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Tuesday, January 31, 2012


This used to be everyday at BMO Field. Sigh.

We love us a transfer deadline day. The MLS one is kind of fun for trades but with the multiple windows it can get a bit muddled. On the flipside, when UEFA shuts its window twice a year - it is quite the spectacle. Teams scrapping it out for the title trying to bring in a useful mercenary while minnows try to avoid relegation with a timely loan signing or keep the club alive by selling an asset for big money.
While clubs across the continent scrap it out for last-minute deals, nowhere is the mania chronicled quite like it is in the media-zoo that is England. One of the absolute treats of deadline day is the online "trackers" set up by various websites and media outlets. These allow the public to share rumours of potential deals with "insiders". Since the dawn of Twitter, one phenomenon has become popular on these trackers - the "I just spotted..." messages. These Tweets are usually along the lines of "Just saw Jermaine Defoe at Liverpool Airport - Reds move imminent?" For the most part they are flights of a fan's fancy - but entertaining nonetheless.
While perusing these Bigfoot-esque "sightings" we couldn't help wonder what a deadline day would have been like for Toronto FC under the bad old days of former GM/terrible deal aficionado Mo Johnston. Using technology that doesn't exist, we look back at what "spotted" tweets would have been posted under the hashtags #MoJohnstonTransferDeadlineDay... or possibly #FiveYearPlan...
- Spoke to @DwayneDeRosario in Houston. Gentleman's agreement for DP deal in TO!
- Saw some dude wandering aimlessly outside BMO Field - Rick Titus to @TorontoFC?
- Olivier Tebily close to signing - should be at #TFC for years! #defencefixed
- A French dude complaining about croissants at my @TimHortons - Laurent Robert?
- Buddle to LA Galaxy. Good deal for Reds - he'll never be a consistent MLS goalscorer
- Gabe Gala joins #TFC - says he's good enough to "score against Madrid" #inhisdreams
- Conor Casey to join #TFC from Germany? #LongTermDeal
- Just saw Dan Gargan changing in a Columbus cab! #defencefixed
- Saw a Spanish Sean Penn lookalike at Royal York Hotel counting money & laughing. Mista new DP?
- Dude kicked off of Toronto-bound Aeroflot for punching in-flight meal... Usanov to #TFC?
- Spotted Collin Samuel outside Mandarin Buffet waiting for it to open #dumplingfestival
- Rapids' midfielder Jacob Peterson seen crying at USA/Canada border. Traded to Canada?
- Ex-Caps D @AdrianCann leaves fashion show abruptly. #TFC over Blue Steel? #ReallyReallyGoodLooking
- Know a guy at First Wave Agency. Says they just faxed #TFC their next 17 signings
- TFC shirt maker just ran out of consonants... Reds to sign Raivis Hscanovics? #dfnsfxd
- Strange noises coming from Food Building at The Ex. Ali Gerba?
- OFFICIAL: Saw Carlos Ruiz at Guatemala City airport.  Should arrive here in 4-6 weeks!
- @AndreaLombardo trialing the Ossington bus. Dufferin 29 going nowhere fast #TTCTFC

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Ace" in the hole

Right colour, wrong shirt

It's a Chile afternoon in Toronto! Great news for TFC supporters and pun-lovers alike as The Reds officially announced the signing of Chilean international defender Miguel Aceval today. The announcement concludes a signing-process that has been rumoured since December but spent the last few days floating around MLS red-tape limbo.
The versatile 29-year old defender joins TFC after a very solid career in the Chilean pro ranks including a six year stretch with South American powerhouse club Colo-Colo. Possibly more important to readers of this particular site is an 18 match run with one of the world's finest named clubs - "O' Higgins". Aceval made his debut with the Chilean national side in 2011 and is considered a strong yet not necessarily quick stopper with a thundering boot on dead balls.
Aron Winter must certainly be happier with the prospects of his backline in 2012 compared with how it looked in November. "Our defence needed to be addressed during the offseason and this signing complements our recent activity from last week" the Dutchman offered at Aceval's BMO Field unveiling and many would agree. With the returns from injury of Adrian Cann and Dicoy Williams on the horizon, the defensive pairings should be a far cry from "Harden and Iro and pray for Frings to cover them". Also - Chile, chilly and chili puns are now open for business. Put that in your pipe O'Higgins.

