The Yorkies' Regular Features

Starting 11       The Word       The Matchup       After 90       The South Stand Report

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Editorial: Not Coming To BMO: Your Toronto Argonauts

Plain and simple. BMO field is going to remain as is : a soccer pitch.

Why am I so certain of it? Economics. Common sense. Logistics.

Hypothetically speaking, say the Argos truly want to move into Exhibition Stadium/New Fort York.

What needs to take place?

Expansion of the field. And IF this does happen, you can guarantee, it'll be at the expense of north side and not the south side. Can they go closer to the Food building (which is the best name for a building ever)? I don't know, but I can't imagine there's much room. And do they build around the score board? I'd love to know what the footprint of the ground would look like with expansion of the north end. Either way, something has to give if this preposterous plan is to go forward.

Let's see, what is carrying TFC forward at the gates? Is it the blistering successful brand of soccer that MoJo has built? Nope. Has it been the overwhelming calibre of play that Major League Soccer offers? Hell no. If that were the case, you'd see more kids wearing Chicago Blanco and Houston DeRo shirts, but they're not. Most of the people probably don't realize that DeRo is a local, but that's just my speculation.

It's atmosphere. Really, what else is there about TFC that is overwhelmingly positive right now? Go ahead, start listing them.

So, let's assume that in addition of the Argos moving in that they do demo the south stands. Where do we, the blind hardcore of the hardcore get displaced to for at LEAST a season. Good seats? Nope. Those fancy makeshift pub seats at ground level? nope. Temporary stands on the north side? Ha, no. 3000 people is hard to move in a stadium that has no easy expansion. So, again, hypothetically, TFC DOES demo the south stands and we have no tickets for the season.

Think about it. 17000 people go for the atmosphere that, being the only positive thing that TFC really has right now, will largely be absent for the season. Does anyone think that these part-time, band-wagon, 'summer Leaf' supporters are going to stick around for the same exciting and flowing brand of soccer that MoJo has bestowed upon us this season? In a city that only supports winners (it wasn't that long ago where plenty of good Raptors seats were still available, but then they became a good team), how long before the ship gets abandoned without the current drawing card, that is hardcore support?

Secondly, MLS mandate. Right now, TFC and the MLSE are the poster children on 'how to start an MLS franchise'. Barriers to entry for an MLS team are (a) owners with deep pockets and (b) a soccer specific (or plans for a soccer specific) stadium. Now TFC becomes the first team to go from a soccer specific stadium to a multi-purpose ground. Yes, I'm sure MLS will LOVE that idea. That won't get them into deep crap, will it? I'm sure MLS has ways of punishing TFC if that were to go through without their permission.

Thirdly, how much revenue could the Argos generate? For a maximum of 10 home dates per year? Enough to recoup the expense of a ground renovation? And at who's dime? The city? The province? The Argos?

Sympathy for the Argo plight is nil right now. Their owners balked at a multi-purpose stadium at York for the "free rent" at Rogers Centre. Now they're in a situation where they feel they deserve a better chunk of the income. Let us not forget, the Argos, much like the the majority of the CFL (if not all of the CFL), run at an operating profit right now. They are not crying poor as they are crying not rich enough.

There's only one group of people benefiting from this talk right now and that's solely the Argos. Of course the CFL Commissioner is going to bat for the team in the biggest city in the league. Hell, if I were commissioner, I'd likely be talking the same thing. He's trying to put media pressure on the Rogers people to pony up a better deal for the Argos. Trying to play one off the other. If I were Ted Rogers, I would still have to believe that I've got the Argos right where I want them. They have no bargaining power.

If the renovation of New Fort York were to cost in around 8-10 million dollars, wouldn't it be worth it to just spend triple and have your own stadium to do as you will with it? You can have a no frills ground for $30 million (real estate costs notwithstanding) that seats 25000. If the Argos were that desparate for a better slice of the pie, wouldn't it be better to just build your own bakery.

There is no reasonable way the Argos are going to ruin our "good thing".

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Editorial: Bleak To The Future

The rumours of a possible Argos move to BMO Field refuse to die and in fact appear more often in Toronto media. TFC's supporters get more frustrated at MLSE's silence over the issue and the corporation's unbelievable claims that they are at the mercy of the big bad City Of Toronto's government. Protests grow louder and more creative but are met with indifference from Bay Street. Leafs' season begins and all MLSE executives go into hibernation at the ACC sushi bar until May.

MID 2009

As the Argos' lease at the Rogers Centre nears an end, a joyous press conference is called with the Argos, TFC and the City in attendance. A grand expansion of BMO Field is announced with the stadium capacity growing to 30,000. The architectural drawings show great features like retractable south and north end stands and also show a gleaming green field with no gridiron marks in the soccer set-up. The next day's headline: "WORLD'S WORST KEPT SECRET ANNOUNCED"


Construction begins with demolition of north and south ends. The City of Toronto suddenly realizes they have no money and cannot possibly justify the high-end features for the stadium. An architect with a map and half a brain then realizes that the Food Building in the north and Princes' Blvd. in the south make construction a lot trickier - and expensive. The north and south end retractable seats, and eventually both stands, are scrapped from the plan in favour of a bigger east stand upper deck. The open-ended end zones will be perfect for parking ambulances and utility vehicles much like at all other CFL stadia.


A harsh winter (really surprising in usually tropical Toronto) and the unexpected size of the construction project mean major delays. TFC starts the season on 7-game road swing until it is finally decided that the rest of the 2010 home schedule will have to be played at Rogers Centre. 500-Level streamer tossing becomes a major hobby for cheap-seat supporters.


"New BMO Field" opens to much fanfare, just in time for the new MLS campaign. The huge upper east stand deck is met with groans by the relocated supporter's groups who have been moved up there after the south end was demolished for an end-zone. The supporter's groups complain. MLSE does not listen. Non-footy supporters laud the great facility and scoff at TFC supporters’ previous fears especially as the turf has no gridiron markings on it.


TFC plays its' first match after an Argos game the previous night. The sell-out crowd grumbles their disapproval as the turf has visible "Rona Hardware" and "Wendy's" ads on it as well as all of the previous evening's gridiron lines and numbers and of course, a giant Argos' "A" in the midfield. Supporter's groups howl at MLSE over their broken promises. MLSE does not listen.

FALL 2011

As the MLS season continues, purist footy fans stop showing up to TFC matches. The TFC season finale vs. the expansion St. Louis Knights is played before a half-empty stadium with clearly visible CFL markings on the field as BMO gets ready to host it's first Grey Cup game. (In case you are wondering, TFC misses the 2011 playoffs as Mo Johnston still can't find a striker)


Crowds dwindle as MLSE finally admits that you can never fully erase the CFL lines off of field turf and refuse to spend the money on a second pitch for TFC use. MLSE attempts to breathe life into the sputtering team by introducing new team mascot "Scorer" The Soccer Loving Lion! Also joining "Scorer" are the TFC City Dancers, more thundersticks than supporters, and rows upon rows of high-pitched screaming youth teams and their moms in the stands to replace the mostly departed and mistreated supporter's groups. In a last ditch attempt at success, TFC finally signs it's first Designated Player. 37 year-old Alessandro Del Piero comes out of retirement but sadly trips over "Scorer's" tail during warm-ups and blows out his knee, ending his career - again.


Toronto's hockey-obsessed media are heard giggling to themselves as languishing TFC are sold to a group from New York City for $60 Million where they are to move into a new Soccer Specific Stadium in Queens. Mo Johnston immediately calls "New York Cosmos 2" for a job. TFC becomes a footnote in football history as the city's media blames the fans "for not supporting the team". MLSE continues its lease on BMO Field "Home Of The Argos" and makes a tidy profit on its soccer adventure. The end to a sad, greedy story. Let us hope it stays fictional.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Match Report: San Jose @ TFC

It seems like we haven't done one of these suckers in a while. You know, a league game. And looking at the schedule, it'll be a while until we do this again.

The Mighty Reds are still crap on the road, but if it is of and consolidation, so is most of the league. So much for being unique.

Lately, our forwards have been absent for anything resembling regular service that could turn into one of those back-of-the-net thingies. In all fairness, possession has been favouring Toronto in many of their games, but on target shots are rarer than a TFC all-star.

San Jose has two Toronto turf rejects. Politically, i can't hate the Quakes. I like Yallop and their supporters were robbed of a quality side due to bigger dollar signs guiding the owners to the promised land that is Houston (1837). Match predictions : 2-1, 3-0, 4-0, 2-0 all pro-TFC

1 min - Huckaby is already getting a song. Sadly his song is better than the 'TFC Olé' that followed it.

2 min - Adult film star Joe Cannon (AfsJC) makes a sprawling save with his giant hands.

6 min - Ricketts cross, Ibrahim holds it too long, fires wide

7 min - Ibrahim fires a shot wide but AfsJC doesn't have the 'length' to reach it. Yes, those jokes will write themselves.

10 min - Ibby chipped AfsJC, Rosenlund got to it but clearly offside.

14 min - 19SJ gets a low shot that Sutton grabs easily. Marshall goes down hurt, but will continue the match

16 min - Ricketts fires a low ball across the grass, AfsJC 'thrusts' himself as the ball to stop it

18 min - SJ free kick fails against the wall, but not before Ibby gets booked for encroachment I suspect

23 min - Dichio gets a song, guy behind is recording it for CBC... So i sang it.

