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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Chicago... or 3 points away from relegation safety!

The following analysis is based on a hypothetical scenario that will likely never happen in Canada & the U.S. due to greedy people wanting to remain greedy, regardless how good for the game it could be.

Here we are, the home stretch! The relegation battle is on!

MLS Bottom 4
16 Columbus 32 6
17 Chivas 25 6
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
18 Toronto 22 7
19 DC 14 7
NASL Top 4
1 Carolina 30 8
2T Tampa Bay 28 8
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2T Atlanta 28 8
4 Minnesota 22 8

Chivas is only 3 points ahead, but Toronto has a game in hand. With seven matches to go, the chase is on for survival.

Man, doesn't that potentially sound exciting? Oh sure, there's the possibility that Toronto could be in the second division with *gulp* Ottawa and Edmonton but to be fair, TFC would deserve that for how terrible they've been playing. Also, with the resources at hand, winning the second division should be a cakewalk.  It wouldn't, but it should.

Surely Carolina and Tampa Bay would play at least more competent footy than Toronto does. But the last games would actually mean something! Let's face it, the mighty Robins' season became a bust sometime in June. This would be exciting. The veteran players would actually have to fight for something: their jobs, their contracts and their current pay-rates! None of this 'going through the motions' bullshit. Wouldn't it be magical?

Toronto has come off of a fresh thumping at the hands of Portland that they deserved.  Then as a punishment, they traded 5-month-pursued-and-37-minutes-played Urruti to them in exchange for Bright Dike.  That will teach both of them.

With the threat of a lightning storm looming overhead all night, we proceed, with caution, to the match:

20' - GOAL - 30 yard looping pass by Dilly Duka tries to get on the end of Magee's foot but just out of reach... however Bendik played the anticipated touch and not the ball and his dive at Magee's feet meant the ball bounced over him. tragic.

23' - GOAL - well ain't that some shizz, Earnshaw at the right side of the 6yd box side steps a sliding defender and pops it in.

25' - SUB - Earnshaw is hurt and comes off for Justin Braun.

45' - Rey blasts one from 20yds out and beats everyone except the underside of the crossbar and bounces out.

45' - YELLOW - Braun for something

57' - Series of blown passes and tackles on a Toronto counter attack finds the ball at Braun's feet. A few step-overs and a missed opportunity to pass to a wide open Wiedeman later, Justin has a go and fires across the Dave of goal just missing the far post. Not terrible but should have been better.

66' - Convey corner finds Henry's header and it just glances wide of the top corner.

71' - YELLOW - Jeremy Hall goes into the books for a perfectly fine tackle.

75' - SUB - Wiedeman comes off for Dike

78' - Amarikwa sent in on goal and our Super Pickle (in blue) Bendik stretches out to palm the ball wide of the post. Great stop.

89' - SUB - new boy Elmer comes on for Rey

4 minutes of extra time

91' - YELLOW - Henry keeps the booking tradition alive and gets booked for a rough-ish tackle

Full Time : Toronto 1, Chicago 1

Man of the Match : Alvaro Rey was outstanding on the wing, solid crosses and wasn't afraid to have a go from distance

Goat of the Game : though he improved (or got lucky) once Dike came on, but Braun was a liability for his first 40 mins

Ref Rating : was cruising to a 4, but gets a 3 out of 5 for carding what appeared to be non-calls

Kit Spotting : Wolves, Sao Paolo and a sweet Inverness Caley Thistle from neighbour @jonarthur

I was surprised how well Morgan and Hall were playing all night.  In fact, all of the defenders played well offensively.  Defensively, it's a bit of a mixed bag... Bendik needs to go back to the green kit.  This "Super Pickle" thing is gimmicky gold!... Sitting with @DuncanDFletcher and @RedWineRoz and we couldn't help but remark that because Magee was a gametime decision, there was a conscious effort to not mark the guy with a boatload of goals scored for the first 35 minutes. I'm sure it was all part of the strategy (but somehow it worked)... Hey, the same weather that scared many supporters away actually held off all game... Rey was just killing it on the right side. He deserved at least a goal and an assist. Hope this is a sign of things to come... Well played to those with the "No Argos At BMO" banner. Should have been bigger draped over the empty seats... Was anybody else freaking out when Dike was getting in some hard tackles? The man just came back from an ACL injury. He was on the pitch for 15-20 minutes and was in a few quality challenges.

And now an open letter for former Toronto Mayor David Miller,

Please come back. Please. Pleasepleasepleaseplease! Would you consider a position as the Toronto FC's president? Cannot be possibly worse than the last pack of inept monkeys. And your approval rating would certainly spike interest!

This masterpiece aimed at MLSE is the greatest open letter ever in Toronto FC history. And I know from experience: lobbying for Bendik to wear green again, and getting Frei an opportunity to gain some valuable field time, both well-thought out requests, if I may be so bold.

If the TFC president thing doesn't pan out, how can we talk you into replacing the windbag who filled your position? No? Just a thought.

Sincerely, The Yorkies.

Player Ratings :  Bendik 6, Eckersly 6.5, Caldwell 6, Henry 6, Morgan 6.5, Rey 7.5 [Elmer N/A], Hall 6, Osorio 6, Convey 6, Wiedeman 6 [Dike N/A], Earnshaw 6 [Braun 5.5]

@ignirtoq was happy with the performance, but couldn't help that he missed out on Canada's newest gameshow, Spin-Out, which airs every Wednesday at 8pm on CHCH.  You should watch it.  You have to be super super smart to win on there.  Or so he's heard.


  1. Braun is one of the least talented forwards in MLS. A real try hard guy with weak technical skills in all areas (first touch, shielding, dribbling, decision making). If it weren't for Earnshaw early run of scoring form (often from pressure off of opposing teams' miscues) this team's record would be absolutely shambolic, topped off with that Vs Cup second leg drubbing. Wiedeman is also a technically challenged player.

    This team needs help in all offensive areas of the pitch, but mainly at striker (both spots), and AM (move Osorio back to the flank).

  2. Agreed on all points. I find it hard to believe that there's no one on the academy who could step in for the last few games just to get their feet wet. They cannot fare much worse than what we've got now.

    Hopefully next training camp, they bring in 6 or 7 forwards on trials from lower leagues and put them up against Braun and Weideman. Even if they unearth one, it's a bonus.

  3. Wow. What a great opening about a hypothetical relegation race. Certainly more exciting to watch than the real TFC shit show.

    1. Thanks. In that perspective, these useless clusterfucks of matches would actually be edge-of-the-seat thrilling! I know the belief is that most TFC supporters are glory hunters and that a demotion would mean cancelled season's tickets... but to be honest, I'd like to see what a winning season in ANY division would look like and if spun correctly, I think the matches would be more exciting.