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Saturday, March 2, 2013

AFTER 90: Mini-Shining Lights

The red bulbs blind us all


KICK OFF - Not sure if this is any kind of omen for the season but the First Kick in Canada is not live on TV as curling is still on. So happy that TFC pandered their start times this year to TSN who obviously care greatly for football. Anyhoo... red threads are bound, shining lights are lit and Robert Earnshaw has been thrown into the line-up despite match fitness. Let the Payne begin!
2' - Speaking of our newly minted Welsh striker, he's making a bit of a nuisance of himself against the Whitecaps' defence early.
5' - Adult film superstar/GK Joe Cannon doing his dirty best to keep Earnshaw from opening his MLS account. Erotic stuff.
7' - Caps suffer early loss as their defensive leader Jay DeMerit is forced off through injury. Ah Field Turf, is there anyone you can't hurt?
19' - Reggie Lambe uses the dark arts to grab TFC a 35-yard free kick. Earnshaw places it a bit too high over Joe Cannon's reach. Also the name of a 1992 XXX video.
23' - Rookie Kyle Bekker showing good positioning but a bit timid on the ball. Looking for the extra pass too often so far.
27' - YELLOW CARD: Terry Dunfield for a hard tackle on Daigo Kobayashi - possibly for eating all the hot dogs.
35' - Great low cross from Hogan Ephraim but only Dunfield on the end of it. Goes out for corner where Vancouver fans throw granola and old lululemon pants at TFC.
40' - Still odd when sunshine breaks through BC Place. Briefly think there's a fire upstairs. You know... not the usual smoke from potheads.
44' - With their first half of Ryan Nelsen's reign coming to a close there has been a distinct lack of hoof in TFC's expected hoofball.


48' - Vancouver much more aggressive in the early stages of the half. Reds' defence forced into multiple scrambles.
50' - Joe Bendik has to make a big low save as Whitecaps continue to press hard.
52' - No confirmation if TFC's locker room chat was actually a DVD entitled "The Best TFC Ex-Manager Halftime Talks"
58' - TFC looking like a shell of their first half selves. Shaky, disoriented and without shape. So yes, like the last six years.
59' - GOAL: Vancouver Whitecaps - Gershon Koffie blasts one past Bendik who was let down by the 10 in front of him. Reds toothless since the half.
65' - Nigel Reo-Coker has been eating TFC's midfield alive since his introduction. Difference maker. Hyphenation-aficionado.
68' - Tonight's referee Juan Guzman should have never cut off those World Series-era jheri curls
70' - Promised cavalry better be pending as TFC's offense is still a rumour at best.
75' - SUB: Taylor Morgan in for Terry Dunfield
78' - Next time The Economist wants to name Vancouver as the "World's Most Livable City" I'm sending them a picture of BC Place's turf
85' - SUB: Emery Welshman helps Save The Wales as he relieves Robert Earnshaw. Welshman for Welsh man switch.
88' - Vancouver pressing hard for a second goal. Reds scrambling.
90'+ - Joe Cannon keeping TFC's long balls at bay. That one was free.


PLAYER RATINGS: Joe Bendik 6.5 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Danny Califf 6 / Darren O'Dea 6.5 / Ashtone Morgan 5.5 / Reggie Lambe 6 / Jeremy Hall 6 / Terry Dunfield 6.5 (Taylor Morgan N/A ) / Hogan Ephraim 5.5 / Kyle Bekker 6 / Robert Earnshaw 6 (Emery Welshman N/A)

Richard Eckersley

Considering many pundits and supporters alike expected a blowout today, perhaps we should feel grateful that it ended 1-0. However, TFC supporters will feel a wee bit frustrated tonight as their first half play could have delivered a win in the season opener if not a guaranteed draw. Of course, a classic Jekyll & Hyde display was to rob the "New (Again) Reds" of a positive start.

Was it a case of a talent-superior Vancouver taking The Reds too lightly in the first half? Did the "real" TFC take longer than expected to emerge? Or, is there a glimmer of hope in our collective futures? The answer is probably somewhere in the middle and how TFC fares over the next few months will depend on which half performance they choose to harness more often. It was raw, it was frustrating and it was ultimately disappointing but we have seen worse. Going forward, TFC must build on the first half so we can revel in the positives over the same old second halves more often.


  1. Agree that Bekker needed to push the ball right up Vancouver's Cannon. Perhaps the return of healthy Silva and Bekker in Hall's spot would be worth a try. Did not see Ecks as the best of the back four, thought Califf and O'Dea were smooth throughout.
    From their dome to ours, ready for another Saturday?

  2. New guys looked fitter than I expected. Silva & César will help.

  3. A far better outing than Winter's first match two years ago. Re-watched that on ESPN Classic and was reminded of how crappy a game that was. The only survivors from the roster that day still with the TFC now were Frei and Ashtone Morgan.

  4. "YELLOW CARD: Terry Dunfield for a hard tackle on Daigo Kobayashi - possibly for eating all the hot dogs."

    oh damn, that's why i read this.