25 min - Ibby gets held for 10 yards and the grabby one goes into the book. Ensuing free kick, Robert bends it just wide of the right post.

33 min - Wynne fires it in, AfsJC double-fists it away. That guy is all about fis... nevermind.

37 min - Laurent double-teamed beats both for a cross, cleared out for a corner. Laurent's corner flies by everyone in red.

Half-time emotion : same as it ever was, they better get better sometime soon

49 min - Toronto gets tunnel vision as they cannot seem to use the entire east side of the pitch

51 min - now they don't want to shoot. If the game could be won with passing alone, we'd be the greatest side in the world.

55 min - Ricketts crosses the ball to clear the entire 18-yard box. How effective.

63 min - Huckaby can no longer take the punishment that the artificial surface dishes out and has to be subbed out. Good thing we're holding out for Dickov... Probably not a bitch.

68 min - Ibby gets bulldogged down and the ref points to the spot. SJ Riley is getting the business from the ref and his own teammates. Che Guevera steps up for the penalty, fires it slightly to his left, stopped by AfsJC 'girth', big rebound is popped way over the bar.

70 min - SUB - in comes Cunningham, out comes Rosenlund

74 min - Wynne to a shot that ended up nowhere near the net, but at least someone is shooting.

78 min - we need a forward. We need Schweinsteiger! I know he not a forward, but his name is hella-fun to yell.

83 min - TFC controlled the entire half yet can't do anything in the final third of the pitch that could be mistaken as threatening, less the blown penalty

87 min - SJ first legit attempt at net results in nothing. What a shit game...

89 min - Where are the no frills players from Tuesday? At least they gave a shit.

90+2 min - blow the damn whistle already

Man of the match : Ibrahim

"Budgie" award for heart : nobody worthy today...

Thumbs up : umm, no goals conceded

Thumbs down : few shots threatened, the raving disinterested by the players for the last 20 minutes

Goat : the alcohol/testosterone fuelled fracas that happened infront of us post match.

Match Report - Independiente (ARG) v. TFC

OMG, this thing is SOOOOO LATE and there's still another one coming. Blah, blah, blah... TFC good, Independiente bad... yada yada yada, useless exhibition in a crowded schedule... OK, screw it, onto the breakdown.

Match predictions : 3-1 for either side, 0-0, 2-1 Independiente, 3-1 Independiente, 1-0 TFC, 2-0 Independiente

TFC starts the match with the reservists and Edu. Independiente also started with reservists, but they are Racing Club's reservists, AKA Independiente starting XI. Ha! Take that!

3 - Attakora-Gyan ripped the ball off of IND #7

4 - I pitch Bohemian Rhapsody as the club song to ForeverRed. He's not feeling the idea

5 - Jeeered Smeeth fires a shot just wide of the net

7 - Cunningham got a shot off, that appeared to go forward, but having no depth perception, it went straight up in the air.

8 - TFC Reservists look pretty good executing plans. I change my prediction to 2-1 Independiente, I’m that confident.

9 - IND #31 gets booked for stupid unsportsmanlike conduct ever displayed in a meaningless game

11 - Edu booked. Worst display of acting ever as once the card is shown, he gets up from rolling

13 - ¿que eres? After Idiotpendiente #7 moans over a legit offside call.

15 - goalie Edwards rushes out to make a brilliant tackle on an Independiente through ball.

16 - Ibrahim with a pretty ball to Cunningham who held it too long before shooting with no angle.

17 - Rosenlund gets rocked by a deflected ball clearing.

19 - Edwards is NOT screwing around out there

21 - IND #7 is a weak little girl who has no business pretending to be a pro. He goes down grabbing his left thigh, stays on the ground to get his right ankle treated.

- the atmosphere is piss tonight because no one brought the drum or the megaphone tonight, completely true -

29 - the fans have no clue what they're doing. Need proof? The suit named MLSinToronto has got a song sung about him. Twice.

30 - After a nice spell of control, Ibrahim is hauled down by IND#12 and gets book for his troubles

36 - ball across the face of goal, and Smeeth skied it over the bar from 4 yards out.

41 – Attakora-Gyan fired the ball just wide. Meanwhile at the other end, Edwards is yelling like its a cup final.

44 - our TFC Reservists are playing smoother than our starting XI with crazy Barcelona type passing. Magic.

Half-time mood : unimpressed, pathetic, sombre

48 - Ibrahim does a 1-2 with Gala, lays it off to Smeeth who may never score a goal intentionally. Shades of Lombardo circa 2007.

56 – IND puts the ball into the box, #9 gets to it but misses... should’ve been a goal.

58 – SUB – Ibrahim off, Rickets on.

67 – GOAL – IND free-kick, headed the ball into the box, scramble, #9 put the ball into back of net.

68 – SUB – I think Cunningham is out, Frank Jonke (#19) is in

70 - SUB – Smeeth is out, Murphy Wiredu (#8) is in apparently a CSL tryout

76 – SUB - Gala out, Gerard Ladiyou (#2) in, apparently a CSL tryout. Neither Jonke, Wiredu and Ladiyou have names on the backs of their shirts.

78 – Edo musters up a shot at net. You will notice that this was the first thing of action note 11 minutes.

Quote of the match: “If you paid $70 for this ticket, you’d be pissed.” I’ve seen better CSL games.

80 - Rosenlund took a free kick and got it around the wall, Julius James gets around his defender, goes up and damn near back-heels it from behind his body in the air (you had to see it) and just curls around the bar. THAT GOAL WOULD’VE BEEN WORTH $70. We now bring you back to your TFC Reserves.

88 – Ricketts on the wing, crosses to Rosenlund and Wiredu tries to chase down the ball, only to have the keeper grab it

90+1 – IND #22 gets booked, but Ricketts gets a shot off beforehand, ending up about 24 feet wide of the netting to the left.

90+1 – Rosenlund, half-volley, shanks it over the bar. He’s playing really really well tonight.

Thumbs Up : The ref was OUTSTANDING

Thumbs Down : I lost precious sleep for this abomination. If you are going to have a game against international opposition, could you please guarantee that the domestic side fields its best team. Otherwise, have them and give the tickets away or something.

Goat of the Match : Ummm... whoever overbooked the month of July with games. Idiot. Don’t do it again next year.

Man of the Match : Edu worked hard, but in hindsight, I’m giving it to Rosenlund. Played outstanding.

“Budgie” award for heart : Brian Edwards. He wanted to win so bad, you could feel it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Match Report: Vancouver @ TFC

My mp3 player does not want to do prolonged voice recording. So I'm winging it again. Hopefully it reads less like a blog post and more like witty commentary.

Today was a beautiful, sunny, and not too hot, day to spend celebrating Canada Day than amongst the few that opted in for the Nutrilite Canadian Championship, from here on in referred to as "The NutCan" and watch the homestand juggernaut that is Toronto FC.

Unfortunately, things don't always pan out as you hope for.

The Vancouver Whitecaps of the USL (yes, there are other Canadian teams that play professional soccer) are no slouch. These lads play well together and they proved it... by doing what no MLS team could do : Beat Toronto at home.

I was 11 minutes late. I blame Gmail and Firefox for, somehow, opening up the game tickets to the Colorado match from a few weeks ago. Of course, I can't read, so I printed them, and marched merrily to the ground not thinking another damn thing about it

Will Call drama later, we enter New Fort York (We need a better name for the stadium other than a bank... seriously), grab a bevvie and head up to the stands. Vancouver apparently had a shot on net.

The penalty call was suspect, but sadly, warranted. TFC defender held a Vancouver player and threw him to the ground. Yes, he wasn't involved in the play, but that's still a foul, and in the box, it's still a penalty. Martin "Knowlton" Nash scored from the spot. This was the only goal of the game, but there should've been more. And few of them earned by the mighty reds.

Misconception #1 : The USL is shite. WRONG! The Lynx were shite (old school U-Sector knows... hell, I know first hand how bad they are) but the Impact and the Whitecaps are excellent sides. The gap between USL and MLS is NOT AS BIG AS YOU THINK. Just because it's called "Major League Soccer", doesn't mean it's "Major League anything". When you get a chance, go look up how the Red Bulls did in the US Open Cup this past weekend. They lost. 2-0. TO A USL DIVISION 2 SIDE.

Misconception #2 : TFC is infalliable. WRONG! We here at The Yorkies are very open with the concept of NOT SUPPORTING SHITE PLAY. When TFC is bad, we call it. Vancouver SCHOOLED Toronto. Watch the game again if you don't believe me. If all the great chances at goal were converted, Vancouver would've won the game 5-3. TFC were not anywhere near the dominant side. Pathetic, over-confident, under-prepared and really frustrating of you actually paid money for this game

Misconception #3 : The current squad is perfect for MLS supremacy. WRONG! We need a striker. Hell, Charles Gbeke who came on as a sub for the Whitecaps is ex-Lynx, ex-Impact, ex-Hamilton Thunder, ex-Rochester Rhinos is a journeyman striker who has a knack of scoring crazy goals from nothing. He was playing this week for Impact reserves and he stepped on the pitch and HIT THE POST. How many posts did Cunningham hit? Smith? Dichio?

I had a Whitecaps scarf on one arm. I don't believe that TFC has to "hate" everyone who comes into the ground. I believe in the concept of "friendly teams". There is no good reason to hate Vancouver. Kerfoot, the Caps owner, is doing more for soccer in Vancouver than our owners are doing for footie in Toronto. The Whitecaps should've got a nice cheer from educated folk. Personally, I'd like to extend a "friendly arm" to the following sides :

San Jose, Seattle, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Montreal.