THE STARTING 11: Dutch influences on Toronto FC's new training facility

"Stop loafing Frings, that windmill ain't gonna build itself!"

The biggest investment in Toronto FC this year will not come in the way of a Designated Player but in a group of buildings and pitches in the city's north end. The new TFC training facility, due to open this May in Downsview Park, will arguably be the finest club training facility in North American professional football. Being the new home of TFC Academy and the first team means it will cater to the playing style demanded by Aron Winter, Bob de Klerk and new Academy Direct Thomas Rongen. Being that these men all cut their footballing teeth in the "total" world of Dutch football, there may be a few additional touches brought in to add to the Netherlands atmosphere...
11. Academy prospects awoken every morning by hard Rotterdam techno blasting through speakers
10. Smoking is not only allowed... but encouraged
9. A "Red Light District" set-up near practice field will feature Jim Brennan dancing behind glass
8. Giant windmill will be visible from the 401
7. Adjacent Downsview Airport runway absolutely filled with KLM jumbo jets
6. Academy players encouraged to grow Ruud Gullit style dreadlocks and moustache
5. Pancake Day is EVERYDAY!
4. Only cleaning product allowed in washrooms is "Ajax"
3. International War Criminals tried by tribunal in parking lot
2. All TV's tuned into 24-hour marathon of Rutger Hauer films
1. Nearby subway station re-named "Downshview"

All Rutger - all the time!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


It's "Springtime for Winter" as Toronto FC today released the names of the 41 players (so far) who are taking part in the club's pre-season training camp. The major difference from past years on first glance is the absence of any professional trialists. Just a year ago, the likes of Javier Martina, Mikael Yourassowsky and King Osei Gyan (for you TFC trivia buffs) were training with The Reds in hopes of grabbing a contract but this year seems quite different. While Aron Winter & Co. stressed the importance of stability and a lack of squad turnover, this is a wee bit of a shock unless more names are yet to join after the close of the UEFA transfer window.
One name that was hinted heavily on media day but has yet to officially surface is Chilean defender Miguel Aceval. Most would agree that the defence still needs reinforcing and the fact that his signing has been delayed is curious. Without other professionals invited, the empty roster spots will have to be filled by a melange of SuperDraft, Supplemental Draft and invited Academy products. We take a quick look at the current state of each area of the pitch and the occupational competition going into early camp...
Chad Bush (A), Stefan Frei, Milos Kocic, Quillan Roberts (A)... no realistic prospects or invitees means that barring a deal it will be another battle for the # 1 spot between Frei and Kocic.
Mykell Bates (S), Nick Blake (S), Geovanny Caicedo, Adrian Cann, Richard Eckersley, Jeremy Hall, Ty Harden, Doneil Henry, Brandon John (A), Aaron Maund (SD), Ashtone Morgan, Tyler Pasher (A), Dicoy Williams... With Cann aiming for the MLS season opener but Williams further on the horizon, there is a battle for the CB spot next to Caicedo. If by chance Miguel Aceval doesn't end up signing, a duel between the default Ty Harden and the promising Doneil Henry will form with Aaron Maund holding an outside shot.
Eric Avila, Elbekay Bouchiba, Efrain Burgos, Jr. (SD), Sergio Camargo (A), Jay Chapman (A), Oscar Cordon, Julian de Guzman, Terry Dunfield, Torsten Frings, Michael Green (S), Arthur Ivo (S), Reggie Lambe, Nicholas Lindsay (Injured for season), Mike Mazzullo (S), Luis Silva (SD), Matt Stinson... There seems to be a glut of defensive midfielders between Dunfield, Frings, de Guzman, Bouchiba and even Stinson. You would think something has to give. For the club to stand by Bouchiba as long as they did, the coaches must think highly enough of him. A fair amount of depth in attacking mids will create competition between Lambe, Avila and rookie Silva with Burgos Jr. an outsider with a chance to make bench-strength
Jordan Hamilton (A), Tristan Jackman (A), Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans, Keith Makubuya, Nick Soolsma, Joao Plata, Stefan Vukovic (A)... Despite arguably having the best striker in TFC's short history in Koevermans, the club isn't exactly top-heavy. Expectations for Plata to be the # 2 striker may be too lofty and both Soolsma and Johnson have the tendency to disappear for whole matches. A big chance for highly touted Academy product Stefan Vukovic to impress and become the next home-grown Academy graduate.
First Team
A – Academy
SD – SuperDraft pick
S – Supplemental Draft pick

