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Monday, May 31, 2010

THE STARTING 11: Failed TFC halftime entertainment

"Why Mr. Anselmi, have you had a pedicure?"

Because TFC was so awesomely awesome in this year's NutCan while Montreal and Vancouver were dismally dismal, Wednesday night's match between The Reds and Vanchester City has become an unofficial friendly. Not a good friendly either - like against Scunthorpe or Lecce - a friendly between the benches of two Canadian squads who'd rather have the day off.
Entertainment will be provided by TFC lifting The Voyageurs Cup on home turf but apart from that... I don't Sideshow entertainment at BMO Field is usually kept to the minimum halftime pudding like kicking balls at pizza boxes or watching a guy in a Leafs' jersey getting a free TFC kit and wearing that douchey Carlsberg troll hat thing. Could be worse though, other halftime ideas have failed even more dismally dismal...
11. "Pin the Tail on the Dichio"
10. Inviting fans on-field to write about their feelings
9. "Craig Forrest's X-Treme Chess Showdown"
8. Maksim Usanov elbows you in the jaw
7. "Julian de Guzman's Afro Treasure Hunt"
6. Preki stares at you for 15 minutes
5. Wash the feet of an MLSE executive
4. "Win a kiss from Dan Gargan"
3. Adrian Cann sings the blues
2. Raivis Hščanovičs reads passages from "Twilight"
1. Fluffy Butty

Saturday, May 29, 2010

AFTER 90: TFC gives The Quakes an after-shocker

Nothing could cheer up Joe Cannon


Toronto FC's road woes have officially been solved. All road matches will now only be played in California. Maybe it's the sunshine, the easy livin', Arnold Schwarzenegger or the adult film industry. Whatever it is - it's working. After a solid draw against Galaxy a couple of weeks ago, TFC strutted into San Jose, the hottest team in the league, and owned Buck Shaw Stadium for large chunks of the match.

Preki started the match with his own shocker by sitting Dwayne De Rosario and Julian de Guzman and despite a tentative start, The Reds took control offensively. With The Quakes on their heels in the 1st half, "The" Chad Barrett opened the scoring by putting one past the previously impenetrable Joe "Hot Video" Cannon.

Toronto managed to control the match well through very solid defense led by Adrian Cann and got a jolt with the inclusion of De Ro and de Gu in the 2nd half. De Ro had added a second goal before SJE pulled one back and then threw their entire team at TFC late in the match. Quakes went as far as "pulling the goalie" but with Cannon stuck in a goalmouth scramble De Ro managed an amazing "empty netter" to end the match 3-1. A California "happy ending".

MAN OF THE MATCH: Stefan Frei (TFC)... solid
THE GOAT: Joe Cannon (SJE)... flaccid

MATCH IN FIVE WORDS: Shocking. High School stadium. Erotic.


TOTALLY FAKE POST-MATCH QUOTE: "Let The Chad tell you about it. After The Chad scores a goal, which he does a lot lately, The Chad likes to shoot his awesomeness up into the air like a 21-gun salute to amazing. After The Chad shoots the awesome into the air he salutes it as it drifts down over all the Little Chadsters in the crowd. Awesomeness." - Chad Barrett on his penalized post-goal celebration

NEXT TFC MATCH: Vancouver (Wednesday - BMO Field)


Friday, May 28, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Early playoff tremors

Now that's an attacking option

Buck Shaw Stadium - Saturday, 10PM ET
When the 2010 MLS schedule was released, no one could be at fault for thinking this fixture would be one of the snoozers of the season. The two clubs, who have yet to make the playoffs in their existence, haven't been renowned for... what's the word?... winning. Yet, somehow, The Quakes and The Reds go into this clash as two of the hottest teams in the league right now.
The dozens gathered at San Jose's slightly large high school stadium, Buck Shaw, will see two clubs chasing that so far elusive playoff dream. Frank Yallop, Canada's best coach and dream candidate as TFC's next Director of Football, has built SJE into a solid squad with more offensive dynamism than TFC. Meanwhile, The Reds are at the tail end of a tough stretch and still haven't found that elusive 3 points on the road. Got ourselves a sweet NutCan though!
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Nothing In Common'er"
SEISMIC ACTIVITY: Bobby Convey MF, Chris Wondolowski FW, Joe Cannon GK/Porno
"RED"-DY TO RUMBLE: Nana Attakora D, Julian de Guzman MF, Chad Barrett FW
- Quakes' fans begging for the return of Nick Garcia: 500-1
- Frank Yallop welling up during Canadian anthem: 5-1
- Joe Cannon winning "Best Male Adult Film Star/ Goalkeeper": 3-1
- Earthquakes changing name and moving cities during halftime: 10-1
- San Jose constantly mocked by other California cities who claim Jose was a second rate Saint compared to Francisco, Diego or Barbara
- SJ Earthquakes consistently rank high on the Fortune 500 list of "Sports teams named after acts that cause great pain and suffering"
- Team staff has claimed to see the ghost of ex-Quake George Best raiding the office mini-bar on match days
- Buck Shaw Stadium was named after Rupert Buckworth Shaw III, a 19th Century playboy, armadillo tycoon and inventor of the modern earthquake

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CAPPED! - May 27, 2010

It's that time of the week again when you get to try and outwit your fellow blog aficionados and grab the title of "Wittiest Supporter of the Week"! Fabulous riches, fame and gorgeous ladies await you... but not through this... try the lottery. Just ask last week's winner "Jeronimo"!

This week's pic is below and we're sure it will get those creative juices flowing. Add your captions and names in the comments section. Happy captioningizing!

"Let the children come to Batistuta!!!"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

TFC grabs the NutCan long-distance style

"Hands off my trophy losers."


To badly paraphrase Winston Churchill: "Never have eleven men done so little to gain so much"

Yes, while Toronto FC were just finishing up their weekly Wednesday night fondue party/ book club (we assume - but likely) Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps were doing "battle" (more a humid skirmish) down the 401. With L'Impact already eliminee dans le Can du Nut it was up to Vancouver to get a win and force the Canadian Championship to a final deciding match at BMO Field next week. The only question was if L'Impact would wave the white flag of surrender (think about it) as they did last year in the final against TFC.

The match was your average rough and tumble USL-style tilt with chances going both ways and technical prowess in short supply. Vancouver managed to take a 1-0 lead in the second half and seemed to have the upper hand but in no way did Montreal roll over like in 2009. L'Impact in fact turned the tide completely and found the equalizer, deflating the Whitecaps' cup dream in the process. The second half continued at a frantic and rough pace but the 1-1 draw remained, ending the match, and the NutCan ,with Toronto FC absently being awarded the trophy for 2010.