Why? We're new school. That's a good start there. Especially San Jose how their fans got screwed out of a championship side... sorry, off topic.

Vancouver played excellent. Nolly was outstanding in goal for the Whitecaps. The Japanese kid was a sparkplug too.

However, we cannot forget the "genetically deteriorating officiating" for this match. Cunningham's goal was completely legit and they blew it (in more ways than one) offside. I will be able to justify my season's ticket going up another 10% if it means IMPORTING REFEREES and sending the current ones TO A REAL REF SCHOOL where they actually have to PASS IT instead of sitting in a room for 2 days and learning to ref by osmosis.

Man of the match : Sutton.

"Budgie" award : Wynne, the only player out there on TFC NOT in a keeper's kit who seemed like he was taking Vancouver as serious as any other MLS side. Thank you Mr. Wynne.

Thumbs up : Um, Sutton, Wynne.

Thumbs down : Anemic forwards. Our midfield took more shots than our forwards. If that's the case, I will happily embrace a 4-6-0 system for the rest of the season.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Since this is the first installment of The Starting 11, here is a little description. Simply, it is a sort of Top 10 list but because this is a “Football First” website we’ll go with a starting eleven! Look for this feature to bring you a Yorkies’ take on lists that will range from the serious to the absurd in the world of footy. Hope you enjoy it but if all 11 aren’t great, just remember, there’s at least one Andy Welsh in most 11’s! Cheers and now for the first Starting 11…


11. “THE PRAHA DERBY” A great derby in Prague that has the intellectual and artsy types supporting Slavia Praha while the working class fans follow the giant AC Sparta Praha. Sparta’s communist era backing still makes them the richest and strongest Czech squad but Slavia has equal history and has returned to give them a real challenge recently.

10. “THE SAO PAOLO DERBY” Sharing the mammoth 95,000 seat Maracana stadium only helps fuel the fire that truly rages between supporters of Fluminese and Flamengo. Fluminese’s aristocratic fan base is at odds with Flamengo’s working class appeal and tempers always flare. Not to be attended by the faint of heart.

9. “THE MERSEYSIDE DERBY” The city of Liverpool’s oldest team is actually Everton but for the last 50 years most attention has been paid to Anfield’s Liverpool FC. Everton were the far superior team in the early 20th Century and Goodison Park was the scene of many victories but LFC’s rise to prominence as one of the world’s major clubs has been a bitter pill for Evertonians. The two sets of fans simply don’t like each other even if Liverpool FC often overlooks the local rivals.

8. “IL DERBY CAPITALE” The 82,000 seat Stadio Olimpico in Rome is home to this heated derby that has vicious political undertones. Lazio’s base of support has always been the right wing conservatives and even Benito Mussolini was a supporter. The fascist leanings still have remnants with the team’s Ultras and are at odds with the left leaning workers who support the eternal city’s true favourite team AS Roma.

7. “THE ISTANBUL DERBY” On one side of Turkey’s biggest city is continental Europe, on the other side is Asia. An equally big rift is the support for Galatasaray and the support of its bitter rival Fenerbahce. Both teams have seen success and this derby is infamous for long standing hatred and constant violence. Don’t believe it? Just ask teams who arrive at Istanbul’s airport where supporters hang banners reading “Welcome To Hell”.

6. “DE KLASSIEKER” This one loses points because it is not a local derby but considered a national derby. However, when Dutch giants Ajax of Amsterdam and Feyenoord of Rotterdam meet, there is no mistaking the rivalry. Amsterdam, the free-thinking, pot smoking, red-lighting city has a fan base that is huge and tends to be more white collar while hard-working, industrial Rotterdam gives Feyenoord a blue collar base. Both sets of fans are tough though, and whether the match is at Amsterdam Arena or at De Kuip it is usually a touchy affair.

5. “THE BUENOS AIRES DERBY” The Argentine capital’s two main clubs were both formed in the tough docks by European sailors. Somewhere along their histories though River Plate moved north and became associated with Buenos Aires’ elite population and moved into the Monumental National Stadium. Boca Junior on the other hand stayed close to its roots and built the infamous Bombonera Stadium to cater to its working class fan base. This is one of South America’s hardest derbys and what doesn’t take place in the stadiums is often taken to the streets.

4. “THE NATIONAL DERBY” Once again we have a national rather than local derby but when Real Madrid and Barcelona meet there are major political forces at play. Barcelona plays in the Catalan region of Spain, which seeks independence from Spain. Real Madrid represents the republican aspirations of Spain. When Spain was under fascist rule, Barcelona and its supporters were under heavy scrutiny and many feel Real won many favours in the league during this time. In short, this derby has football, history and independence at stake. Take that Real Salt Lake versus Colorado Rapids.

3. “THE MILANESE DERBY” They share the massive San Siro Stadium. They have spilt titles and cups for 100 years. They have both seen some of football’s legends in their colours. Their fans couldn’t hate each other more. Inter Milan, once the home of elite support, is now the working class choice in Milano while AC Milan’s humble beginnings are now forgotten as the upper class follow the club owned by Italy’s 3-time leader and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi.

2. “THE NORTH LONDON DERBY” Here’s the story in a nutshell. Tottenham Hotspur played in North London. Arsenal played south of the River Thames in Woolwich. Arsenal got rich and moved to North London while its owners signed a deal to join the First Division without promotion. To make room for Arsenal, the FA relegated Tottenham without reason. They play about 15 minutes away from each other. They have taken turns through the 20th Century being London’s glamour club. Spurs fans have long memories. Arsenal fans have had a lot to celebrate recently. Neighbours who hate each other like few other sets of supporters.

1. “THE OLD FIRM” What can be said about Glasgow’s derby that hasn’t been said already? Celtic has predominant Catholic support. Rangers have traditional Protestant support. Hundreds of years of religious based hatred and rivalry, manifesting itself in green and white hoops or blue. Whether at Celtic Park or at Ibrox this is the world’s true king of derby matches. By the way, only one player has been on both sides of the pitch, some guy named Mo Johnston… anyone around here heard of him?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Match Report: Kansas City @ TFC

OK, I have a good reason why this is late.

I use my mp3 player as a voice recorder and, though I was certain it was recording, it was shutting down intermittently and I would lose all of my work going forward.

Here's the gist of what you missed.

First half : NOTHING. Horrible, boring, uneventful.

Second half : three subs and the A-Team was on the pitch. The game didn't start until about the 60th minute and then Toronto started pressing forward. 80th minute, shots started firing. KC saw a man sent off for being boring.

Final score 0-0.

Man of the match : Harmse played very well, even in the first half when the whole game was anemic.

Budgie award : Velez played with a lot of heart.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Match Report - Colorado Rapids @ TFC

If you're reading this match report, odds are, you are abreast of the climate of footie in Canada and Toronto (or I hope so).

This week, we, the soccer community, lost, what I feel, is one of the standard bearers for the sport in Canada. Brian "Budgie" Budd passed away at the age of 56. You could see him any Saturday or Sunday morning on The Score being passionate about soccer. Any soccer. Men's National Team, Women's U-16s, TFC, even Derby County.

To say that he was the "Don Cherry of Soccer" would be both accurate and an understatement. He wore his heart on his sleeve, he was very charismatic and seemed like the most affable man in the booth. We lost him too soon. We need more like him. Passion is infectious.

I read it in the Globe Wednesday afternoon. Speechless. On behalf of mid-113, we would like to declare our most sincerest condolences to his family, friends, The Score and Canadian Soccer.

A little of the fire for this game was lost for me due to this loss. I'm pleased that TFC and MLS gave him a minute of silence before the match.

I honestly couldn't even be bothered to see how Colorado was doing. Screw'em. There's two TFC's. The crap road one, and the world-beating home one. Who cares about the opposition when we're humiliating "better" teams. OK, I'm lazy. That's the truth.

Toronto FC was abysmal on the road. It's amazing that the Reds are the opposite at home. Mind you, hort of Colorado and their elevation from sea level, how many sides in MLS can really claim a definite home-field advantage.

Match predictions came flying in 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1. I called 3-0. And though I should've had my 7-0 from the LA game, I am freakin' Nostradamus.

1 - COL15 rifles it wide. Good way to start a game.

6 - Robert breaks into the corner, crosses in, and punched away by, the most unfortunate name in goalies, Preston Burpo.

8 - Ball hooked in by Ricketts, headed just wide of the post by Cunningham. Looked very good.

12 - Shevchenko gets called out because some "Chelsea supporter" had it on his back.

14 - Ricketts nearly pulled off the on-pitch version of the Savardian Spinarama on some crap defender... it was really close and fun to watch.

19 - Ricketts get nailed and because he falls, Colorado 'earns' a free kick.

22 - Our backup Edwards makes two outstanding saves in succession and sends the game up the pitch Cunningham gets hauled down 3 yards outside of the box. The ensuing Robert free kick clears the wall but misses just wide right of the net.

26 - Burpo gets a yellow card for handling the ball outside of the box. Isn't that usually a red? He clutched the ball on the ground and momentum carried him outside of the box. Whatever.

28 - Dichio hasn't had a touch yet.