Friday, January 27, 2012


Can-Am Connection - not Nut-Can Connection

A day after getting all kinds of pun-related gifts, one of our faves was pulled out from under us like a rug covered in health supplements. The Nutrilife Canadian Championship, or as we so lovingly called it - "The NutCan" - is no more. Instead, the Canadian arm of Amway Global will be the branded sponsor of The Voyageurs Cup tournament. "AmCan Cup" just isn't worth doing and we're not looking to get any lawsuits from either Tom Zenk or Rick Martel, so Voyageurs Cup (or V-Cup in a pinch) will do. In addition to the re-branding, it was also announced that TFC will face rivals Montreal Impact in the Semi-Final with the 1st Leg in Montreal on May 2nd with the return in Toronto on May 9th.
During the TFC Media Day, Bob de Klerk let it be known that nine TFC Academy products were taking part in training camp. He went on to say that there were possibly two standouts that could be ready for the jump to the senior club. According to the Canadian Soccer News, a likely candidate to be the next graduate could be striker Stefan Vukovic. The young poacher who led the CSL in scoring last year with 18 goals may have maximized his learning potential at the Academy level and, if rumours are to be believed, was garnering interest from some Serbian club eyes. If Vukovic can hold his own during training camp, he could find himself being mentored by top class poacher Danny Koevermans in 2012.
TFC PR has done a bang-up job in trumpeting their successful ticket sales campaign for the CCL showdown at SkyDome. In between bouts of self-congratulation, TFC media announced that only single seats were now available for the big night on March 7th. There are still questions about how many red-clad bums will actually be in blue seats due to corporate promo tickets and scalper's grubby paws, but if you're still looking to buy (legitimately at least) it looks like you're sitting by yourself. On the upside - it will give you the chance to debut your new Geovanny Caicedo chants to total strangers.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

LETTERS FROM CAMP: Lights, cameras... stability?

"Letsh have de chit-chatsh..."

It's safe to assume any TFC Media Day will be forever considered a success if the star player doesn't openly discuss going on strike. With that lofty criteria only a year old, today's meet and greet with the city's press will be considered downright cosy. Optimism, a seemingly happy squad, plans for the future and heck... even a good old fashioned signing!
After Aron Winter started the day off big with the announced Geovanny Caicedo signing, there weren't too many other earth-shaking developments with the only minor hiccup being the odd air surrounding the # 1 goalkeeper job. While nothing was said by any involved party that would lead one to think a decision was made, there did seem to be a slight air surrounding the topic.
The rest of the day went as well as any PR person would hope with players knocking home cliché answers to puffball questions when host Dan Dunleavy wasn't using hockey as a reference or extolling the virtues of that "rock" in defence Ty Harden (?!). Here are a few other highlights from the day - some real, some maybe less real. And by less real, we mean probably not real. And by probably we mean maybe absolutely likely. But hey... maybe!
ARON WINTER: Pretty much let it slip that Chilean defender Miguel Aceval is about to sign; Can't believe that dumb blogs are still making Winter/winter puns a year later
PAUL MARINER: Said the club had been tracking Geovanny Caicedo since the Canada vs. Ecuador friendly last summer; After landing Richard Eckersley on a free, wants to be referred to as "The Artful Mariner"
EARL COCHRANE: Stuck by his guns that the Nathan Sturgis deal may be one of the club's greatest ever trades adding "I can't remember who made the deal but it must have been some kind of Moneyball-esque genius. Genius I tells ya!"
TOM ANSELMI: No big changes or expansion at BMO Field in 2012; had to run off to prepare Golden Calf sacrifice at MLSE board meeting
BOB de KLERK: Nine promising Academy players have been invited to take part in training camp; spent the off-season working on his music and chilling with his "main dude" Dutch legend Rutger Hauer
TY HARDEN: Played much of last season on a banged up ankle; (anything written here would just be too obvious - do it yourself, jokesters)
ELBEKAY BOUCHIBA: Is actually a real person
KEITH MAKUBUYA: Shocked and dismayed fans by telling the media his name is pronounced "MA-KOO-BEE-YA"; Ruined a 10,000 "BooYah!" T-Shirt order... ass
JULIAN DE GUZMAN: Spent day answering questions about his brother and Team Canada; Went and did donuts in his Lamborghini in the ACC's garage
TERRY DUNFIELD: Is trying to bring the 1920's Austrian gentleman's moustache back to football (note lack of italics... it's for realz! See video non-believers)
JIMMY BRENNAN: Learned to do that cool leaf design thing on the foam of a latte in off-season
ADRIAN CANN: Could be ready to suit-up as early as the MLS season opener; His cosmetic surgery ACL scars are healing nicely
JOAO PLATA: Reconfirmed that all his interviews look like Dennis Waterman from Little Britain
REGGIE LAMBE: Stormed off set claiming that "Pork makes a poor excuse for a chop"
DANNY KOEVERMANS: Spent off-season at home playing a strange nerd game; Had a bit of an old grumpy man moment when asked if he was on Twitter or Facebook; screamed at those damn kids to get of his lawn
STEFAN FREI: Looked the picture of uncomfortable when asked about his TFC future
GEOVANNY CAICEDO: When asked about nickname "The Spoon" told translator that it was because "he gets ladeez digits by the ladle-full"
TORSTEN FRINGS: Missed the entire day trying to get his ballcap to sit perfectly backwards
So there you have it, or sort of sometimes don't have it. Lay off me sticklers for the truth... Juan Epstein died today. If you'd like to follow the factual (booooo-ring) interviews, be sure to watch the creamy goodness of Toronto FC TV (here). I warn you though... not much in the way of italics.