The melted cheese was no doubt spilled in excitement as TFC claimed its second straight NutCan and will head into CONCACAF Champions League. Overall, the winning of this Canadian Championship is the least climactic football award since Sheffield Wednesday beat Arsenal in the 1944 FA Cup after a spelling bee, but a win is a win. TFC will get the chance to parade the trophy at home and have a restful friendly against Vancouver next week as opposed to a hard final.

TFC got the job done in 2010 and the fact that winning in such an anti-climactic manner doesn't bother the locals shows a higher level of expectation. Winning this trophy was expected in Toronto this year, not just wanted. For most Reds supporters, Tegucigalpa, Honduras was already on the flight itinerary and getting past C.D. Motagua and into the CCL Group Stage is the new goal. Maybe no NutCan parade down Bay Street tomorrow but maybe a celebratory fondue bucket over Preki's head tonight. He seems like the happy-go-lucky type, no?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

THE STARTING 11: Signs that Chad Barrett is confident

Chayne Barooney

One of the biggest surprises of this TFC season has been the emergence of Chad Barrett as a fairly useful forward. For Reds' supporters who have groaned, rolled their eyes and held their heads after many a Barrett miss - the surprise is welcome. Indeed, under Preki, the striker has found a stable spot in the front of TFC's offence. His new-found confidence is very noticeable, but what about off the field?
11. Asked Jacob Peterson to be his butler
10. Requested his shirt name changed to "Chadinho"
9. Refers to Wayne Rooney as "England's Chad Barrett"
8. Instead of wind sprints he "jive-walks" like George Jefferson
7. Calls TFC's head coach "Prek-Daddy"
6. Refuses towels after post-match shower
5. Has hung a huge "THE GROTTO" sign over locker
4. Only referring to self as "The Chad"
3. Only calls teammates "sport", "hombre" or "guy"
2. Wearing giant gold medallions under his jersey
1. Replaced half-time oranges with "vodka & orange"

Monday, May 24, 2010

May Two Four TFC 2-4

Queen Victoria: Supported Palace

Yes, it's holiday Monday up here in the Great White North. The first long weekend of the summer - the May Two Four or officially... Victoria Day! For our foreign readers it's the day Canadians celebrate the lady who was instrumental in the foundation of this nation of ours. Not including of course the First Nations people who were here hundreds of years earlier, but we only talk about them in Olympic opening ceremonies.... ooh look fireworks!

The holiday is nicknamed the "Two Four" because it often lands on or around May 24th. To celebrate a day off, the very number 24 and our nation's finest football club, we want to share 24 things that are TFC/ 24 related. Number 24 and TFC are most intertwined as the minute where Danny Dichio scored the club's first goal but here are 24 other things you may like to know. While it's true that they are likely only 1/24th factual, (but hey Wikipedia does it) enjoy them anyways Victorian holidaymakers.

- people who didn't toss their souvenir seat cushion on the field
- (-24) is the 2007 TFC goal difference under head coach Mo Johnston
- attempts before Montreal Impact get a win over TFC
- minutes it took Andrea Lombardo to reach BMO on the Dufferin bus
- red cards Maksim Usanov will have by the end of 2010
- number of excuses told for John Carver's departure
- total combined seconds of effort put in by Carlos Ruiz
- number of calls per day put in to First Wave Agency from BMO Field
- Chad Barrett's high score on Jeopardy
- people who still "really enjoy" singing "The Dichio Song" every match
- seconds it took Jim Brennan to accept his new job as Assistant
- amount of birds Nick Garcia saw when punched in the face
- (-24 C) what MLS Cup will feel like with the November wind chill
- minutes it took Collin Samuel to do a lap around BMO
- MLSE Board members to screw in a lightbulb
- number of Mo Johnston contract extensions still to come
- beers needed before Preki's style of football looks entertaining
- staff members it takes to fluff Julian de Guzman's hair pre-game
- amount of pre-season trialists still living in Mo's basement
- consonants in TFC's Latvian defender's name
- Twinkie wrappers found in Ali Gerba's locker
- number of TFC managers in the club's first 25 years
- days it takes to fully digest one chip butty
- years left on Mo's 5-Year Plan

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The South Stand Report : Toronto v New England... or The Discovery of How Crap We Are Without DeRo and de Goo

Who's excited for Canada v. Argentina?! I know I am. But that's Monday. However this afternoon's match brings us to another question : where the f*** are the goals going to come from?! The potentially harmless duo of Barrett and White would normally underwhelm me, but Barrett is finally showing some comfort in front of goal. I'm starting to believe. I know, I'm a minority of one, but as Barrett's most ardent hater in 2008 (I finished 3rd in 2009), he IS improving so everyone else can suck it and I'm converting to believe in him.

Weather : supposed to be a sunny Glasgow afternoon (read : drizzlin' piss)
Prediction : 2-1 New England. In all fairness, I'm calling the "1" on The Chad, and the 2 against on Swiss cheese Garcia.

KICK OFF - If you ever need proof that the captain's armband is a truly useless designation, and not something of honour, the piece of cloth is around the arm of one Nick Garcia. Slap me in the face some more...

1' -TFC comes out flying from the opening kick off! The Chad gets into the box and attempts to chip Burpo.

8' - Nyassi for New England at close range but can't put it by Frei.

11' - Frei comes up with his second save in nearly as many minutes with shot that looked like it went off his head at first and we couldn't tell on the replays. So we'll say he stopped it with his head. Sounds more heroic.

15' - Vanilla Peterson, dubbed "Vanilla" because he looks and plays so ordinary and non-descript, crosses a low-and-very-un-"Vanilla"-type ball across the box and a sliding Barrett can't get his foot to it. Good attempt.

25' - Vanilla Peterson gets munkled in a three person pile-up and Shalrie Joseph gets a booking for his effort. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.*

*we speculate, of course

27' - Gargan picks up the ball and sends it to Vanilla on the right side, Vanilla should've crossed it to Ibrahim, but what can only be expected as "it wasn't Chad", opts to fire it weakly at goal.

30' - Garcia was turned inside out rather easily by someone on New England, but Frei made an easier save. Thankfully New England is as anemic as Garcia.

1 minute of extra time

HALF-TIME MOOD : Groggy, humid and utterly bored.