29 - Marvell Wynne with the most brutal hip-check in the history of football as he sent Clark skidding across the boundary line, to the edge of the turf, onto the rubber perimiter, onto the concrete and into the boarding. That poor bugger went flying! What an amazing hit! He was on the ground for a few minutes. Though the Colorado players were still complaining about a legal challenge that hurt him bad, Cunningham tried to chip Burpo on the counter and just put it past the bar. Clark is still hurt. Damn. I'm guessing turf burn. Wynne is a beast. All stop.

34 - Keel is horrible. It looked like he nearly put the ball past his own goalie trying to grab it.

37 - GOAL - ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! That guy is the miracle worker!!! Danny Dichio, with his second touch of the game, is a miscleared volley from the worst center-back in the league, Keel, right onto the path of the big man, full volley opposite corner. Just fantastic.

40 - We're gonna win the league. They're never gonna believe us.

41 - Clark lashed out at Wynne and no call. The ref took pity on him because of how bad he is. Shortly thereafter, Dichio gets his third touch and put it wide of goal. I'm equating him to Matt LeTissier (look it up)

45+1 - Half time. Emotion : Satisfied.

47 - Ricketts floats it in for Cunningham who cuts it back for Dichio if he could run... so Colorado gains possession.

50 - Edwards scoops up another ball. Hard to tell if he's playing really well or if Colorado just aims for him.

52 - Harmse gets booked for a tackle that appeared he got the ball from, but the ref is the one in charge and unfortunately cannot be forced to undergo impromptu sight tests.

54 - Edwards cradles, ever so gently, another failing Colorado attempt.

58 - GOAL - Ricketts breaks down the right side, turns his marker inside out and slots the ball opposite corner.

59 - Rickets attempts to break the ankles of his marker (again) by turning him inside out (again) and puts the ball in the centre for a missed attempt by Cunningham. Outstanding play from Super Ro.

60 - The Yorkies get stuck in with the B' security! An mini air-horn was brought in to the ground by Forever Red and after tooting it in celebration, a row broke out. Let's cut from the game to bring you the interview!

Hamilton Steelers : So what exactly happened? What went down?
Forever Red : I got into the moment, took the horn and started wailing on it, the crowd got into it and then I got caught out.

HS : How did you feel when security tried to oppress you over the horn
FR : I said 'there's no way I'm going down man, no way'!

HS : And how did security react to that?
FR : I said 'yo punk, I'm staying here' and he backed down and said 'OK'
Forever Red, a role model for the youth of today. Back to the match...

66 - Free kick, Robert hooks another piece of poetry around the wall causing Burpo to lunge out and puch the ball at the bar to keep it out.

67 - GOAL - Ricketts AGAIN turned some poor USL defender inside out and put it past the hapless Burpo. Where's Bouna Coundoul when you need him? No really... where. 3-0 to the mighty Reds.

69 - Colorado player goes down clutching his face, which means he wasn't hit there. The rest of the Slows (cuz they sure as hell ain't Rapid) try to get in Dichio's face, which means it isn't a fair fight. Colorado would need the rest of the state to make it fair. Dichio will destroy them all. Keel nearly had his organs donated for getting in Danny's face first.

72 - Toronto is just magic right now.

74 - Edwards with an amazing save. Shortly thereafter, Ricketts gets triple teamed and still gets the ball around them. If I made a Colorado Foxes remark, would anyone know what I was talking about...

75 - Edwards. Save. This was the same guy from the season opener? Wow. I feel good about this right now.

77 - Connor Casey comes flying into the box, shoots the ball across the face, stopped by Edwards.

78 - SUB - Dichio comes off, and our own Flight of the Conchord, Jeereed Smeeth comes in.

80 - GOAL - Gomez for Colorado gets a free kick at the top of the box, and does what Robert had tried to do all game and bend it over the wall and beat the keeper, low and away. Edwards was handcuffed on it. Solid goal. I believe that it is the second goal conceded at home all year. Think about that one.

82 - Robert runs the entire length of the pitch with the ball on a string and passed the ball 8 yds out when he should've just shot it. Coulda been a legend had that gone in.

83 - Ricketts hates Colorado. He's trying to make their defenders implode in frustration and physical impossibility.

85 - Cunningham goes into the book for diving. Couldn't see a replay but it was close from our vantage.

88 - A few season's tickets are being revokes and Toronto's finest are thrilled because they now have something to do as a few beverages are tossed at Burpo.

90+1 - Cunningham shanks his 15th chance of the night by mistaking the amphitheatre a kilometer south of the ground as a net. Harry Wetnap reminds us that we are still undefeated. Eat it Columbus. Eat it all...

90+2 - Keel, the worlds worst centerback, manages to successfully head the ball back at his keeper.

90+3 - Whistle blown. Budgie, we love you man.

I am hereby dubbing the lovely gentlemen infront of us as the nursery because (a) I'm shit with names, (b) they're younger than me and (c) they're wicked requiring a harmless nickname. One of the Nursery guessed the scoreline correctly.

Man of the Match : Ricketts. Easy.

The Budgie Award, for most heart and battle : Wynne. Easy.

Thumbs Up : Flow and aggression. Kinda how I like my rap music. Edwards was great.

Thumbs Down : Tebily was shakey in the first few mins but levelled out nicely, Cunningham could've converted one of his many chances.

Goat : Tonight, the machine functioned beautifully with spare parts. Outstanding work.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Match Report - LA Galaxy @ TFC

It was sunny when I left the hammer. I thought I was prepared for the elements, but here I sit on the bus heading back and i'm soaked through three layers. Mother nature is a bitch. There, i said it.

In the crowd today were the fools who overpaid for a game without golden bollocks himself, David Beckham. And the Galaxy missed him badly. Don't hate on us, blame Fabio Capello (who?). Doesn't matter. Fresh off a heartbreaker of a game against DC blowing two leads and a soft cushion to land on in the form of Montreal Impact in V-Cup action (newsflash : your other trophy name is stupid) winning 1-0.

So the Galaxy runs head first into the red sea known as the B' and are up against the hottest home team in the WORLD! Yes, the world. Aww, to hell with flowery prose to set this up... the report is 4 days late as is... check the info, yo...

Landycakes was on the bench as he musta saw what U-Sector did to poor Reyna and Nike was looking to protect their stars.

Predictions were all pro-TFC 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, and i went for 7-0. It should'Ve been 7 nil...

This match is brought to by the letters F and K and by the number 4...

1 - Ricketts hooks the ball in while Cunningham JUST misses.

8 - free kick by Ricketts, Velez gets two cracks blocked by LA defense.

9 - There's only twoooooooo Toronto goailies...

17 - SUB - Teliby off for Julius James. Teliby must be hurt.

18 - ominous clouds roll in...

22 - Edu gets the ball nicely laid off to Cunningham who is offside (this is literary device known as 'foreshadowing')

27 - Harmse smokes the ball 25 yards out at an unsuspecting carlsburg umbrella. The umbrella was unharmed.

28 - LA is rocking an insane offside trap. Cunningham and Jeereed Smeeth will spring it... Somehow.

31 - "Shank It Like" Gordon shanks it nowhere near net.

35 - Wynne takes a scoring opportunity away from LA as if he was reaching for a salt shakers : effortlessly.

38 - ex-TFC Edson Buddle magically fluffs the ball. Turns out he can't score in this ground no matter what shirt he wears.

39 - Cunningham puts a low shot right into the arms of Cronin

40 - Edu gets booked for a flaky challenge at best.

43 - in the crowds best impression of a fire drill, the stands empty out due to rain. Yes, I said rain. Toronto, Glasgow you're not...

45 - Jeereed Smeeth runs instead of shooting. Opportunity blown.

Halftime emotion : anemic.

46 - Dunnivant corner leads to a rising shot from Jeereed Smeeth that just goes over the bar.

48 - GOAL - Ricketts free kick ends on the head of new boy Julius James and sends it to the low left corner. Welcome to the 'B'. And all those suckers cowering from the rain missed it. Ha ha ha...

51 - Harmse gets booked for being the league bad-ass (no, we don't know why)

53 - Smeeth in another attempt of not shooting rolls the ball across the face of goal without a red shirt to convert.

55 - we've turned the boring 'TFC ole' into a chant for potato chips, as in 'Frito-Lay'

63 - GOAL - Cunningham bags his 98th career goal (not sure) and apparently i didn't have the brains to remember how.

65 - Cunningham has figured out how bad the Galaxy trap is and was one foot to the left off of his second goal in as many minutes.

71 - Ricketts rifles one off the woodwork.

74 - Jeereed Smeeth on a break just misses to the left of the net.

77 - Cunningham is ripped off by getting a judo toss to the ground (which totally would've been ippon) and no booking, no free kick

86 - SUB - Attanygora in for Jeereed Smeeth, though not willing enough to shoot, has had a solid game.

89 - Cunningham was offside. Again. Awful linesman. It should've been 7-0

90+1 - Galaxy have a free kick that's rifled off the wall. They really miss Golden Bollocks and Landycakes.

90+3 - Cunningham tries to chip the keeper but it goes just over the bar.

Man of the match : Cunningham. Easily.

Goat : Smeeth, SHOOOOOT!!!! (if i gotta pick something/someone)

Thumbs Up : we're functional without Dichio (hurt) Guevera and Robinson (international duty). Williams had to do just about nothing.

Thumbs Down : That system Gullit calls a trap.

