morgan's cross finds the head of a sprawling Wiederman who flicks on to Silva for a header to the top corner.
Robins 2, Tree People 1

71' - Kocic comes up big with a stretching out save on a two man break.

80' - SUB - Makabuya comes on for Hassli. Remember Makabuya? Barely? I know...

82' - GOAL - Kris Boyd bags a goal against the run of play (or expected... either way)
Robins 2, Tree People 2 
EDIT - GOAL scored by Darlington Nagbe but our attention had been hijacked by the brewing "Ibrox-ing" of Section 110... (see below) You can't blame us really, poor man's Glasgow was a bit of a larf.  So passionate for a 3rd Division side!



2 minutes of extra-time 

FULL TIME: Toronto 2, Portland 2

Man of the Match : If Makabuya has deflected that ball into the net, it would've been him... but Silva gets the nod.

Goat of the Game : Ty Harden has a distinct fear of running forward when in the opposition's half and the ability to hang on to the ball for a second too long.  Felt bad for him, but it is what it is.

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5.  Started out rough but became more invisible as the game progressed.

As much as it was nice to get a ride home tonight, traffic was a bitch, so here's the belated report pre-prepping and going to work... Perhaps it was the substitute, but something kicked-in around the 55th minute and then they started playing.  The first half was about no one getting open and Portland closing down everyone with 2 defenders... The Rangers' infighting was likely due to one of them telling the aggro guy to calm down, and he wasn't having any of it, so they had a go... Everyone had their share of screw-ups tonight, pinning Harden down was more for consistency... The rule must be if Hassli scores once, then he's gonna have a go from everywhere on the park.  At least someone is shooting.

Player Ratings : Kocic 6, Harden 5, Eckersley 6, Cann 5.5, Morgan 6; Lambe 5.5 [Wiederman 5.5], Frings 6, Maund 5.5, Avila 5.5 [Wiederman 5.5], Silva 6.5 [Amarikwa 6], Hassli 6 [Makabuya N/A]

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

THE MATCHUP: "Watch out for those Trees!"

Hipster Brian Clough is all over this

Usually when a club gets an unexpected few days off they are fresh, rested and have a full squad. Instead, Toronto FC comes into their match with Hipster's Choice (TM) - Portland Timbers - with a paper thin roster. This time, the reason is a mix of international call-ups and suspension. The Reds will thus be playing Wednesday evening without the help of Darren O'Dea, Dicoy Williams (?!), Doneil Henry, Ryan Johnson, Logan Emory and Terry Dunfield. So yeah... defending.
Despite their tough 2012, Oregon's Tricky Trees do have some quality in their line-up and are very capable of scoring goals on what will be a wafer-like TFC defence. What they do have coming into the match that The Reds don't (aside from Hipster-cred) is a full and healthy squad. Also, the power of 20,000 ironic moustaches watching from afar.
TORONTO: Eric Hassli, Ashtone Morgan, Luis Silva
PORTLAND: Kris Boyd, Jack Jewsbury, Donovan Ricketts
Toronto FC centreback pairing for Wednesday:
- Ty Harden and Adrian Cann: 5-1
- Aaron Maund and a pile of sports equipment: 10-1
- Bitchy The Hawk and Rick Titus: 25-1
"Hinterland Who's Who Are Ya: Hipsterus Ironicus"
Hipsterus Ironicus, or the Common North American Hipster, is an urban sub-species whose natural habitat is formerly impoverished, but now gentrified, middle-class neighbourhoods. Hipsters are easily spotted in nature due to their plaid plumage, thick optical rims and slim-legged physiology. While mostly a nocturnal creature that roams in small, apathetic packs, a keen naturalist can catch a glimpse of a bleary-eyed specimen during daylight hours riding a vintage bicycle, at Jeld-Wen Field, napping near the rear of a public transit vehicle or circling around an espresso bar that you've never heard of.