The D ran off with The Spoon

Caicedo (L), and rumoured trilaist "The Dish"

Not only has it been a good day for TFC's defensive line - but a great day for puns. Hot on the heels of this morning's "Ecks'ual satisfaction", Aron Winter started TFC's Media Day off with a bang by announcing that the club had signed Ecuadorian Geovanny Caicedo. The 30-year old defender is not only an established international back with his native Ecuador but he arrives with his very own nickname - and maybe TFC's most bizarre - "The Spoon".
Putting the many punnage possibilities Caicedo will provide in 2012 aside, the solid 6 Foot 2 back adds an experienced and versatile option in a back four that is evolving from paper-thin to adequately deep. Caicedo has spent his entire professional career in the Ecuadorian club ranks most recently with LDU Quito, the former club of his once-again teammate Joao Plata.
Not long after announcing Caicedo's signing (with some gentle media prompting), Winter let the cat half way out of the bag that Chilean defender Miguel Aceval is also close to signing with The Reds. With Adrian Cann's return getting closer and Dicoy Williams on the rehab horizon, the defence that yesterday demanded the inclusion of some lesser talented players, is suddenly strong if not flashy.
Of course we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't return to the most important factor of Caicedo's signing - the wordplay. From "Silva Spoons" to "Spoon dishes Lambe on a Silva Plata" and on to "there is no Spoon Geo", Caicedo may be the best gift to football writers since Maxim Usanov gave us a season's worth of Ivan Drago references. "The Spoon" to TFC - what a scoop! See.

Reds get back with their Ecks

Ecks-iting news!

Well that was surprisingly fast! After hearing about the "99% certainty" of Richard Eckersley's return to Toronto FC since late November, it took less than a day after his "Ecks'ual release" from Burnley to finalize a permanent move to Toronto.
The Reds officially announced the deal just hours prior to their big media day event, no doubt steering the news of the day onto the English defender. The resigning of "The GingaNinja" was earmarked early as one of TFC's main off-season priorities along with the similar deal for Joao Plata. The 22-year old Eckersley quickly became a reliable defender on a rather unreliable TFC defence and kudos need to be given to Paul "The Artful" Mariner for managing to secure his permanent move to MLS without shelling out a transfer fee.
Of course, the backline makeover is far from done with many hoping to hear one or two new names added to the defensive line today but Eckersley's deal is a major piece of that puzzle. At his age and with a season of MLS experience already under his belt, it is arguable that this will be the most important move of this off-season.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ecks'ual release

"Kiss me, I'm orange!"

We promised we wouldn't talk about this godforsaken story anymore until there was confirmation - but we are renowned liars... and desperate for some news. With that, there is movement afoot on the most protracted TFC transfer saga of the off-season, Richard Eckersley aka "The Ginger Affair".
Straight from the horse's mouth, if Burnley FC is a horse... which is arguable... and actually from the horse's website... Richard Eckersley, the Toronto FC fan favourite (and local superhero "The GingaNinja)" has had his contract cancelled by the English club. With 18 months left on his contract with The Clarets, Eckersley and the Championship side parted ways today by mutual consent.
This move of course allows Eckersley to negotiate a new contract with the club of his choice and we may be crazy but it's looking like TFC. Just a hunch. Unless some other club tries to Ginger-Block us! Keep your hands off our Ginge... looking at you Scunthorpe... filthy buggers. Anyhoo... it looks like we may have some official news about Eckersley's signing by The Reds in the very near future as SIXual Healing continues to shape up. When The Artful Mariner does end up "putting some Ginge around it", we will cover it here.