Friday, May 16, 2008


There has been much said recently about the proposed Argos move to BMO Field, but sometimes it is the things that are unsaid that prove to be the most curious. Many in the mainstream media will throw out the notion of the CFL moving into “The National Soccer Stadium” as a simple moving of house, west down Lakeshore Blvd. However, when you take the time to really break down the idea, you quickly come to realize there is a lot that has not been widely discussed, at least not in public. As any TFC supporter who has called the club’s head office for more information knows, a pretty tight corporate style script has emerged from Bay Street. I have no inside knowledge to claim that there is more to this than meets the eye but what does strike me as odd is the lack of apparent information or investigation into a project that is far bigger than is being let on. With that, the following talking points have come to mind. Many of these have already appeared on the numerous TFC forums, but maybe one or two of them will make you wonder if we are dealing with ignorance or something more sinister.

THE SIZE AND COST OF EXPANSION: The Argos claim to have an average attendance of over 30,000. The simple addition of a north stand would only add an approximate 4,000 to 5,000 seats to BMO. It seems strange that a team that depends on gate receipts so heavily would be happy to drop 5,000 seats. In order to get closer to 30K, an upper deck on the east side would be necessary, add to that an increase in wanted private boxes and other amenities to be discussed later and the budget has already skyrocketed. Now I am not any kind of architect, but anyone with common sense knows that this could not fall into the much heard $10-$20 Million Dollar price tag that’s being thrown around. It would surely be much higher.

EXPANSION LOCATION: The main fact of CFL-to-BMO expansion is the necessity to extend the stadium by CFL end zones to the north and the south. For arguments sake we will believe the movable stands malarkey being talked about for now. However, even if the stands are pulled right back for Argos games, you must still add the need for the concourses, the facilities such as washrooms and the entrance gates. I don’t have a long enough ruler but it sounds like the north end will be on the doorstep of the Food Building and the south end will be in the middle of Princes’ Blvd. This has yet to be explained satisfactorily to me and leaves me scratching my head. Of course this is based on the next mysterious promise…

THE MOVABLE STANDS: Forgive me for being a cynic but this sounds like one of those plans that get scrapped late in construction due to “budget restrictions”. Movable seats on a mechanized track system is no small project. There are issues with this that I see as problematic. If the stands are only there for the MLS set-up then will they simply collapse into a flat wall during the CFL? If that were the case the Argos would only have about a 16K attendance so that is unlikely. The idea would be non-folding stands, north and south but that only makes further problems. Take the TFC pitch as it is right now; add a CFL end zone on either side and then concourses and gates behind that. If you have been to BMO you can imagine this would put the north end well on it’s way to catching a GO Train. The only way to accommodate concourses would be to build them within the stands. Stands can be moved on a track – concourses, washrooms and food stands cannot. What does that mean to this untrained eye? The stands would have to be permanent and TFC fans would have an end zone between them and the goals. Impossible you say? I hope for our sake you are right.

THE ARGOS LEASE AT ROGERS CENTRE: This point has never made a lot of sense to me. Why would a seemingly cash-strapped franchise like the Argos move away from the Artist formerly known as SkyDome where it has its facilities in place and pays absolutely no rent? It is true that they don’t receive a penny in stadium revenue but what makes you think that BMO’s landlords “The Mighty MLSE” will give them a better deal. If there is one thing Torontonians know about MLSE is that they enjoy their money and are not too big on sharing. In essence the Argos would be moving from one landlord who charges them no rent to one who would and they still would not share revenue. Meanwhile, it would be surprising if Uncle Ted’s Removable Roof Ballpark would want to lose the Argos and their 15 or so home dates. Yes they are aiming for the NFL but that is a while away and that white elephant still needs tenants. The optimist in me has always hoped this whole rumour was an Argos’ shakedown for a better deal at Rogers Centre.

WHO’S GONNA PAY? Lots of people have been talking about this dreaded expansion but no one has opened their chequebook yet. Let’s look at the players. The City Of Toronto owns BMO. They have no money. Period. They can’t keep kids’ skating rinks and pools open. They can’t fund transit. We have a homeless crisis. Do we really think Mayor Miller and his councilors will vote yes to pouring millions into expansion with an election looming? Political suicide would be the description. The first time around it was to lure the U-20 World Cup here but this expansion would be only to house millionaire’s toys. There is no benefit to the city as Argos’ playoff games and Grey Cups would always return to Rogers Centre. The Argos don’t have $20 Million plus (more likely $30M plus) to spend on expansion. Their infamous pullout from the York University site seems to be proof of this. The CFL will not pour that kind of money into Toronto’s team. You could imagine the uproar from Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and Calgary etc. all much stronger and more deserving CFL clubs. And finally, our pals MLSE. They like getting stadiums for very little then running them at a profit, not pouring millions into projects. That is unless…

MLSE IS NOT SO INNOCENT? Again, there is no proof of this but don’t tell me an organization of MLSE’s wealth has no say about what happens at BMO. There is no way this group of millionaires didn’t get solid deals in their contracts with the city that give them an equal say on the stadium’s affairs. All we can hope for is that the hockey-puck section of the MLSE board isn’t looking at TFC like a fatted calf and thinking that BMO will still be sold-out if it ends up looking like a CFL stadium where a soccer team sometimes plays. The only worry I have with MLSE is if there is more money to be made (by having the Argos at BMO) they will pursue it to its fullest no matter the cost to TFC supporters or to BMO Field’s…

TURF: This to me would be the straw that broke Andy Welsh’s back. Football (the real kind) purists in Toronto will never be able to accept gridiron lines on our pitch. I truly believe attendance would plummet at the first sight of yard lines. There is absolutely no proof that these lines can be FULLY erased from a pitch. Even billion-dollar Wembley Stadium had trouble getting the paint off after last year’s NFL match in London. Premier League Wigan has trouble getting rugby lines to go away. What makes anyone believe that Toronto and MLSE to be exact will find the magic potion? It cannot be compared to the Rogers Centre situation either as that stadium uses a zipper system with hundreds of individual pieces of carpet as opposed to our full pitch Field Turf. The only way to guarantee no lines is with two separate pitches and MLSE will not be forking out for that. Don’t forget, with the CFL you don’t just get yard lines but also really attractive giant Rona Hardware logos all over the field. I just heard a TFC supporter faint.

STADIUM EXTRAS: It’s not just the seats and the pitch you know. Think about the added costs of much bigger dressing rooms for a gridiron team, the new giant weight rooms to build those helmet-clad monsters and office space for the new CFL tenants. What will Paul Winsper say when the Argos mess up his awesome new facility?! Also, how long before the “Double Blue” complain about all the red seats and soccer flags? The construction costs continue to rise but the cost of killing BMO’s atmosphere is even higher.

THE CONSTRUCTION PERIOD: Finally, this one has got me really confused. The facility manager or someone like that was telling the local media construction would take 8-12 months. If the south end, the north end and the curved corner stands all have to be modified, where will all those season ticket holders be sitting for most of one season? Will TFC be setting up Columbus style bleachers for every home match? That seems unlikely, yet this is just another in the (obviously) long list of unanswered questions.

Wherever the truth does lie, one thing is certain, The Yorkies and all the other great supporters groups must and will stand against this major mistake. If BMO Field loses its’ real football atmosphere it will eventually lose the support. The support is the soul of the club and without it… well that is too unbearable to even consider. We can hope that the Argos are playing a game of chicken with Rogers but let’s never take our eye off the ball. Otherwise our ball may be bouncing over a faded Rona Hardware sign.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Match Report: New York Red Bulls @ TFC

It's a beautiful, sunny night... somewhere else. Under the blanket of a threatening rain storm, it's a cold-ish Thursday night where the world champions elect take their 3 game win streak against New York Extreme Beverage (2-1-1) at the B. The 7:00pm kick-off for tonight's contest provided us with an attendance under 20,000 but I bet you still couldn't buy a ticket.

Still deliriously optimistic about the season? Yes. Still weary about the rain? Maybe.

Ex-Celtic (name dropping) Oliver Tebily is not starting. But the line up doesn't look much different from Saturday.

Yes, I'm late on the report. I have a life dammit. :)

I've got my shoes on now... so lets dance! Mid-113 predictions had all victories for TFC, just one called a 1-1 draw. Pshaw!

Pregame - The BMO Community Fan of the game is kinda hot. She can help out my community any day... in my PANTS! (I'm kidding, but she was certainly attractive)

2 - Southside was in full voice, just not in sync about it.

12 - Magee for NYEB crosses into the box, harmlessly headed away.

13 - van den Burgh corner, harmlessly headed away. Seriously, ask KC how well that fared for them.

15 - There was a foul. I missed it because I was trying to remember how the "Are you Kansas City in disguise" song goes. Philly calls it that there was a handball on NYEB and no call, then Toronto goes in for a harmless challenge and gets a free kick called against us.

16 - Marvell Wynne puts on a clinic on how to defend.

18 - Magee goes for corner #2, and ends up at the head of Wee Jimmy B. Failure.

19 - Claudio Reyna goes for a corner. The BRILLIANT U-Sector poster they held up as Reyna takes the shot can only be seen to be appreciated.

21 - Edu gets a weak shot on NYEB keeper Tim Conway. I know his name is Jon, but it's funny cuz I'm old enough to get it.

22 - Freeman hacks down Wee Jimmy B for a free kick just outside the left side of the penalty area which leads to...

23 - GOAL - Marco Velez flies in unchecked on the back post for a flawless header which Conway can only cry about. Gloriously delivered by Robert. 1-0 to the mighty reds.