The North American species survives on a steady diet of microbrewed craft ales; foods with the words "organic", "artisan" or "farmer's" attached; or, anything served from a food truck. Their unique call can be heard in the late evening and sounds much like an early Arcade Fire bootleg. See: Portland Timbers Supporters
And now... a word of warning about underestimating Trees. Pretty sure the jungle outfit is American Apparel. Seriously - Stella and Ursula? Hipsters.

Monday, August 13, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Events if Toronto FC hosted The Olympics

Why release doves when you have seat cushions?

The 2012 Olympics ended as London waved goodbye to the XXX Olympiad. (How they could have a XXX Olympiad without Joe Cannon is a disgrace) In 2016, British stereotypes will be replaced with Brazilian stereotypes as Rio hosts the next games - bowler hats replaced with thongs; chalky white skin will make way for bronzed tans; Beckham out - 103 year-old Pele in; and whatever the samba equivalent of Pet Shop Boys is. What won't change much are the actual athletic events. There will be the same running, swimming and dressage-ing (?) as usual. Since Toronto will never likely host the games (we will lose to Wichita, Kansas in 2028) we wondered what the events would be if TFC hosted the games at BMO Field instead... aside from the inflated attendance numbers of course...
11. Synchronized Dunfields
10. 200m ButtyFly
9. Don Garber DP Transfer Hurdles
8. Men's Parallel Club Escobars
7. Winter Events (Cancelled)
6. Rhythmic Koevermans
5. Modern Fringstathlon
4. Preko-MoMan Wrestling
3. 10m CONCACAF Diving
2. TyKwonHarden
1. 5 Year Plan Marathon

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tragedy, travel and trialists

"Umm, no - not me, the other one"

Toronto FC's scheduled match against Columbus on Saturday has been postponed to allow the Crew organization to attend funeral services for Kirk Urso. Urso, Columbus' rookie midfielder died suddenly last Saturday and the club requested the fixture change from the league and TFC. "Given the tragic circumstances we agreed to accept this change in the schedule," said Reds' manager Paul Mariner. "Our thoughts are with the Urso family and everyone at the Columbus Crew during this difficult time." The match has been moved to August 22.
While the tragic reasons for the rescheduling of Saturday's match takes priority over football issues, the change in fixture throws a wrinkle into TFC's match preparations. The last two weeks of August will now see The Reds play a taxing five matches in two weeks. This stretch will include a five-day period which sees TFC plane-hopping between Toronto, Columbus and Houston before returning home to host Santos Laguna in a critical CCL match-up. The end of the month offers little respite as the Santos Laguna fixture is followed by a trip to Sporting KC and their fortress-like Livestrong Park three days later.
A small advantage to having the weekend off is that the club gets to have a longer look at the latest three trialists to jog their wares around Downsview Park. This year's trial list has only produced backup keeper Freddy Hall so far but there three intriguing players wearing green bibs this week:
PROS: Offers depth at centreback and on the left side as well as veteran leadership / Played alongside new Red Darren O'Dea at Leeds briefly / If signed you can say the sentence "We signed Paul Robinson... (wait for reply)... no the other Paul Robinson" over and over again
CONS: 33-year old journeyman who is a bit broken-down and won't be cheap / Could stymie Ashtone Morgan's playing time if Mariner goes "old Englishman love-in" / ex-Watford player and resident could force us to wear yellow kits next year and/or hear an increase in Elton John
PROS: A healthy 6 foot 3, 27-year old centreback / Has tons of experience playing in CONCACAF environs / Has possibly played for every team in Mexico
CONS: Could mark the end of Adrian Cann's Toronto career / Needs to be loaned out to a new club every year to survive / Will have to fit in on a club that has about as much Latin flair as a Taco Bell in Oshawa
PROS: Along with Reggie Lambe and Freddy Hall, will complete TFC's "Bermuda Triangle" / You can't have enough ex-Dandy Town Hornets
CONS: For a forward, has very little goal scoring history / Will exhaust TFC's tapping of the Bermuda market, forcing us to look at St. Lucia
And... since it's Friday, we could do with a dance, we have no TFC this weekend and things could end up getting aimless like so...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

