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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

LETTERS FROM CAMP: Wet World of Sports


You coulda' had it all Adrian Heath. You coulda' been a contendah'! Yo' Adrian! Etc. Yes, a subplot of TFC's epic encounter with hometown Orlando City is how different things could be right now if "The Lions" head coach would have accepted the assistant manager's job he was reportedly offered under Paul Mariner back in the fall. This was all before Kevin Payne showed up and Operation: Blow It Up Again began but there is an alternate universe where Adrian Heath became TFC's assistant manager, then manager when Mariner was fired in June 2013, only to then become TFC's next fired manager. Likely replaced with some kind of robot. Forget it Adrian, it's O-Town.
Alternate universe aside, Toronto FC instead continues its quest March-bound as they trot out for their second match in the Mickey Mouse Cup. Down three trialists since last match and still awaiting the 8-14 necessary new players, The Reds will likely take a look at a lot of players still without contracts. They will also continue to wish upon a star at Disney that someone knows how to score.
KICK-OFF: The single tripod is ready, the Florida rain is raining and "The Fiorentina of Disney" are ready to attempt a (Sort of) giant-killing on TFC...
1' - Unless you made the trek to Florida, watching the match has been reduced to a single camcorder held by some dude named Barry (we imagine) and has no sound. Ah, the Internet. The future is now!
5' - When the ball is in Orlando's area we may as well be watching live Subbuteo
10' - Best shot at actual match analysis: Joe Bendik is closest to the camera.
15' - Orlando City actually controlling majority of possession. We are going to pretend they really are Fiorentina to avoid the shame.
25' - Yes it's preseason and the weather is awful... but yikes going forward TFC
28' - And the audio is back! It's at least Blue Square South quality now!
34' - Jeremy Hall given caution. Possibly for being Jeremy Hall
39' - Long Tam goal for Orlando denied by offside. Orlando possibly leading Toronto 40-1 in shots on goal
42' - Danny Califf almost gets his head on a TFC free kick then gets back down the field to throw his body in front of an Orlando chance. Box-to-box stuff.
45' - Referee whistles to end the half. Single camera did not catch Adrian Heath breathing a sigh of relief over NOT taking Toronto FC offer

45' - Changes going into the 2nd Half for TFC: Gale Agbossoumonde for Califf, Matt Stinson for "Slappa De"Bassi, Terry Dunfield for Reggie Lambe, Emery Welshman for Nicolas Cabrera, and Taylor Morgan for Justin Braun. So not much then.
47' - Rain has died and two-camera set-up back. At least Blue Square Premier level now
53' - GOAL: Toronto - Sign him up! Taylor Morgan calmly rounds the keeper after getting on the end of a Luis Silva pass.
60' - The 2nd Half Reds a bit more fun to watch going forward over their 1st half colleagues. That's not saying much though.
65' - They really have to start having preseason in places with good weather. Florida is America's big wet wang.
72' - PENALTY: Handball called against Orlando in the box. Terry Dunfield (!) steps up and slots it past the keeper easily. GOAL
73'- Tempers flair after the PK and Orlando's Adama Mbengue receives a RED CARD after punching Kyle Bekker in his fancy hair
74' - Trialist Ashton Bennett on for Luis Silva who had a solid 3/4 match
80' - Andrew Wiedeman and Jonathan Osorio come on for Kyle Bekker and Jeremy Hall
85' - Say what you like about Orlando City but they do have LegoLand as their lower back kit sponsor. That is a hot blocky tramp stamp.
86' - GOAL: Toronto - Academy project Jonathan Osorio with some very fancy footwork in traffic and a nice finish
FINAL WHISTLE: Sometimes the "match of two halves" thing is a bit of a cliche - but not tonight. First half TFC looked toothless, timid and bereft of any ideas going forward. The hungrier team introduced in the second half seemed to have far more intensity and poise when attacking. It is early but youngsters Taylor Morgan and Jonathan Osorio made it a little harder to send them home. Overall positive would be the fairly solid defensive display but the attacking options (or lack thereof) will continue to be an ongoing concern.


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