25 - Harry Wetnap announces to me that his pants didn't fall around his ankles when Velez scored. Why is this important? Because apparently, when Dichio bagged the first goal in TFC history, he was jumping up and down so much that his pants fell down. I am never turning around again for a goal. Never. It's all about safety and keeping my eyesight intact.

28 - Villa reject John Paul Angel chipped Sutton, but couldn't get it under the bar. Hell of an attempt.

29 - Dichio to Robert, Robert back to Dichio, Dichio to Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) skidded just wide of the post.

30 - Ricketts with a brilliant tackle that this uncommon in this league. All confidence, all ball, no leg. Top shelf stuff.

31 - Marco Velez chant along the lines of the Marco Polo game. Brilliant and simple.

38 - Apparently if you're marking your player, and he back heels it to your hand at close quarters, results in a free kick because, of course, you were anticipating a back heel and wanted to put your hand in the way to stop it.

39 - GOAL - NYEB van den Burgh, who has been playing like ass all game thus far, somehow sneaks a ball around a wall and into the far right corner, out of the reach of Sutton. Bastard ref.

44 - Dichio turns and gets a weak shot off. Ball comes out and Wynne chases down the ball, and takes it from him as if his opponent never played footie in his life.

Halftime one-word emotions : freezing, numb, gutted, horny, content, ready-to-go, good. I'm surrounded by poets.

47 - Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) free kick, hooked in, Dichio couldn't quite get hit head to it, Velez diving couldn't quite get his head to it.

49 - Freeman barrels over Robert, gets a free kick which should've been booked, after getting up, Robert snapped and grabs him by the collar and jiu-jistu tosses him to the turf. Gets booked for the throw. The ref is mentally challenged and Robert is still fuming.

50 - Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) gets booked because Magee dived. The ref could use the help of a seeing eye dog. Hell, he should be a politician.

54 - Robinson with a quality tackle that if he remotely missed, he'd have been booked.

56 - Jimmy B makes his way into the box, hooks it to Ricketts, and the return ball gets desparately knocked out for a corner.

61 - Robert to Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!), Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) to the ghost of Dichio as Dichio was travelling the wrong direction that the ball was laid to. And I'm still pissed at the bullshit bookings.

64 - Edu beats Freeman on a nothing ball, only to see his shot sail wide.

66 - van den Bergh impedes Edu with a hip check and we only get a free kick. I'd give the ref a rule book, but I doubt he could read it. Robert cuts a ball into the box from the ensuing free kick and "Tim" Conway has it all the way.

67 - We attempt a Rohan Ricketts song to the tune of "Row Row Row Your Boat". Though we laugh, we don't have the heart enough to sing it loud for others to copy. It was that lame.

69 - We establish that Red Bull gives the ref Wings. Prolly his bus fare as well.

70 - Finally, Edu eats the turf and Ubiparipovic gets booked. We didn't think the ref knew how to.

75 - SUB - Jarrod Smith in for Ricketts. Ricketts played an excellent game, as usual.

78 - Edu into the wing, to Smith who hooks it in, cleared back out to Edu who beats about 4 guys before running out of options. Edu was rediculous.

82 - A streaker runs onto the pitch, gets to half circle, sits down and assumes the position to be taken away without resistance. Downside, wasn't naked. Upside, Canadian stereotype.

83 - SUB - Dichio off, Cunningham in. About 38 minutes late.

84 - Free kick from NYEB ends up right in the hands of Sutton. The van den Bergh playing philosophy, if you slam enough shots in enough directions, you're bound to score once.

85 - Leaf fans leave early so they can beat the traffic. Gotta get home to see who's getting voted off in Idol or whatever's on TV on a Thursday.

87 - TFC works the perimiter. Smith is an animal. I was disappointed when Boyens left because of all the "Flight of the Conchords" references we could've done.

92 - Parke for NYEB gave up a huge ball for Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!), only for him to put it in the hands of "Tim" Conway

93 - Edu battles with Ubiparipovic, beats him, Goldthwaite does what he could rarely do in a red shirt and stop the ball.

Thumbs Up : U-Sector for the Reyna sign. MAGIC!

Thumbs Down : Our win streak ends. TFC deserved a much better fate than the scoreline displayed.

Man of the Match : Wynne. 10 out of 10. Flawless game. Edu, gets an honourable mention.

Goat : The ref. Idiot. Seriously. I know every team thinks the ref is against their side, but aside from the Kansas City game, I've yet to see a match where a solid arguement couldn't be made that the ref wasn't biased.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Match Report: Kansas City Wizards @ TFC

Delerious. Just delerious. We here, in mid-113, are not accustomed to this position. Oh sure, we're only in our second year as a side, but as far as successful footie in Toronto, it's been a while. And it is too good to be true, without a doubt. The euphoric high that our seemingly feeble side has achieve so soon is amazing.

A two-game win-streak. That's all that it takes to make the entire south stands beam wih hope. Imagine what a three-game win-streak could do.

Kansas City come into the game 3-1-1 and are on game two of a six game road swing since the primary tenant at their stadium, the Kansas City T-Bones, are apparently reclaiming their home ground for the baseball season. TFC are 2-2 who have displayed shades of embarassing to pallets of magic during these 4 games. Expectations are running cautiously high. I mean, it's TFC. Toronto FC. Or as some educated idiots who think they're really clever, "The FC's". We've seen flashes of brilliance, but that's long enough to take a picture. Right now, we're basking in the sun... I hope we don't get burned.

Enough of the silly light metaphors, it's 3:30 kick-off and Dorothy FC have come to town looking for a hand-crafted beating. Let the games begin... Pre-kick off, quote of the game : "What the hell is up with BMO? Everywhere is smells like souvlaki." Brilliant.

2 - Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) beats his defender and causes Hartmann to make a very amazing diving save to stop it.

6 - "This is our house", "You gotta ball park!"

8 - Olé string of passes. I swear, I'm dreaming.

10 - Robert floated a gorgeous ball right across the field onto the foot of Ricketts. I wanted to marry that ball, it was that beautiful.

14 - I've discovered the score of the Man Utd. v Chelsea match. Not happy.

19 - Dichio gets a ball fed into him 8 yards out, no man on him and he skies it over the bar. Rough, given he had time to settle it.

20 - Surprisingly, the ref is giving us some calls. Surely, he will be fired.

22 - Dichio flicks a header onto Robert, Robert takes it into the box, cuts in, lays the ball off for Marvell Wynne who JUST misses an open net. Resulting corner, Robert appears to get a header from the ensuing kick sees his effort cleared off the line.

24 - Dorothy FC's Jewsbury skids a ball across the carpet that Sutton has to kinda sorta work for. Nice to see them trying.

26 - Ball arced in, Robert can't quite get to it to convert.

27 - "Stand up for the TFC" chant is the worst chant we've got, hands down. 99% of the crowd doesn't realize that it's to the tune of 'Go West'. Two out of two Pet Shop Boys would agree.

28 - The turf is a mess from the kick-off confetti. I'd hate to be the poor bastard that has to vacuum that.

29 - Dorothy FC's Espinosa tries to introduce the ball to Lakeshore Blvd. He failed at that too.

30 - "Toto" Lopez couldn't beat one of our defenders if he had a bat in his hand. Wynne makes him look amateur.

32 - Zavagnin, Lopez, Espinosa, Trujillo and Morsink all fail at shots in the box. Sutton must be bored because he didn't have to stop a single one of those chances. I said 5 shots in the box and none of them were touched by the keeper. The tin man and the scarecrow would've at least hit the bar. Lion would've booted it back to his keeper.

33 - Like every other player who's played here, he can't get past the fact that not only that there are fans, but they give a shit about the game. Ensuing kick, streamers in his way and all, ends up at Trujillo's head and lays it perfectly into the hands of Sutton. Even Bitchy the Falcon atop of the main stand is working harder than our keeper.

34 - Robinson fights off defenders and lays the ball to Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!), only to shoot from just outside the edge of box and have it sail one yard wide of the net. Crazy stuff.

35 - Kansas City are getting the boots put to them. Pathetic. Don't they know who we are? (sorry, I'm still in disbelief and Toronto are playing LIVE in front of me and looking amazing)

37 - Kansas City player hits the turf due to playing for Kansas City, Robinson moves the ball up to cross it into where Dichio should've been but was 5 steps behind the play. If Dichio was 5 steps faster, he'd have 18 goals by now. He'd have a hat trick by now.

39 - Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) has NO QUIT in him. What was he doing in Honduras for that long and where was he last year? Unbelievable.

43 - Espinosa fails at another cross.

45 - Dichio scores a goal, but he was a yard off-side... called off.

Half-time emotion : optimistic. Other suggestions : crunk, pathetic. I'm assuming for KC.

We were informed by Harry Wetnap during a half-time phone call that Major League Soccer's Kansas City Wizards are the second fiddle team to the independent minor league baseball's Kansas City T-Bones. Bobby Lenarduzzi is complaining about the dangers of streamers.

47 - Hartmann bobbled a ball but nothing doing.

49 - Kansas City appears to be threatening TFC goal. We'll believe it when it happens.

51 - The Toronto Transit Commission gets a song. Not a flattering one either.

56 - GOAL - Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) buries the ball into the back of the net by chipping Hartmann.

57 - Dichio lays a ball off for Edu couldn't quite get to it. Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) is the frontrunner for man of the match.

61 - Kansas make two subs like it matters. We break out a song about how we're gonna win the league. Seriously, we're delerious.

64 - Sutton is forced to make a save by moving two steps to his left. He's having a boring game.

