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Sunday, April 7, 2013

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v. Dallas... or Don't Call It A Comeback!


Damn it's colder here than I thought it would be. Welcome to game five of Toronto's season.  Seriously I could've used some mitts. Bloody lake effects. 5 degrees my ass. 

Dallas is one of the hottest teams in the league leading the West.  Conversely, my fingers are like icicles.  We've bitched about not having a roof in the south end, but what would it take for some under-seat heating?  It's like third world here.

Sorry, I get cranky when I'm not prepared for the weather.

Starting XI:

Russell - Agbossoumonde - O'Dea - Eckersley
Bostock - Hall - Osorio - Lambe

Onto the match...

14' - YELLOW - Osorio goes into the book, for a tackle down on the wing.  It looked 50/50 but it was on the far side of the pitch from us

34' - GOAL - from a free kick punted in, the 5 outfielders and the keeper couldn't get to the ball, but the header ends up a the feet of Jacobson and buries it.

45' - YELLOW - Ephraim goes into the book for dissent... or just complaining.

Half-Time : Hypothermic.  Seriously, it's bad that it's cold, it's worse when your pen doesn't want to work.

45' - SUB - Osorio comes off for Silva.

52' - YELLOW - Silva makes friends with the ref's book by a tackling someone kinda sorta from behind.

60' - GOAL - This one is fantastic... Bendik saves, thrown to Bostock, given up in midfield and launched up the pitch, one bounce, Perez slams it in.


62' - Free kick over the top and Earnshaw nearly jumping snap kicks the ball in, but the Dallas keeper was right in front of it.

73' - SUB - Bostock comes out and Braun joins the fray.

77' - Some of the masses begin to flock out of the stadium...

84' - GOAL - Cross comes into the box, Hedges heads it over his keeper and Braun at the doorstep to head it in.  This... naw... could they... naw, it's too cold or something...

85' - O'Dea is in the box with his back to goal, ball at his feet, gets hauled down, and there doesn't seem to be an official with a clue on how to call it other than "play on"...

87' - Free kick delivered by Silva gets headed in by Russell, which ends up at the foot of O'Dea who goes for a cheeky side-foot redirection and forcing a great save from Fernandez.  These frozen buggers are really going for it...

90' - GOAL - Russell.  Screamer.  Top left corner.  Highlight reel.  Holy shit.  It's happening!!!!

4 minutes of extra time

90+1' - SUB - Eckersley, who was absolutely everywhere, is injured and makes way for Ashtone Morgan.

90+3' - YELLOW - Braun for colliding with a player on a 50/50 ball.

Full Time : TORONTO 2, DALLAS 2

Man of the Match : Ecks.   Please don't be too hurt sir.

Goat of the Game : Ephraim was absolutely abysmal.  When our new Argentinian friend arrives, you will become a spectator.  When Koevermans comes back, you will be returned to QPR.

Ref Rating : 2 out of 5.  Dallas can't blame them for Toronto coming back as they did their best to prevent them from playing well or fair at all.

I Am Not The Gaffer But... : How long does Ephraim need?  At least Bostock was taken out after his howler of a turnover which led to the second, albeit pretty and somewhat unlikely, goal.  Ephraim looks frightened when he's outfield and when he does have the ball, it's not the most confident.  He looks bullied and almost out of his depth.  Perhaps there's a metric that I don't see or understand (because I am not the gaffer...) but short of being his friend, it's difficult to comprehend what Nelsen sees in him that most others don't.  Bostock should be delivering more in his role and with his pedigree.  Perhaps they underestimate their opponents or the calibre of the league, but if their resume is to be a measure, they need to play much better than this.  I still don't feel Russell is a defender, and that rocket was something special.  He should be playing further up the pitch.  Agbossoumonde's first touch was suspect, but found his rhythm and was a solid centre back filling in for the ailing Danny Califf.  Would prefer to see Braun play instead of Ephraim next game, if only for what he brought to the last match.  Osorio was rewarded for such play last week...

Who else's fingers are still a little numb?  I'm writing this hours after the match and I feel like I need some form of handwear... announced crowd of just over 16,000.  On one hand, that's sad.  On the other hand, it's still better than what Columbus gets... All those people who left early made watching the two goals easier to watch.  Please leave earlier sooner... Hall wasn't as useless a MF as I called the MF earlier this week.  He wasn't great, but functional... Dallas keeper Fernandez had not one but two absolutely brutal clearances.  Neither one was under much pressure and neither one stayed in play... Ou est Hassli?... As an amateur vexillologist, the Swiss flag in the south end perplexes me because it is incorrect.  The flag they have is rectangular, while the proper flag is perfectly square... I may be crazy, but I think TFC is really trying to shoehorn the falcon as part of the club's branding.  The whole 'thing' of Bitchy flying through the tunnel and staying on her perch, though a cute pet trick, feels forced.  If there is a bird-like mascot within 3 years, know that I'm not psychic.

Player Ratings : Bendik 6, Russell 6.5, Agbossoumonde 6, O'Dea 6.5, Eckersley 7.5 [Morgan N/A], Bostock 5.5 [Braun 6.5], Hall 6, Osorio 5.5 [Silva 6.5], Lambe 6, Ephraim 5.5, Earnshaw 6


  1. Prepare for the lakeside chill should be the motto of all TFC bloggers. I was not chilled, but I did dress for a day of skiing.
    Agbossoumonde was a pleasant surprise. Good size, good mobility and looked better on the ball as the game wore on. No wonder TFC did not draft Farrell.
    Lambe, Bostock and Ephraim were all equally frustrating in my view. Hoping for a win in Philly next Saturday.

  2. yeah, the whole hells bells bitcchy thing is equal parts lame and ridiculous. i get the impression the crowd's supposed to go nuts for it, but there's a general non plussed feel. But yeah, wouldn't surprise if there's some kind of hawk based rebranding at some point, this whole 'authentic soccer experience' thing presumably looks to the suits like it's lost it's appeal, so why not try the traditional goofy north american style. they've already got the academy logo all hawked up.

    but did you see her yesterday though. apparently a p;hotographer kicked a piede of meat and she chased it, but then due to her leg being tethered to the perch, she got all clumsy, was hanging upside down and flapping her wings, couldn't get back up, then she stopped flapping and was just hanging there. dude had to run out during the an them and pick her up and put her back on her perch. It was a bit alarming really, and potentially very disturbing.

    1. I did see the hawk dangling. To be honest, I figured the hawk was pissed up. And how was that photographer's kick? Do you think they can play midfield?

    2. Maybe this is an attempt to push the actual kick off time back so more people will be in their seats?


      I'll get this trending yet this year.

  3. Attendance was 12000 they have 6000 season tics