BMOhemian Rhapsody

To celebrate our humble milestone of passing 200,000 hits to this little playground of football malarkey, we thought we'd have a little sing-a-long. While we often share some chants with you on here, today's is a bit special.
While we don't like to toot our own horn (TOOT!), today we take a look at the new BMO Field South Stand song sensation - Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". What started off as a lark at TFC matches led by original Yorkies @ignirtoq and @philbot101 and our long-time section-mates in 113, it has slowly spread through our section and beyond via our Supporters Group brethren and random goodniks.
While the absurdity of making a six minute rock opera classic a terrace hymn is lost on no one and its difficulty level is "very high" - it has actually started to catch on! There is no set starting time during the match to begin a "BoRhap" but it seems to suit the 2nd Half and so far it has (we like to say directly) lead to three TFC goals! We think the time is right for you to learn the Rhapsody and bring it to your corner of BMO Field, or join in if it starts nearby.
So, as a thanks to you for dropping by our site 200,000 times we bring you Bohemian Rhapsody in all its Freddie Mercury moustachioed glory. Play the video (below), learn the ridiculously melodramatic lyrics and enjoy our notes (in red brackets) that prove why this is the shockingly perfect song for TFC and BMO Field.
"BMOhemian Rhapsody"
(This verse is definitely about life at BMO Field...)
Is this the real life? (For six years, yes)
Is this just fantasy? (Nope)
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality (5 Year Plans)
Open your eyes,
Look up to the skies and see, (Inclement weather)
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, (Shut it, Montreal)
Because I'm easy come, easy go,
Little high, little low, (All of the highs and lows)
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter (We keep renewing!)
To me… to me
(Verse two is possibly an Anselmi confession...)
I just killed a man, (Read "club")
Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger
Now he's dead (Casual fan support)
Mama... life had just begun, (2007)
But now I've gone and thrown it all away (2012)
Mamaaaaa oooh,
Didn't mean to make you cry, (You did Tom)
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow, (Don’t tease)
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters
(We would Tom... we would. Happily)
(The "Dichio" verse)
Too late, my time has come, (to leave England)
Sends shivers down my spine, (It was lumbago)
Body's aching all the time (Flights to Columbus)
Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go,
Got to leave you all behind and face the truth (Achy spine)
Mamaaaaa oooh, (Away the wind blows)
I don't want to die, (Forced retirement)
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all
(Don't say that Danny - Wall of Honour?)
(Guitar solo) (Someone please bring a ghetto blaster to 113)
(A short verse on Preki)
I see a little silhouetto of a man, (Little and angry)
Scaramouche! Scaramouche! (Serbian?)
Will you do the Fandango?! (Fandango = Prekiball?)
(NutCan time!)
Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me!
(Frightening to Vancouver Whitecaps too)
Galileo, Galileo
Galileo, Galileo (Is he an Italian CB?)
Galileo, Figaro - magnifico (4 Times magnifico!)
(Reds' supporters in general. Just make it plural)
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family,
Spare him his life from this monstrosity!
(A general verse on Dwayne De Rosario)
Easy come, easy go, will you let me go? (To Glasgow?)
Bismilah! No, we will not let you go! (Bismilah may be DeRo)
(Let him go!) (DeRo's agent?)
Bismilah! We will not let you go!
(Let him go!)
Bismilah! We will not let you go!
(Let me go) Will not let you go!
(Let me go)(Never) Never let you go!
(Let me go) Never let you go (Let me go) Ohhh!
No, no, no, no, no, no, no (Unless they throw in Tony Tchani)
Oh mama mia, mama mia,
Mama mia, let me go (Fine, you're off to New York)
Beelzebub (Mo Johnston) has a devil put aside for me,
For me,
For meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
(The venting of anger we have all felt...)
So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye?!?!
So you think you can love me and leave me to die?!?!
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby,
Just gotta get out,
Just gotta get right outta here!
(Guitar solo) (Again - ghetto blaster)
(And resignation that we love them no matter what)
Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me...
Anyway the wind blows...
(Usually off the lake, full of sleet and straight into our faces...)