Quote of the match :
That half was difficult to make fun of.

45' - SUB - White is in, Ibrahim is out. Ibby didn't do much. No argument there.

49' - The Chad gets hauled down in the box but no call. I think it was the right one but looked awful.

53' - GOAL - Sam Cronin with the corner kick puts a low arcing ball into the shallow side of the box and onto the head of "The Chad" Chad Barrett and puts it into the back of the net. I so called it. In the face of my substitute neighbour who was hating on him earlier (which had some merit, but I write the reports so I'm right!). It looked confidently taken.

57' - YELLOW - Barrett for a rough tackle. Didn't see it as I was still writing the part above. If it wasn't correct, it's my guest's fault.

58' - SUB - LaBrocca in, Cronin out. A bit of a head scratcher, but Cronin was a bit absent for most of the game, though he came in where it counted.

61' - Sanyang throws himself at a free kick high ball in the box and nearly gets a severe head punch from Burpo. Sanyang is fearless.

64' - Bullsh*t offside call on The Chad.

Wait, does this mean that MLS officials actually fear his form?

Haha... no, I'm kidding.
For now...

69' - Vanilla holds the ball a little too long and ruins a quality opportunity 3 yrd outside of the box for White or The Chad. Pass pass baby, to go... to go...

72' - Mr. Pringles Chad Barrett goes for his second chip attempt on Burpo that sails over the net of the out of position goal keeper. Right strategy, wrong player. Sorry Chad, subtle touches at goal isn't your strong suit.

75' - YELLOW - Gargan is booked for something I didn't quite see, but it wasn't that big a deal as both players walked away respectfully from where I was standing... oh well. Some random for New England was booked too.

77' - This was pretty. The Chad on a counter attack runs the ball to half, through to Vanilla who holds the ball long enough to thread a pass to White who gets the ball caught within his legs. Wow. Goal of the year almost...

82' - Gala in, Vanilla Peterson out. I'm good with this. Vanilla was involved in much of the play for the game, but it seemed for every good thing he did, there were 3 minor screw ups. And giving my favourite apple a run out isn't a bad thing, is it?

85' - Sanyang goes up for a ball and comes down in a crash that reminds me of Japanese wrestling.

89' - CrampWatchTM : Chad is still playing despite optimal conditions for him to stop after 80 mins.

4 minutes of extra time

90+2' - O'Brien White is just slow. I mean, wow. Under little pressure he couldn't control the ball from going into touch. Just remarkable. He makes me believe that I can be a "classic #10".
90+3' - Gala's first meaningful touch is utterly baffling. Gala holds the ball for so long that forward momentum comes to a halt, causing Barrett to be offside when he does pass the ball through.

FULL TIME : Toronto 1, New England 0

Man of the Match : Stephen Frei
Goat of the Game : O'Brien White for the last 5 mins, but everything before that was pretty solid. I haven't used this 'award' for a while...
Ref Rating : 3 out of 5 as they screwed up calls equally for both sides.

New England showed exactly why there are the least feared team in MLS. They had ball possession, but positive motion in the last third of the pitch was abysmal at best.

As a final note, my heart bleeds for Zac Herold. He's the draft pick who was told by doctors that his professional footballing career will never get started due to a bad ticker. He'll never get called out in the starting lineup. He'll never get a round of applause for his hard work. That's just unfortunate. I truly wish him all the best from here on in and hope he realizes that the life he may lead now will be greater and more fulfilling than the one he could've lost pursuing the game he loves.

Friday, May 21, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Wounded Upper Canadians seek revenge

"Come on you Reds!"

BMO Field - Saturday 1:00PM EST
TV: CBC -----RADIO: The Fan590
In TFC's second game of 2010, the New England Revolution gave them a 4-1 Boston strangling which had supporters seeing red. Oh the good old days when "Mo Must Go" was the buzz word. I miss that. However, TFC has been playing much better as of late while The Revs have gone the other direction and are winless in six.
It would have been a good opportunity for Toronto to get a little Loyalist revenge if it wasn't for the fact that they are very jet-lagged, missing Dwayne De Rosario and most likely Julian de Guzman and have had the kick-off bumped up due to UEFA Champions League lust. The match could go either way at this point with "Fortress BMO" needing to make up for the fact that TFC will be all Twinkie tomorrow... you know, "soft in the middle".
REDCOATS: Stefan Frei GK, Nick LaBrocca M, Chad Barrett F
"REV" 'VED UP: Taylor Twellman F, Edgaras Jankauskas F, Cory Gibbs D
- Crates of tea thrown off of Centre Island Ferry: 20-1
- TFC supporters gazing longingly at Steve Nicol: 3-1
- Barrett & White strike force being dubbed "Barr-y White": 9-1
- Nigel Reed proclaiming that "Olde England is better" on-air: 5-2
-New England's traditional whaling industry lives on at Gillette Stadium with the introduction of new "Blubber Buttys"
- Steve Nicol often visits MLS internet forums under the username "Rich Man's Mo Johnston"
- Revolution's die-hard celebrity fans include Norm & Cliff from Cheers, the Boston Celtics' leprechaun and Good Will Hunting.
- The nickname Revolution was chosen in a fan competition narrowly beating out the name "Wahlberg Wanderers"

Wahlberg Wanderers - "Say hello to your mother for me."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

CAPPED! - May 20, 2010

Another week, another pic in the epic fight that is Capped! "Ajax Red" didn't retain his crown and how could he when the amazingly named "Maestro Fresh Pete" dropped his winner? Maybe not the wittiest ever but full of Scarborough flavah! Get your thinking caps on and nab the title as "wittiest supporter" for this week. Then watch the Hollywood scripts come rolling in.

Comments and names below as usual Caption Fantastics...

Life is short! Make it even shorter.

AFTER 90: Midnight NutCan soggy and stale

------------------Whitecaps' NutCan dream "Still Smokin"


First of all, a big eff you to Sir Sandford Fleming for inventing time zones. Thanks a bunch you 19th Century showboat. Many TFC supporters will be showing up for work today with eyes that match their red kits after staying up to the wee hours to watch a match that could give Nyquil a run for its money.

TFC manager Preki fielded a rag-tag line-up which played exactly as expected - fairly strong in the back and clueless going forward. Whitecaps fielded a fairly full-strength side and showed why they aren't in MLS yet. The poor weather played its part but the match was as shoddy as Swangard Stadium. Seriously, I've seen better backyards.

