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Thursday, May 12, 2011

AFTER 90: Damp in the heart of Texas

Pizza The Hutt - Head of MLS Referees

Mmm, wet Pizza Hut. The Texan weather god (I think his name is Jeb) decided to make Toronto FC feel at home by absolutely ruining FC Dallas' home pitch with a day full of wind, rain and other biblical misfortune. Seriously, that's downright BMO-like. Have you seen this week's forecast? Sun-sun-sun-sun-sun-pissing/football-sun. Anyhoo... back to Texas. Pow! Doritos! Lynching!
The second leg of TFC's Texas Two Step would indeed be played under stormy Frisco skies but would The Reds continue where they left off against Houston? Would Aron Winter rotate his line-up? Would Joao Plata blow away in a sudden gust? Does Pizza Hut Park have cheese in the seats? Let's shoot J.R.!
1' - TV coverage shows a post-storm rainbow in the Frisco sky. No, Joao Plata was not at the bottom of it with a pot of gold. In front of at least 17 Texans let’s kick-off...
3' - TFC's all-white away strip do make them look a bit like a missionary team trying to convert the heathens with God's game
6' - Wet surface making for a choppy start. Jacob Peterson with a couple of solid long-range efforts stopped by Kevin Hartman
10' - If football crowds are the "12th Man", FC Dallas are currently playing with 10 men
14' - Adrian Cann misses on a lunging tackle by about 7 Feet but FCD fail to punish The Reds on ensuing cross
19' - A Dallas fan went to the bathroom - attendance immediately dropped my 38%
21' - Richard Eckersley is one tough little ginger nut
27' - Neither team managing to hold possession for more than 7-9 seconds at a time
31' - Slippery turf almost causes Danleigh Borman to score an own goal on the end of an originally harmless cross
37' - "Flippin'" Eckersley almost "Breaks" Shea with crashing tackle and collects a YELLOW CARD for his efforts
41' - TFC has its first prolonged stretch of offensive possession
45' - PENALTY: All hell breaks loose as Dallas are gifted a dubious penalty on an inswinging corner. In a fit of Dutch rage, Bob de Klerk is sent off by the "oh-so-talented" referee. Daniel Hernandez steps up for FCD and GOAL. A terribly unfair way for TFC to end the half.
46' - Bob de Klerk seen eating a pancake angrily in the stands
48' - After some messy passing Tony "Touch" Tchani tests Kevin Hartman from 30 yards out but can't beat the portly keeper
49' - SUB: Joao Plata being blown around by the wind is replaced by Javier Martina
57' - SUB: Nick Soolsma out for Maicon Santos... or possibly un-Brazilian alter-ego Mike Sanders
60' - Pizza Hut Park has a thin crowd crust
65' - TFC unable to hold possession or build any useful offensive opportunities
69' - SUB: Super Villain Mikael Yourassowsky emerges from his secret underwater bunker to replace Alen Stevanovic
71' - FCD forward Marvin Chavez gets a clear route on goal but Stefan Frei saves his bullet shot preserving the one goal margin
74' - Javier Martina won't help his doghouse status by collecting a YELLOW CARD for diving pathetically in the Dallas area
79' - The TFC YELLOW CARD party is joined by Danleigh Borman. Maybe he was bored. I am.
81' - Most clubs play "garbage minutes" when holding a lead. TFC decided to try to play a whole half of it while down a goal
83' - Maicon "Mike Sanders" Santos goes down injured. Until that point had forgotten he was on the pitch
88' - Pizza Hut promo gives away free pizza slices to whole section at stadium. Forced to hand out 1 1/2 slices
90' - Dicoy Williams figures he has as much chance at scoring as the TFC "forwards" and takes a long-range blast. Ball last seen heading towards Ft. Worth
90+ - Remember back in 2007 (and 2008, 2009 and 2010) when we desperately needed strikers? Good times.
The match in one word? Damp. Sadly it wasn't just the weather falling under that description. A 1st Half that was decent at best due to a soggy pitch was ruined at quite literally the last minute by yet ANOTHER Major League Soccer referee who wanted to be the star of the show. The game-changing call against TFC proved to be the only marker on the scoreboard in a night where "sexy" football stayed at home - like most of the FC Dallas supporters.

The real damp squib for those in these parts however was the reaction of TFC in the 2nd Half. Would they be fired up and lusting on revenge after being unjustly penalized and having to watch their Dutch hitman/ assistant coach Bob de Klerk banished from the field? Umm... no. TFC played a shapeless, uninspired and totally-not-total football half which failed to threaten chubsy-wubsy Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman once. TFC will be able to lean on the penalty call as their excuse for this match but coming home with still only 1 point on the road is beyond poor referees.
Stefan Frei 7 / Richard Eckersley 6.5 / Adrian Cann 5.5 / Dicoy Williams 6 / Danleigh Borman 5.5 / Jacob Peterson 6 / Julian de Guzman 6.5 / Tony Tchani 6 / Nick Soolsma 6 / Alen Stevanovic 6 / Joao Plata 6 / SUBS: Javier Martina 5.5 / Maicon Santos 5 / Mikael Yourassowsky -
TFC MAN OF THE MATCH: Who else? Stefan Frei
TFC GOAT OF THE MATCH: Adrian Cann... not the PK, the laziness
Does carrying a Brazilian passport really make one Brazilian? Discuss.


  1. Brutal game all around...see you Saturday

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