Monday, August 6, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Memorable Toronto FC Simcoe Days

"You're welcome Upper Canada"

Ah, the long weekend. The holiday Monday is known across Canada by a flurry of different names such as Heritage Day, Saskatchewan Day and possibly Yukonpalooza but of course the only real name is Ontario's Simcoe Day. Today is the day that Upper Canada honours John Graves Simcoe who drove the snakes out of Pickering sometime in the mid-1970's. History! Of course, since Toronto FC was formed in 2007, the holiday Monday has also marked some memorable moments for the club, its players and its supporters...
11. TTC holiday service on the Dufferin 29 bus route robbed Andrea Lombardo of a starting spot vs. Colorado Rapids
10. Bitchy the Hawk and the infamous BMO Field Squirrel went on their single ill-fated blind date (RIP BMO Field Squirrel 2008 - 2010)
9. Just another Canadian holiday where the favoured Vancouver Whitecaps failed to beat Toronto FC in a cup match
8. In 2010, Mista broke the Major League Soccer record for longest consecutive nap
7. Suarez Soolsma evaded neutering for the fifth straight year
6. Collin Samuel founded his annual* hot dog eating competition for charity** (* "Annual" denotes Mondays) (** "Charity" denotes Collin Samuel's lunch)
5. Carlos Ruiz completed Week 2 of his 5 Week journey to Toronto
4. Last year, Paul Mariner barely avoided an international incident when Toronto airport customs official tells him "he is not welcome into this country until he puts some damn pants on"
3. Every year on this date, a groundhog pops up from under BMO Field's grass, sees its shadow, then proclaims that there will be "no playoffs for another season"
2. Jacob Peterson bought full page ads in all Toronto newspapers declaring that there was no proof that Canada was "actually a thing" and that "The War of 1812 was a draw"
1. It's the 2nd Anniversary of our 3rd 5-Year Plan!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

AFTER 90: "The Chicago Way"

"Get that defence an Irishman!" 

Are the days of automatic away losses done?
Is Eric Hassli ready to make his long-awaited debut?
Will Paul Mariner exchange shorts for Team GB Speedos?
Did TFC use up all their goals against CD Aguila?
Are we the Cameron Frye of MLS?
Has Luis Silva become a consistent professional?
If Chicago's stadium is a Toyota is BMO Field a Lada?

16' - GOAL: Toronto - Ryan Johnson
40' - YELLOW CARD: Logan Emory
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: RJ's "smash-and-grab" opener
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Some very Darren O'Dea welcoming defensive displays

45' - SUB: Jeremy Hall on for Reggie Lambe
60' - SUB: Andrew Wiedeman on for Eric Hassli
64' - GOAL: Chicago - Marco Pappa
78' - SUB: Aaron Maund on for Doneil Henry
79' - RED CARD: Logan Emory (2nd Yellow)
84' - GOAL: Chicago - Austin Berry

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: The final whistle.
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: The shambolic defensive collapse that lead to Marco Pappa's goal and everything that followed


PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 5.5 / Doneil Henry 5 (Aaron Maund N/A) / Richard Eckersley 5.5 / Logan Emory 4.5 / Ashtone Morgan 5 / Reggie Lambe 6 (Jeremy Hall 5) / Terry Dunfield 6.5 / Torsten Frings 6 / Luis Silva 6 / Ryan Johnson 6.5 / Eric Hassli 6.5 (Andrew Wiedeman 5)


Not just beaten. Beaten up. Yes we could bemoan the "injustice" of yet another TFC road collapse but there really wasn't a collapse. Even when they held the lead, Toronto were never in charge of this match. Whether it was talent or will to win - The Reds couldn't man up to a Chicago who always looked quicker, more technical and tougher. While losing the match when down to nine men (through a combo of red card and injury) stings that bit extra, majority of TFC fans who have seen this re-run before would admit... "you could see it coming".

In true Windy City style, the Fire seemed to channel their inner Untouchable:
"You wanna know how to beat Toronto? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. TFC sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get three points."