Alas - the NutCan goes on... Vancouver visits Montreal (or Trois Rivieres) next before closing the tourney at BMO Field a week later. The NutCan is still up for grabs with TFC only needing a draw at home at worst to clinch it and get a Honduran holiday.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Marcus Haber (VAN)
THE GOAT: Ricardo Sanchez (VAN)... for being a dirty flopper.

MATCH IN 5 WORDS: Damp. Sleep-inducing. Amateurish. Patio.


TOTALLY FAKE POST-MATCH QUOTE: "I like to telling you that playing in the "Guarded Swan Stadium" is very nice! It look like famous Latvian children's park from 1960's... just after Great Bear Attack. All 70 of the fan are now my friend and they puff the cigarette like in Riga's red-light district Novi TaTas. Thank yous" - Raivis Hscanovics

NEXT TFC MATCH: New England Revolution (Saturday - BMO Field)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Ola Amado" if TFC grabs the NutCan

Pride of Tegucigalpa... and no muppets

You can file this one under "careful what you wish for". Today, somewhere in the dark recesses of whatever secret New York City lair CONCACAF headquarters is hidden, names (most of them very Latino) were picked out of a giant sombrero (probably). Si! The CONCACAF Champions League draw! Feel free to shoot pistolas in the air - bandito style only please.
Unfortunately for TFC supporters, not too much to scream "Ariba!" about. If Toronto FC does what is expected of them and win the NutCan, they have been drawn into the Preliminary Round against perennial Honduran powerhouse C.D. Motagua as a reward! By the way Mr. Preki... that really good midfielder on Motagua - his name is Amado Guevara, you may have heard of him.
If TFC had a hard time against Puerto Rico Islanders last year, C.D. Motagua will not be a pleasant couple of days. The away leg in Tegucigalpa’s Estadio Tiburcio Carias Andino will be a particularly tricky trip with 35,000 very excitable Tegucigalpians waiting to throw very dodgy things at Los Canadianos.

Apart from the obvious drama of Amado Guevara's revenge, Motagua also has three other weapons up their sleeve - their nicknames! Their supporters call them one of Ciclon Azul (Blue Cyclone), Aguilas Azules (Blue Eagles) and Los Mimados (The Loved Ones) - I find them all frightening... especially the last one! The Loved Ones? Sounds like a prison nickname.

If TFC manages to escape the challenge of Tegucigalpa (I love saying that city's name) and beat Motagua they will end up in Group A. The Reds would join a group that already consists of MLS Cup champs Real Salt Lake, Panama's Arabe Unido and the winner of the San Francisco (not the Rice-A-Roni one)/ Cruz Azul preliminary. So quite easy then overall (what's the Spanish word for sarcasm?). At least we'll have Tegucigalpa.

Muppet... not from Tegucigalpa

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Late-Night NutCan grabbing

---------------- Mmm... you can really taste the free kick

Swangard Stadium - Wednesday 10:30PM EST
"Qu'est-ce que vous drinkez? Nous drinkez caffeine allez!" TFC fans will have to load up on the espresso if they want to stay up for the club's third match in the 2010 NutCan aka The Canadian Championship. The late Pacific Time start (screw you and your giant ocean BC) is made worse by Sportsnet's insistence that anyone in Toronto (or likely Vancouver) gives a toss about The Memorial Cup. There's only one cup on the night and that is The Voyageurs' Cup... er Trophy. Even though it's a school night, it'll be worth the Thursday red eyes as a TFC win could clinch the NutCan (insert joke here) for the second year in a row. "Yo homes to BC!"
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Four Hour Flight Derby"
"CAP" KILLERS: Jay Nolly GK, Marlon James FW, Marcus Haber MF
RED-EYED & READY: Stefan Frei GK, Chad Barrett FW, Adrian Cann D
- "Vancouver" is an ancient Dutch word meaning "Wagon Blanket"
- Expo '86 credited with "advancing bong technology" by decades
- There are plans to erect an 80 foot statue of Tommy Chong in downtown Vancouver
- Citizens are referred to as Vancouverdelphians; the main industry is "good times and positive vibes"; highest "Cheetohs" customers per capita in North America

Monday, May 17, 2010

THE STARTING 11: New names for Vancouver's MLS club

Vancouver. That's not fog.

Canada's three big cities are like mismatched brothers in a big dysfunctional family. Montreal is suave, artistic, wears fashionable clothes, constantly smokes, needs a bath but is a hit with the ladies. Middle brother Toronto is responsible, an over-achiever with an inferiority complex, often too stuffy and prone to bad relationships (see MLSE). Then there's Vancouver. The really good looking, beach-bum student who lives in the moment and is of course... constantly stoned. With Vancouver about to enter MLS, we thought it was time that their football club's moniker matched its people and lifestyle...
11. Vanchester City (very trendy right now)
10. Olympique du Steve Nash
9. Pottingham Forest
8. Yoga Juniors
7. Deportivo de la Chinese Food
6. Bayer Lenarduzzi
5. Toke City FC ("The Potters")
4. Inter Pam Anderson
3. Granolatasaray
2. Birkenstock Wanderers
1. Crystal Meth Palace

Herold's dream cut short by health

Sad news emerged from BMO Field today as Toronto FC announced that their top draft pick in 2010, Zachary Herold, has been forced to retire from football due to his health.
The TFC medical team found irregularities with Herold's cardiac results early this year and sent the rookie to a number of specialists to get a specific diagnosis. It was found that the former US U-17 player has a previously undiagnosed heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy which causes a thickening of the heart muscle. Sadly for Herold, part of the life-long management of the condition is major restrictions on physical exercise thus forcing his retirement.
Such a setback for a professional athlete is sad at anytime during their career. For someone who trained hard for years to get where they are is bad enough but for a young man to come so close to his dream and have it ended so abruptly must be devastating. We, as all TFC supporters no doubt, wish Zachary all the best and most importantly good health.
Official TFC announcement

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hitchhiker's Guide to Drawing the Galaxy

"Don't Panic."

The Hollywood script on tonight's match between TFC and LA Galaxy was practically written in most circles before the first whistle. Most Hollywood observers (not the "Hollywood Observer") would have predicted a Galaxy win as confidently as predicting the ending of a Jennifer Aniston rom-com (she gets the guy) or that Lost's series finale will bitterly disappoint its fans (Heaven, time-warp, aliens, fat guy's dream - who cares). However, it seems as if Preki did a re-write, went all "M.Knight", and threw in a twist.