LETTERS FROM CAMP: "Pitching a tent for Training Camp 2012"

The counsellors are back with their "campy" Dutch accents and the campers are arriving one-by-one at the big campsite by the lake. The weather forecast is looking a lot calmer than it was one year ago - but anything can happen at camp. Especially if that new camp up the river, "Le Camp Impact du Fromage", challenges us to a winner-take-all canoe race! Shenanigans!
Yes, camp can be a crazy place and somewhere between medicals, s'mores, ACL injuries, waterslides and TyHardenning (it's a thing) - the news can slip through the cracks. So, for our readers who can't sit around the fire waiting for the latest tidbit about Camp TeeEffCee, our regular "Letters From Camp" feature will keep you up to date without having to use your flashlight. Now... where's my red Speedo - I wanna go TyHardenning!
Not too many Boom Booms or Vinnies, but still a few Horshacks left over, as The Reds made their way to BMO Field over the last couple of days. With the usual TFC secrecy act, supporters were only shown a selected few arrivals - a mixture of last season’s veterans looking a bit winter (not Winter) weary and excited draft picks. Of course supporters are a little more curious about who wasn't shown on camera as the quest to learn the names of invited trialists and potential signings grows needier on a daily basis.
As mentioned above, there was little in the way of video from Monday and Tuesday's arrivals with the public domain's media being kept at arm's length. The club says that it wants to get its administrative duties in order first but it could also have to do with knowing exactly who will be at BMO Field for camp before releasing the press horde. Either way, the official Training Camp Media Day is scheduled for tomorrow where we will be treated to the finest clichés, inspirational quotes and Dutch humour that the salary cap allows.
It was interesting to read Paul Mariner's interview with about the state of TFC camp this year as opposed to last year's. Framing the two camps as "night and day", The Director of Development/Fifth Beatle described the state of TFC 2011 as "an organizational nightmare". While far too classy a gent to say what we were all thinking - that four years under Mo Johnston's MLSE-approved "masterplan" left the club a disaster zone - it's not hard to imagine the mess that the management faced due to previous bungling. It was very amusing that the media boffins at TFC decided to run with the article as "a feel good piece" almost as if that "old club" had nothing to do with them. They have surely heard of irony, no? Maybe this was there way of saying sorry? They are so demure. Oh well - pencils and erasers and all that!
The "D"! Well done children! The glaring lack of depth in TFC's backline is the most obvious hole on Day One of "SIXual Healing". As of writing - the best starting back four The Reds could field is something like Stinson-Harden-Henry-Morgan. That giggling you hear is Bruce Arena. However, if mountains of blog articles (why thank you), Tweets on the Twitter Machine and media speculation have anything to say about it - help is on the way. Today, the reliable Kurt Larson writes that Richard Eckersley is OFFICIALLY (all caps makes it for realz) cutting ties with Burnley making a permanent switch to TFC open. This is the news all TFC supporters have anxiously awaited along with the very regularly rumoured (often by themselves) signings of South American defensive duo Miguel "Ace" Aceval of Chile and Ecuadorian Geovanny "The Spoon" Caiceda. His nickname not ours... obviously. If it all falls flat... TyHardenning!!!

We've been hearing lots of chirps and whispers from excited bean counters on Bay St. that the attendance for the big CCL match at SkyDome is already around 40K and headed for a sell-out. Will this actually translate into 45K bums avec 45K seats? Maybe not. A good chunk of those seats are in the hands of sponsors and various hangers-on in TFC's orbit and could end up going unused. Of course there is always the age old question of how many tickets are in the hands of scalpers but we likely won't know the result until that evening in March. Well... at least at the 30 minute mark when most Torontonians arrive for a football match.