65 - Wee Jimmy B gets a song.

67 - SUB - Cunningham in for Dichio. Danny's had a rough game and Cunningham is more suited for the way the flow of the game is being played.

69 - Corner, where Sutton makes a giant save. Best chance of either side somehow comes from faux Chelsea. KC looks like TFC circa 2007.

70 - Hartmann made friends with a streamer that was wrapped around his arm. Touching and tender moments between two seemingly inanimate objects.

77 - Ricketts gets hauled down 5 yds outside of the box, free kick from Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) hooks it into the back of the net.

78 - We're starting to believe this whole "we're gonna win the league" crap, just a little.

79 - SUB - Dunnivant in for Ricketts. We start hating on Hartmann. "Couldn't stop a beach ball" *clap*clap*clap-clap-clap*

84 - KC almost conceded a sweet own goal. Would've been too poetic for words.

85 - SUB - Jarrod Smith in for... um... someone.

86 - Some of the east siders wanna leave a few minutes early to beat the traffic. These are Leaf fans looking for a summer hobby.

87 - Smith makes a maurading run down the right side of the field and gets nowhere. Talk about fresh legs, the kid can move. He's a late game breaker, that's for sure.

89 - Dorothy FC in one word : anemic.

91 - Harry Wetnap was calling because he was missing a helluva party.

92 - Cunningham gets hauled down in the box and the ref decides to have mercy on a Kansas City team that deserves a worse result than they are experiencing.

Thumbs up : We're on a three game winning streak.

Thumbs down : We're playing New York Extreme Beverage next.

Man of the match : Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) (9.5/10) in a no brainer. He's everywhere for the first 60-70 minutes, then loses a few steps in his game, but still trying and working hard. And his two goals were magic.

Goat : I hate to out the big man, but if I gotta single someone out for a weak game, Dichio was right off. I know as a big centre forward, his job is to get stuck in the middle, fight for space when he gets the ball and direct traffic. Maybe he wasn't getting the service all game long or the flow wasn't condusive to the Dichio-typical game, but his missed sitter and his seemingly regular out of position, Danny gets the title. I'm chalking it up to an off game.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Match Report - Salt Lake @ TFC

Ahh. Home opener. The home opener has become to mean comfort to me. Comfort of being amongst my people. Comfort of knowing I'm going to get home soon. Comfort of familiar faces who are just as insane as I am. God I've missed you buggers. I want to have you lads and lassies infront and behind me when I'm doing groceries, riding the train to work, etc. Like your favourite pair of socks, it's time to get comfy and get going.

Real Salt Lake (calling them Fake Pepper Sea, just isn't as funny in print as it is in my head) come to the B' in the same predicament, riding off of their first win of the season against a team they had no business getting a point against.

After flashes of brilliance, perseverance, and capitalizing on back-line cock-ups, TFC come in fresh off of defeating Landycakes, Old Spice and the Galaxy in the tool shed. Can the momentum continue? Can our dreams of a two-game win streak this early be a reality? Only time will tell. (We won, just keep reading) 1 - Not a cloud in the sky. Real Salt Lake is still the most embarassing name in the league. We miss having a Crew Cat, a stage and cheerleaders. No we don't.

4 - South end in full voice. We have about 7 months of pent up energy to unleash onto the game.

5 - Rimando stops a Guevera free kick. We need to yell ¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION! everytime Guevera does a free kick.

10 - We realize we have Ricketts on our team. I asked if it was curable.

16 - Guevera (¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!) nails a free kick into a Real defender, then shows the hustle to get the ball back. I already like this kid.

18 - Free kick from Jimmy B, Dichio and his defensive dance partner fall to the ground, resulting in a free kick for Atletico Salt Lake.

20 - We make up and debut our Laurent Robert song. It's to the tune of the french anthem, "Le Marseillaise", (La-la la la la la laaaaaaa la la, la la lau-rent robert!)

23 - The ref is worse than the one at Columbus. I'd like a homer just once.

24 - Deuchar from Deportivo La Salt Lake gets a mouthful of vitamin T (for turf) after being bulldogged by Dichio. Our big guy is bigger than your big guy.

25 - I had to go get my boy at the gate. He's late. Miss the Dichio song. Got a drink for my troubles.

30 - Ricketts gets a quick song to the tune of "Mickey".

31 - GOAL - Free kick for the reds as Guevera gets hauled down mere inches from the box. No card but whatever. Robert and Guevera line up for a free kick. Guevera fakes motion and Robert slots it in. (Originally I credited the goal to Jimmy B... my mistake)

32 - Salt Lake players are allowed to haul down TFC ones and not get a call.

34 - Break down the wing, we notice Dichio is sitting the middle unmarked. This explains why every cross was looking for the big man.

35 - TFC players are NOT allowed to haul down the Salt Lake ones in the same way as listed above.

41 - Midfield start passing the ball, looking very patient. Last year, their only known reference to a wing is if it followed the word 'chicken'. Amazing stuff.

45 - Wynne flies down the wing, nutmegs his defender, crosses the ball into the box and Dichio just can't get over the ball and sends it over the net. I'm getting goose-bumps.

Half-time emotion : euphoric. Outstanding football. Just magical. One of the finest halves of football we've ever seen at BMO. And some of us watched the U-20 finals.

47 - Recreativo Salt Lake get four chances in the TFC box and not a single shot hits Sutton. Out back four look amazing.

48 - Morales' first attempt at a corner kick, hits Robinson. He fails.

48 - Morales' second attempt at a corner kick, hits Robinson. He fails. Again.

48 - Morales' third attempt at a corner kick, hits Robinson. He fails. Again. Also. I hope he likes Seattle cuz that crap will be unprotected at end of season.

53 - Suspect Ricketts will get called on a foul because Salt Lake Unión Deportiva can't get the ball off him.

54 - One of the ballboys ran up to the sideline and threw a roll of streamers at Morales. He didn't hit him, but it was awesome. He's my candidate for man of the match, but the way TFC is playing, he won't make the top 5. Morales' fourth attempt at a corner... you get the idea. Robinson. Failed. Yep.

59 - Ref forgets that it's not an hand ball if you kick the ball at the defenders arm.

60 - Dichio is done. No sub to be found.

Question of the game : If Lombardo get a shoe deal, what is it? Answers given : Nike, Adidas, Diadora, Puma. Correct answer : Birkenstocks. (seriously, Andrea, score a goal and you'll be a legend)

63 - Wynne breaks free, moves out of shooting position, crosses to no one. Dichio was tired behind the play.

64 - Morales shanks a wide open ball on a volley somewhere into the lake. He'll be Philadelphia cuz Seattle will pass on him.

69 - Sutton gets a warm round of applause of appreciation from mid-113.

70 - Jimmy B. screams one from a awkward angle. Shortly afterward, Edu slides a ball into Dichio who turned and fired into a desparately sliding Salt Lake Wingert, likely saving the game from rolling into 2-0.

71 - Guevera got free and fed the ball onto Robinson's foot who skied the ball over the bar.

73 - RSL Wingert yellow card - held up Wynne due to lack of talent and ends up on the ref's Christmas card list.

79 - SUB - Robert for Dunnivant.

80 - Ricketts cross into Dichio who laid it to Robinson who rifled the bastard onto the Gardiner Expressway.

84 - The Flying Spaghetti Monster makes an appearance over half-way line in the form of streamers and tried to reach out with his noodly-appendages to the mighty reds as a blessing.

85 - SUB - Ricketts for Smith

86 - No idea who a clear cut man of the match is. Ballboy is out of the running by now.

90 - SUB - Dichio for Cunningham, and about 25 minutes too late. He looked beaten.

Thumbs up : Awesome game. We can conquor the world after this game.

Thumbs down : The league hasn't conceded the title to us yet.

Goals : Robert

Cards : NIL I think.

Man of the match : Robert 9/10. Scored the goal. Ran his ass off. Worked hard. Looked fantastic. But about 5 others could've had a strong argument for them... Guevera, Velez, Marshall, Ricketts, Wynne. Great team effort.

Goat : Umm... Morales was useless, but TFC looked dynamite. Everyone played so well.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Match Report (Special Away Edition) - Toronto FC @ Columbus Crew

First off, i should never ever ever get up for 4:30 am to do a bus tour. If you're drinking, then do the bus thing, totally. Otherwise, drive. 6am departure for a 3:30pm arrival was too long a ride, so surely the ride back will provide us plenty plenty of time to reflect on what a phoned-in performance we witnessed.

We arrived to the home of Alex P. Keaton, more fast-food restaurants per capita than any other US city and the soulless ground that houses "America's Hardest Working Team", the Crew with half hour to spare.

For any Crew fans who may have thought we were being disrespectful during the anthems, your sound system is garbage... We couldn't hear either anthem.

Columbus clearly has this game marketed to a different crowd. There is a children's playground inside the stadium. Slides, swings, rocking horses. Many families attend the game. A permanent stage at one end. Cheerleaders. Yes, cheerleaders. Maybe we represent an old-school mentality, but i'Ve often felt if you need constant distractions at your sporting event, then your office doesn't take it seriously and neither will most of your fellow attendees.

Let the game take center stage and let your crowd create atmosphere. So far, TFC staff have allowed us hardcore to organically create atmosphere and encroach very little. Maybe that's the benefit of having as many people on the same page as TFC supporters do. Because of this, we treat the game and game-day experience seriously and everyone else, young and old, follow suit and do so too.