The pre-match news seemed to add to the seemingly inevitable horror that has been The Reds' road show in 2010 as Julian de Guzman was rendered ineligible due to a bad hamstring. His replacement, Martin Saric is definitely stuntman to JDG's Fred Astaire and with O'Brien White already down with injury, most TFC supporters expected TFC to come out and immediately turtle. Preki instead directed his rag-tag cast differently and took the game to Galaxy.

Perhaps emboldened by his first return to Home Depot Centre, the "Smiling Serb" played a fairly aggressive counter attack while the defensive line, particularly Adrian Cann and Nana Attakora, marshaled from the back. Although they didn't manage to get many good scoring chances in the first half, the real result was that neither did Galaxy. In fact the 0-0 scoreline at the half was fair to both clubs who played an entertaining 45 minutes with pace and some flair.

The second half saw Toronto try to up the offensive pressure on the counter attack and any opportunity was going to come from the aggressive and increasingly confident Chad Barrett. "The Chad" had a few chances and if Peki can increase his confidence to take the first time shot he may well continue to improve. Galaxy's strong defence however did manage to hold off TFC's bold attempts and as the half wore on, the inevitable TFC fatigue began to appear.

With about 20 minutes remaining, The Reds (who are in the midst of a hectic schedule) ran out of gas and their forward momentum faded. Preki made a trio of defensive minded substitutions which eliminated any chance of TFC sneaking a late goal but did give the squad just enough fresh legs to hold off the late Galaxy pressure driven by Landon Donovan. With help from some unlucky Galaxy forwards, surviving Maksim "Nyet Nyet Slow-viet" Usanov's red card and heroic goalkeeping from Toronto's Stefan Frei, The Reds managed to crack the hoodoo of road futility in 2010. While still seeking their first league win on the road, this far more confident showing from TFC at least defied the inevitable Hollywood ending... enough at least to deserve a sequel. Preki 2: Electric Boogaloo?


Friday, May 14, 2010

THE MATCHUP: TFC road win a Galaxy far away?

The TFC management team hard at work


Home Depot Centre - Saturday 10:30PM EST

If there is one team in the league that the "Road Weary-ers", Toronto FC, would least like to play - it's the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Reds, who are so different on the road than they are at BMO Field have to travel to Tinseltown (well suburban Tinseltown) to take on the strongest and hottest team in MLS. LA may be an exciting town, home to megastars like Judge Reinhold and Lee Majors but not the starring role Preki will want at the moment. Hopefully the team had a top-notch Hollywood in-flight movie like Meatballs Part 2... or Down Periscope.

Before this season began, Galaxy was a club full of question marks. Their Designated Player/ fashionista/ creative grooming enthusiast David Beckham was ruled out for the season with a major injury; meanwhile Landon Donovan had to be coaxed back from England after a very good loan spell with Everton. The team, that by all means should have won the 2009 MLS Cup, looked shaky but somehow manager Bruce "Huckleberry Hound" Arena has managed to fuse together the league's most dangerous squad.

Donovan has returned to the US in improved form and is a step above most MLS defenders while feeding passes to striking phenom Edson Buddle. The Galaxy striker has a league leading 9 goals and has worked his way onto the US Men's National Team (if only TFC had someone like Buddle... cough - Mo - cough). In addition to LA's potent offense their backline has been outstanding. Keeper Donovan Ricketts has only had two goals put past him thanks in big part to a defence anchored by super-sophomore Omar Gonzalez and solid veteran Todd Dunivant (cough - Mo sucks - cough). Toronto will have to be at their offensive best to get anything past Galaxy's wall.

For Preki and his men, the recent good form will have to be built upon if they expect a result. Points are needed in this match if this squad isn't to lose confidence and momentum. Considering that next week's match will be without main cogs Dwayne De Rosario and Julian de Guzman, who will be away on Canadian International duty, points may be at a premium. Preki will not be able to attempt another experiment where he rests his starters but fatigue from Wednesday's Montreal match and the long flight will come into play late in the game.

This match and indeed the next one will again highlight the lack of depth on 5 Year Plan FC. The burgeoning Chad Barrett - O'Brien White strike partnership is starting to pay dividends but is far from reliable and needs help. You know - kind of like that striker New York is going to sign... Thierry something. If TFC's road woes do continue, there is one minor silver lining: the strange development of some of the more sheep-esque Toronto supporters who are claiming that Mo is suddenly "not so bad" will surely return to the proper "Mo Must Go" setting. I'm sorry, a couple of wins compared to 5 years of mediocrity doesn't re-fill the Kool-Aid. Like the aforementioned Lee Majors - Mo Johnston is indeed "The Fall Guy".


Smooth on attack.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

CAPPED! - May 13, 2010

Welcome back to another week of CAPPED! - The Yorkies' "caption it" game. Last week's winner "Ajax Red" can currently claim to be the "Wittiest Supporter" and we're sure it will mean free meals around town this week! Or maybe just a meatball sub alone in the basement working on new captions. Either way.

On to this week's pic - try to out-caption our resident captionist and steal the crown away from "Ajax Red". We don't want our Durham Region pal to be stuck pouring over a foot-long and a thesaurus for another week do we now? Add your captions, and a name if you like kudos, in the comments section below.

De Ro fell victim to Saric's wacky "Hot Sauce in Jock" gag

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

TFC rule the road at "401 Derby"

Not just a highway... a rivalry

Le party is over at Stade Saputo once again. The "Pink Provolones" aka L'Impact du Montreal have been L'eliminated from the 2010 NutCan by Toronto FC. On a chilly night at the "House That Le Cheese Built" (and of course massive provincial payouts) TFC managed to outwork the hometown Impact just enough to grab the win and three points which puts The Reds in a solid position in the tournament.

To use a Quebecois analogy, the first half of the match was like a cold plate of poutine washed down with a warm, flat Pepsi. In other words, stale and boring. In front of a half empty stadium (apparently Montreal has a fairly popular ice hockey team also playing tonight) the two teams did not play anything resembling quality football. Many errant passes and sloppy runs dotted the first 45 with The Reds midfield pairing of Gabe Gala and Martin Saric looking particularly uncomfortable while Nick Garcia continued his hobby of clearing balls to the opponent. Luckily for Toronto, Montreal was even worse but that didn't stop several roars emanating from the crowd unexpectedly. Initial reports that Joey Saputo was throwing salami into the crowd proved to be wrong and it was actually in regards to The Habs scoring goals hundreds of miles away.

The second half saw Preki sub in "The" Chad Barrett for Maksim "Slow-Viet" Usanov and Barrett immediately improved TFC's offensive structure. Toronto started to control the match going forward and the second substitution, which saw O'Brien White replaced by Nick LaBrocca, changed The Reds' gameplan completely. Dangerous shots, good passing and a series of close calls were only denied by some quality goalkeeping by Montreal's Matt Jordan. Impact continued it's sloppy play only to be greeted by a loud cheer - not a prosciutto-cannon, another Habs goal.

TFC finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute when a terrific run and cross by the confident Barrett was clattered into the net by a sliding Dwayne De Rosario. With TFC up 1-0 Montreal became more frantic on the ball as they tried to salvage a win in vain. Their poor offensive form was met with a raucous cheer from the few thousand in attendance - or the Habs won. Whatever. TFC held off a late Impact surge with some solid play from Sam Cronin who had a solid second half display at rightback and also some very commanding goalkeeping by Swiss Mister Stefan Frei. At the whistle it was TFC who took the 3 points and once again the dominant male role in the "401 Derby".

In a week where Montreal's football community celebrated its membership into Major League Soccer this will be a major let down. Oh well, 2012 isn't too far away... but maybe Mr. Garber best not schedule any matches when the Canadiens are playing. The random cheering from an empty stadium is just tres bizarre.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Impact in name and in game

You should see the "impact" on your colon

Stade Saputo - Wednesday 8:00 EST
At the end of the 401 awaits a magical world where cheese curd and gravy frolic with fries. Rich, luxurious grey-blue smoke fills every open space with a thick, slightly mentholated bouquet. The Pepsi flows freely as if a mystical cola spring had been discovered amongst their rubber-tired Metro. You can feel the zest for life, the joie de vivre if you will - in fact it makes many local ladies freely break free of their shackles and take off their clothes in dance! Well not freely - it's usually $20 dollars a dance... but c'est la vie! It's springtime in Montreal - it is Le NutCan!
Wednesday, is indeed Toronto FC's return leg with Montreal as part of the Canadian Championship and its Impact by name and by game. In Montreal's two games so far in the 2010 NCC, impact-ing has been their game plan. "If you can't beat'em - knock 'em down" has been the way of Just For Laughs Gags FC so far and they will be missing three starters as a consequence. Roberto "Duran" Brown for his heroic knockout punch of Nick Garcia, Reda Agourram for hunting Vancouver's Chris Williams and TFC original - yet not hero - Adam Braz who has collected two yellows. The match will be Montreal's first at home in the NutCan but they will have to change their gameplan to succeed.
Toronto FC can indeed make this a match with impact. With a win, TFC would have a healthy six points and a sturdy lead which could have good repercussions down the line. The Reds could use that lead to play a less than first team squad against Vancouver in a week’s time and if they can control the match on Wednesday they could even rest some key players early for the tilt with Galaxy on the weekend. A win would also eliminate Montreal from this year's cup and go well to stoking "The 401 Derby" fires.
The match will give Preki the chance to further develop the Chad Barrett - O'Brien White strike partnership and give the team further chances to gel before difficult upcoming MLS matches. The happy Serb will be stressing his squad to keep cool, calm and collected if faced with Montreal's "1970's Leeds United" style and allow their quality to rise above anger. Three points in the Stade where TFC hoisted the NutCan Trophy last year will be a perfect house-warming gift for MLS's newest club. Salut!

Carlsberg Cup on the "Trot"

No. It doesn't stand for "Big Whoop"

Now we know why Owen Coyle left Burnley to manage Bolton Wanderers mid-season! Not because he wanted to return to his old haunts and have a better opportunity at Premiership survival - it was because he wanted to manage a game in Toronto! BMO Field is after all "The Wembley of Southern Ontario"!
Yes, as confirmed by Toronto FC today, this year's Carlsberg Cup will feature the English Premier League's 14th placed team Bolton. That might say something about MLSE’s cocky confidence in it’s season ticket renewals considering the likes of Manchester United, AC Milan and Tottenham are playing other MLS sides. While "The Trotters" may not be the most glamorous draw in the world they do have some quality players such as Finnish keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, Johan Elmander, Kevin Davies and Yankee international Stuart Holden. They also have Danny Shittu - get your chants in order sirs.
Official TFC announcement here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

THE STARTING 11: New names for Montreal's MLS club

Impact. Cheesy, any way you slice it

Blessed are the Cheese-makers! At least in Quebecois football circles. Oui, as we all know by now, Joey Saputo has managed to bring Major League Soccer to Montreal for 2012. The jump up to the top league presents such a grand opportunity for the Saputos to start their new major club off properly - most pressingly with a new name. Montreal Impact is one of the worst remaining dregs of "soccer" names from the mid-1990's when North American teams' names could be confused with roller hockey teams. Montreal doesn't have a great pedigree in club names what with the Manic, Supra and Impact being chosen as not to offend the Anglos or the Francos, but there are such great Montrealer choices available...
11. Real Smoked Meat
10. FC Zenit St-Hubert
9. Just For Laughs Gags FC
8. Montreal Wednesday / Sheffield Mercredi (tie)
7. JoeLouisventus
6. FC Dynamo Mitsou
5. Partizan Poutine
4. Pepsi Saint-Germain
3. Deportivo De La Referendum
2. Spartak Cigarette
1. Sporting Club De Strip

Saturday, May 8, 2010

TFC harness the power of wind

Every now and again in football, no matter who is playing, the weather decides that it will be the major force in a game. Just ask supporters of Inverness Caledonian Thistle in northern Scotland. Today was one of those days in Toronto and BMO Field was the epicentre of a viciously cold wind and rain storm. While most fans would have expected TFC to struggle - a funny thing happened on the way to a loss.

TFC started the match with their backs to the wind resulting in powerful kicks but they and their opponents Chicago Fire (and you thought you had a windy city) struggled for the first 20 minutes to get a feel for the ball. The match looked like it was dissolving into a wind beaten mess until that very breeze accidentally curled a Nick LaBrocca cross over the Fire keeper Andrew Dykstra's head to open the scoring. From that point on, TFC managed to keep the ball down and control the ball while Chicago struggled as they continued to try and keep the ball in the air. The 1-0 lead from LaBrocca's first TFC strike took the clubs into the half.