Not to completely hate on Columbus, the upper deck sightlines were excellent, security were very patient, kind and fair, and concessions (though grossly overpriced) were abundant.

The match would feature a fully healed Cunningham, first looks at right back Marco Velez and keeper Brian Edwards, and the league debut of coach John Carver. 4pm kick off and away we go...

1 - Red Patch Boys hired a plane to do a fly by with the message "Toronto FC : come on you reds"

8 - CLM yellow card on a stupid tackle.

12 - Hemming crosses where Dunnivant strikes it at a bad angle only to miss by inches.

13 - Columbus has paint on their jerseys

15 - Tony remarks that Colin Samuel is wearing an effeminate headband

16 - CLM Moreno skies the ball 10 yards out, missing the stadium.

18 - Cheerleaders leave the permanent staging in a vain attempt to awaken their supporters.

19 - Shot by CLM Rogers easily saved by Williams

19 - Cunningham got a free shot at the net only for their keeper Hesmer to get his fingers on it enough to redirect it around the post

21 - we finally heard Columbus singing after we stopped and the wind blew westward long enough to carry their noise. Our support outnumbers their hardcore approx. 8 to 1

24 - Dichio, who is not starting, gets a song

26 - GOAL - CLM Adam Moffat shot low beating Edwards, who should'Ve got to it.

27 - Cunningham is caught poaching alone in what can only be described as a 4-5-0-1

29 - We can't hear Columbus. No. No.

32 - Ref fails at a blatant foul while staring at it.

35 - Moreno hits the turf in a way that would get

Moffat takes a 360 spin in the air and hits it with the back of his head just missing the net. Would've been spectacular

36 - Columbus makes the first attempt of having the M in MLS stand for 'minor' by playing music and shilling mid-game.

38 - CLB player walks in from 12 yrds out and Williams makes a good save.

40 - Jimmy B free kick attempt looped in, Edu heads wide of the mark.

41 - Hemming give-and-Bo, hauled down in the box. No call.

42 - Dunnivant corner, Jimmy B gets a volley attempt on an open net at a bad angle sail wide.

44 - Cunningham gets levelled in the box for a penalty. Samuel steps up, gets stopped, fails to follow up on an open net and gets nothing.

Half-time emotion - Pissed. Not the alcohol kind either.

47 - Hejduk looks like a hippy. Probably doesn't shave his pits

Notice that Lombardino is warming up. He's got heart for miles, but feet for inches.

50 - Edu appeared to have bagged a goal from our vantage point, but just hit the side netting.

53 - Jimmy B gets a low left shot off that nearly trickles a shot through the goalie's hands but stops it before it fully crosses the line. After some protest, it's all for naught.

56 - Edu gets booked for the neck thrust followed by the clumsy challenge on the CLM midfielder.

58 - we start our '9-for-21' chant, calling for Dichio, removing Samuel

59 - Robbie Rogers hits the turf after losing the ball because he fails at dribbling and tries to play it off as a foul. In the olympics, he'd have earned bronze in the 10 meter platform.

65 - SUBS : Dichio in, Harmse in. Dunnivant and someone else off. Turns into a 4-3-3 and Samuel is still in.

66 - Edu shot on net. First one in 15 mins.

68 - Dichio stares a CLM player into hitting the ground.

70 - Samuel did something that wasn't a screw up.

72 - Still can't hear Columbus sing. No. No.

73 - cotton candy girl kinda has it goin on in a cute way.

78 - GOAL - CLM Moreno counters, walks it in and slots it to the left side. Just brutal choking of posession. Columbus deserves this as TFC are uninspired and the Crew are passible this afternoon. Can hear Columbus sing again, but we're still louder.

81 - Moreno misses an opportunity to bag a second 10 yds out but is just wide of the post.

82 - Edu can't get 2 seconds with the ball without getting doubled-up on. He is working hard.

84 - TFC is merely a plaything for the Crew Cat at this point. We get the ball, we lose the ball.

88 - Brennan from 25 yds out skies the ball

89 - TFC supporter throws a teal smoke bomb on the pitch. We need to curb these discount colours when using fireworks.

90 - In the shock of the game judging by what we've seen in the first 89 mins, Samuel pops a ball into the box that Cunningham just lifted over the bar.

Thumbs up : first game of the season.

Thumbs down : there's 29 more of these.

Goals : NIL

Cards : Edu

Man of the match : We could only give a score of a 7/10, but we're giving the nod to Hemming for hard work, no quit and being available and making space. Edu gets points for being double teamed all afternoon. Jimmy B gets points for trying to make a difference on the scoreboard when no one else wanted to.

Goat : Samuel. Looked uninspired, sloppy, careless and played about 35 minutes too long.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Toronto Uncapped?

Most local football supporters will remember Canada’s senior squad debut at The National Soccer Stadium (aka BMO Field) for a couple of reasons. The warm September night featured a solid game against CONCACAF rivals Costa Rica capped off by a cracking equalizer by Scarborough’s own Dwayne De Rosario. The other newsworthy item that night was the noticeable protest by a good number of Canada supporters, voicing (or wearing) their displeasure with the Canadian Soccer Association. The vocal, black-shirted crew showed the CSA how tired they were with the sorry state of football in Canada and even gained admiration from some of the Canadian players on the squad. Overall, it was a notable debut in Toronto’s new stadium despite the fact that the stands were half-full at best.

Despite the decent game and a rare show of protest by Canadian sporting fans, it was in the following days when a disturbing spin began to emerge from the CSA. Not surprisingly, the association did not recognize the protests in the stands nor did they choose to highlight the play on the pitch. Instead, the words that were slowly leaked through the media referred to the CSA’s disappointment at the lackluster attendance at BMO Field. No doubt buoyed by the success of that summer’s U-20 World Cup and enchanted by Toronto FC’s constant sellouts, a bigger crowd was obviously expected by the CSA. However, there are major differences between the matches played at the World Cup or TFC home games and that of the September friendly. The obvious distinction is the fact that the Cup and MLS matches had meaning to them. The results were important, the rivalries full of competition and fire. A friendly is still a friendly no matter how good the match is. Add to the equation that Canada’s first match at its new home was against CONCACAF also-ran Costa Rica did not help. After a summer of international stars, fans could be forgiven for being less that excited to see a team Canada sees in most Gold Cups. No offence meant towards Costa Rica, Canada wishes it had recent the World Cup appearances they have, but a more glamourous fixture surely would have excited the locals a little more. Most importantly, a bigger side could have justified the truly expensive price of some of the tickets. Did the CSA truly believe fans would pay up to $100 for this friendly, no matter how good the seats?

It is in fact the CSA’s views towards Toronto that become truly confusing and thus – worrying. If such “disappointment” at the Toronto supporters was expressed after an overpriced and lackluster friendly that was barely promoted in the media, how will it affect the city’s standing as home of the National squad? Will these inevitable “failures” be used to justify moving future fixtures to other sites around Canada? In most facets of Canadian society, hating Toronto is a favourite hobby for those who don’t live here. There is little doubt that within the CSA, with its powerful provincial fiefdoms, that this attitude surely exists in some circles. Admittedly Toronto has not been a perfect place home for the National team in the past but will these minor negatives be spun to excuse the CSA for moving the side to other stadiums? The federations in places like BC, Alberta and Quebec will likely want their share of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and will highlight Toronto’s shortcomings. Toronto supporters may soon be hearing grumbling about the state of BMO’s field turf; the tendency for away teams to get a lot of support from ex-pat communities; past attendance woes and any number of Toronto based negatives. If these kind of problems start to be highlighted, then fans can be sure further excuses are on the way.

If and when this scenario develops, Canadian supporters in Toronto will be left scratching their heads. How, after initial investment and excitement in BMO Field could Toronto lose its status as the main home for Team Canada? As with most problems with the CSA, the answer will lay with the eternal infighting between the individual provincial federations. This is a problem far too big to be investigated here but is at the root of most of the association’s lack of success. The truth is, BMO Field is by far the best football facility in Canada and deserves to be the main base of operations for the senior men’s squad. Montreal’s new Saputo Stadium (or Stade Saputo, or Parc Prosciutto – whatever) will be a good minor league venue until it further expands but is not in the same league as BMO yet. Canada’s other stadia such as Edmonton and Burnaby are simply not good enough for our senior team.

In the end, there is no reason why Toronto cannot be the successful home of the team. However, for this to work, the CSA must play smart and fair with the local supporters. The so-called problems are minor, easily addressed and can be fixed. The turf is FIFA approved and was good enough for the U-20 World Cup. Grass would be good but the turf is fine. The away fan issue can be handled by using the approach the rest of the world does. Put all away supporters in one area and let them yell and scream and wave flags all they want, it would spur the Canadian supporters to out-do them. Finally, the biggest complaint has been attendance. Price the matches fairly. Supporters will pay good money to face late qualifiers versus the likes of Mexico and the USA etc. but don’t expect them to pay $100 and up to see St.Vincent and the Grenadines in the preliminary round then whine when no one is crazy enough to pay that amount. Toronto is the correct home for the team. Whether the rest of the country likes it or not, it is the media center of the country and an easier destination for European based players than Alberta or BC. The city has a metropolitan area with about 5 million people, a football specific stadium and a professional club with a strong fan base to draw from. If Toronto is ignored by the CSA in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and beyond, then one has to assume the decision has less to do with the city and more to do with the internal politics of our national association. But really, would that surprise any Canadian football supporter?