The second half started off with a shocking bang. O'Brien White, who was subbed in for the invisible Jacob Peterson, immediately scored after a pretty one-two move with the very on-form Dwayne De Rosario. The trickling goal from the big Jamaican/Scarberian put TFC up by two before the very few people in the stands had returned from the chip butty stand. The Reds had their tails up and were controlling the play until the gusts turned against them and Chicago's Logan Pause hit an amazing wind-aided 35-yard strike that looped over Stefan Frei's head. The cold crowd no doubt wondered how Toronto would react.

The reaction however was truly astounding, not only for it's quality but for the role that Chad Barrett played in it. On the 66th minute O'Brien White made his best run in his time with TFC and unselfishly dished off to "The Chad" who put home a sitter to the joy of those who have been patient with the striker for ages. The whistle had barely re-started play when De Ro slid a terrific overlapping pass to the charging "The Chad" and suddenly Barrett had scored more goals in three minutes than he had all season. Never mind the wind - that was an act of God!

With the score 4-1, Chicago lost their way and TFC managed to close the shop for the last 20 minutes. Despite the weather, it was a great team performance from The Reds - it's just a shame that the inclement weather caused so many people to stay home. Also missed by everyone... a very poor and seemingly hastily organized tribute to Danny Dichio whose number was added to the (poor to begin with) "Wall of Honour". A bizarre event on a bizarre day where everything seemed to be twisting in the wind. Dichio deserved better but the fans who showed up can't complain about today's match - except the wind burn and frostbite.


Friday, May 7, 2010

THE MATCHUP: Man on Fire

BMO Field - Saturday 4:00PM EST
When our Great Lakes rival Chicago Fire comes to town tomorrow, the BMO Field faithful will see the deepest opponents so far this season. The Illinois Boys have bench strength that The Reds' could only dream of. While their record is mediocre to start 2010, their quality can't be argued. Toronto alternatively has one man to count on.
Yes, our hometown hero Dwayne De Rosario is TFC's "One Man Gang" and imagining this club without him is a frightening prospect. De Ro has scored all of TFC's regular season goals except for one which he himself set-up with a beautiful assist. We have beaten the a-Mo-zing team building and its' resulting depth to death here but if anyone doesn't recognize that De Ro is this club's greatest player yet, they need to go back to watching hockey.
The Fire flame into T.O. (see what I did there?) for the first time without Mexican superstar/ burrito enthusiast Cuauhtémoc Blanco. No lag in talent for the Chicagoans though as they have added ex-Fulham striker Collins John and on-loan Polish defender Krzysztof Krol. The new additions are blending nicely with the returning talents of midfielder Justin Mapp as well as forwards Brian McBride and Patrick Nyarko. There are multiple weapons on Fire - Toronto supporters can wonder what that's like.
Preki will have ditched "The Great Salt Lake Experiment" once and for all and will need to put his best first team out there if TFC are to preserve their "Fortress BMO" record. Unfortunately "no experimenting" still has to deal with 5 years of "Mo experimenting" and that likely means that the heavy lifting will fall on De Ro's shoulders once again. If the Scarberian has an off-day, so will The Reds. You'd think he could get a song every game by now rather than long retired heroes. Funny that.
ONE MAN GANG SAYS: 0-1 Chicago

1-1 Draw
0-1 Chicago

Bonjour to "The 401 Derby"

"Come on you red lights!"

Bienvenue dans La League du Soccer Majeure mes amis! Ou-est le discotheque no more as Montreal were formally introduced by MLS Commissioner Don Garber today as la league's 19th club. The Pepsi, Joe Louis' and cigarettes are indeed flowing today as the Quebecois club is set to join in 2012. No word yet on when they plan to hold a referendum to separate from the league.
The Saputo family (guess I have to by my Provolone elsewhere now) become the sole owners of the club as MLS will not accept a non-profit organization being part of the ownership. The apron strings to Mama Quebec haven't been cut completely though - La Belle Province stumped up $23 Million dollars to expand Stade Saputo to MLS standards raising the capacity to around 20,000 including a roof structure. (LEFT WING URBAN RANT ALERT) That warms the hearts of Toronto taxpayers whose approximately $14 Billion in city tax revenue leaves here in transfer payments to places like Quebec every year with only about 1 Billion returning in Toronto infrastructure - but hey, we don't need a roof right? (RANT OVER - Thank you for your patience)
There is a major silver lining for Toronto FC though. Finally, the fake-ass Trillium Cup can be put to pasture as can our "rivalry" with Columbus. "The 401 Derby" is on in 2012 as Toronto and Montreal will play each other at least 4 times a year including NutCans. I wonder if Don Garber really knows what he has done. There simply will not be a bigger, meaner, likely chaotic derby in MLS - and that is great for North American football. With Montreal leaving the door open for select matches to be played at the Olympic Stadium, Toronto fans' dreams of sending 5000 down the highway may yet be realized.
No official word yet if Montreal plans to keep the name "Impact" but it seems likely despite it automatically being the worse name in MLS. Oh well, at least Reds' supporters don't have to come up with new chants. So, "Tic-Tac-Tabernac - Bienvenue L'Impact". We hope VIA Rail is ready.

Return of the "Football Special" trains

Thursday, May 6, 2010

CAPPED! - May 6, 2010

Welcome back to The Yorkies weekly "Caption It" game CAPPED! Once again we are looking for the week's wittiest supporter and someone to challenge the current holder - last week's winner... "Tuffy". His twistedly funny yet surreal comment was: "Yeah..... I really like this Chad kid.... I bet he'll win the golden boot...!!! Wait... I want an Ice Cream...." Strange, yet delightful... so fitting here!

We have upped the difficulty level with this week's game. This lonely pic from our "pals" down the 401 will take some thinking on. Good luck... as usual, no prizes, but chicks love a good captioner! Right? Leave your caption, and name if you like, below...

"Free Provolone Day" wasn't a big hit at Saputo Stadium

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

First-term reports at Preki Jr. High

The cafeteria makes a mean butty

Classes at Preki Jr. High are just over a month old (not counting the mess that is called a TFC pre-season) and the school year is well under way. Graduates like Robinson, Serioux and Wynne are off to greener pastures, no doubt with only the best things to say about Professor Radosavljevic and crusty Dean Mo Johnston. However, it's the freshmen at PJH who have made the biggest waves on campus in 2010.
After weeks of intensive study in All-Out Defending 101, Advanced De Ro Passing, Basic Eastern European Languages and of course watching Chad Barrett eating paste, First Term Report Cards are due. The freshmen anxiously await their reports and hope that their parents aren't called... or worse - Barry MacLean! Time to open those envelopes boys...
ADRIAN "YES HE" CANN: Feels good in his hometown. Big, tall and pretty solid at back. Sounds like an angry Muppet looks like a poor man's James Franco. Better than Garcia. GRADE: B
DAN GARGAN "TUAN": One of the Re-Rapids Boys, Gargan had a shaky start but has proven to have fairly good positioning on the ball at back. Watching him try to go forward is like a wagon with square wheels. GRADE: B -
TY "TRY" HARDEN: This Re-Rapid has at times looked bewildered and at others quietly solid. His pretty boy good looks will have to make up for the massive scar on his knee courtesy of Montreal. Showed good heart though - and was credited with a NutCan goal - take that Jeff Cunningham! GRADE: C
RAIVIS "BUY A VOWEL" HSCANOVICS: The Latvian wingback has often looked like a deer in the headlights. At other times a Baltic pylon and at the best of times a weather vane in a Riga breeze. Cut loose by Skonto FC you say? No way. On a positive, MLS forwards love him! GRADE: D -
JOSEPH "NANE JOSEPH NANE" NANE: The man whose name is reversed more than a TFC defender is obviously in above his head. Not too many 4th Round Draft Picks make an MLS first team and either should Nane... or Joseph. GRADE: D
NICK LABROCCA "ND ROLL ALL NIGHT": The man who was exchanged for Marvell Wynne has been underwhelming at best. Definitely a useful player to have on the bench but not exactly equal to the now explosive Colorado centreback Wynne - and not a 90 minute starter. Looks like a shifty lawyer during interviews - creepy. GRADE: C +
JACOB "TOO PLAIN FOR NICKNAME" PETERSON: Another Re-Rapid and apparently the great white (very white) hope for TFC's impotent strike force. Um... not so much. While true that he is coming off an ACL injury (great scouting!) his brief time on field has shown his runs to be errant and his timing to be less than Swiss. GRADE: D +
MARTIN "ARGENTINE HARMSE" SARIC: Rated as one of the Top 1000 Argentine-Croats in today's game, Saric has been a bull in a china shop since day one. He plays with a mindless grit that TFC fans who watch too much hockey think is great. However, he is constantly caught out of position causing him to give-up stupid fouls and his offensive prowess is offensive. At least Kevin Harmse was Canadian. GRADE: C
MAXIM "SLOW-VIET" USANOV: In the true heritage of Russian tanks, Usanov is sturdy and surly but has trouble when not moving in straight lines or turning around. Often seen waving his hands in frustration at teammates while forwards fly past him with the ball. His Euro-hairband does make him the Russian equivalent of Adam Braz though. GRADE C -
So there are your Preki Jr. High freshman class. A few students (Jon "Tim" Conway, Zach "Harkits" Herold and Milos "Something Witty and Slavic" Kocic) have yet to show up for class but it's obvious that there is much room for improvement - and hopefully some foreign transfer students. Gotta go - Little Chad is into the paste again!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

THE STARTING 11: Other failed Preki experiments

Possible new striker... and Brazilian

The idea was doomed from the beginning. Preki's "experiment" (as it is being called in Press Release Land) of sitting TFC's only offensive weapons against the league champs would have only worked if this club had depth. To be crystal clear - it does not. Kudos to the happy Serb for putting his hands up and admitting it was a mistake but really, these are things that should have been attempted in pre-season. What's that you say? Mo and Preki, two Wizards (well at least ex-KC Wizards) should have been able to conjure up a full squad? Guess, their magic was on the blink, but what other Preki "experiments" could have gone awry?
11. Wearing his hair in De Ro-style corn-rows
10. Kissing local frogs - seeing if they turn into strikers
9. Carlsberg / Gatorade Smoothies
8. "Robo-Dichio"
7. Conjuring up goals
6. Blasting new TFC defender with gamma rays - hoping to make "Gargan-Tor"
5. Canadian-izing his name to "Pretzky"
4. Double-stuffing his chip butty
3. Military coup attempt to form nation of "Prekistan"
2. His 1998 album "Predrag Does Motown"
1. Making Mo disappear

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Preki drops a depth charge

"Better call Barry."

After the Garcia hit the fan last week regarding the Gerba and Cummins interviews, MLSE VP Tom Anselmi was the most vocally dismissive of the comments - especially Gerba's. Anselmi ventured that Gerba's dismissal from TFC was not only due to the player's lack of quality but that in fact, his dismissal showed that The Reds' depth was actually better than people were saying. Umm... no.

After a tough seven days, Preki decided that his core starters wouldn't start the match tonight against the defending champions Real Salt Lake. Instead, the TFC bench, which Mo Johnston has assured us is a masterpiece in the making, took to the stage with none other than Chad Barrett as their captain. With De Rosario, De Guzman et al watching from the bench, Captain Chad led out a squad whose core was hastily put together by Mastermind Mo with a mixture of trials, his agent and scotch tape. The results were not surprising.

RSL came out with their tails up and pounded the open space between the Toronto midfield and defence. Contstant direct runs and in-swinging crosses paid off quickly for The Royals as Jamison Olave opened the scoring on the 13th minute. The highlight of TFC's offensive output was a looping header by Joseph Nane which was stopped well by RSL keeper Nick Rimando. Calling anything else Toronto did offense would be... well, offensive. RSL's continuing pressure led to Toronto-born forward Andy Willliams crashing home the second goal and the teams went to the dressing rooms with The Utahns (Utohnians? Utahites?) leading 2-0.

With the goodwill of the last two TFC matches drifting away, Preki brought on all of Scarborough FC for the second half. De Ro, JDG and O'Brien White finally added a little bit of form to TFC's missing offence but RSL already had the match in control. OBW went close and hit the crossbar early but that was the extent of TFC's creativity for most of the second until a De Ro cross in the 87th minute hit "Natty Dread" Kyle Beckerman's arm and the ref gave a very generous penalty. De Ro stepped up and cashed in his 7th goal of the season for The Torontos - but it was too little too late.

De Ro's goal, rather than giving late hope to Toronto only worked to prove how this is a club of only two or three really valuable pieces. Stefan Frei, Dwayne De Rosario and Julian De Guzman are solid professionals - the rest are a mixture of green kids, international cast-offs and First Wave favours. Yes, Preki's hand was forced by a very crowded schedule but once again Mo Johnston's pathetic excuse at depth is apparent. Preki shouldn't be forced to concede victory before the match everytime one or two players are unavailable. What would Mr. Anselmi say about this team's "hidden depth" if God forbid De Ro got injured?