Monday, January 23, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Surprises on the first day of Toronto FC training camp

Monty Hall... a proud father

"The boys are back in tow-owu-wow-own!" Oh, sing it yourself then. It's true though - like well-paid groundhogs in shorts, our beloved Reds are making their annual late-winter appearance! And guess what? Spring is coming early! (March 7th at SkyDome - operators are standing by) It's always fun to see old faces return and new faces emerge (except on defence where we are apparently in tip-top shape) and catch up on all the news and gossip from a long off-season. Much like the first day back at school, there are always a few surprises and in the halls of BMO Field it's much the same...
11. De Ro stopped buy just to check if any DP money happened to be laying around
10. Torsten Frings reported back with a severe neck injury after being dared to wear his ballcap frontwards - and failing
9. New defender Jeremy Hall? Son of Monty Hall!
8. SuperDraft picks given their first pro shirts - Supplemental Draft picks shown how to work the laundry machines
7. Elbekay Bouchiba is actually a ghost
6. Adrian Cann has bounced back from his ACL injury through a blend of Eastern medicines... and cosmetic surgery
5. Nick Soolsma is being detained at Toronto's Pearson Airport after attempting to smuggle a dozen cats into Canada in his trousers
4. Bob de Klerk? Dreadlocks.
3. Joao Plata has been carrying the entire worth of his new contract around in his pockets. Now measures in at 3 Foot 7
2. New midfielder Reggie Lambe outrageously proclaims to media that he is "superior to beef, chicken and pork"
1. Ty Harden had been locked in the bathroom since November

Friday, January 20, 2012

Iro and Maro a no-go

"Behind you Andy! Oh... never mind."

A little bit of a shocker out of TFC's pre-pre-season today as the club confirmed that both Andy Iro and Peri Marosevic will not return to The Reds in 2012. "Both Andy and Peri declined our contract extension offers and now the club is ready to move on," were the words from the Dutch Master Aron Winter who is no doubt ready to welcome new recruits to fill their roles.
Andy Iro was brought in mid-way through 2011 as the potential answer to TFC's woes at centreback. The giant Liverpudlian was the final piece in the DeRo-series of trades which saw Tony Tchani move to Columbus in return for Iro and Leandre Grifft. Iro, who had been particularly solid with Crew in 2010 seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered after the injuries to Adrian Cann and Dicoy Williams but it simply never happened. Whether it was a case of not having the footballing IQ to pick up Winter's system; nerves of playing on a bigger stage; or, not being up to the task of having to be partnered with the equally calamitous Ty Harden - we will never know. In the end, management couldn't have had a great deal of confidence in Iro for 2012 and a change of scenery may be best for the affable 27-year old to regain his composure.
Peri Marosevic, while not as integral a member of the club, is still a surprise in his departure. Picked up on waivers after falling off of FC Dallas' radar completely, Marosevic was given a late-season opportunity to show his wares and seemed to do fairly well. Grabbing two goals and playing numerous midfield positions in his seven appearances, many would have expected his return but perhaps this decision simply came down to dollars. With the drafting of Luis Silva and the signing of Reggie Lambe, Marosevic may just have been a luxury TFC wasn't willing to spend enough on.
The alarm bells for many supporters will of course be Iro's former position in the centre of defence. While TFC drafted Aaron Maund, most would assume he is far from a starter. The rumoured names of Chilean Miguel Aceval, Ecuadorian Geovanny Caiceda and others will no doubt be a lot hotter this evening as the sudden 215K in salary cap room burns a hole in TFC's hands. Or we could just go ahead and pencil Ty Harden in for March 7th... anyone?

THE RUMOUMETER - January 20, 2012

Welcome to The Yorkies' regular off-season rumour roundup - "The Rumoumeter". Too busy to keep your TFC ear to the ground every week? Just stop by the site and we will quickly show you what rumours are hot - and which ones have hit the back burner. Some of the rumours have weight - others little more than whispers; we take their temperature with... "The Rumoumeter"...


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Yourass is grass

It's how he'd want to be remembered

The man who filled the coveted "Supervillain" role after Maxim Usanov left town has been unceremoniously dispatched himself. Without having to sabotage a giant laser, use a submarine Lotus or rake any moons, TFC waived Mikael Yourassowsky from the roster.
With only days remaining before SIXual Healing's training camp opens, the move to release the rambunctious Belgian is hardly a surprise. Yourassowsky was far more fun to say than watch, with his penchant for rather cheap dives and habit of collecting reckless fouls. With a midrange salary and a valuable international roster spot, Yourass has been an endangered species since rumours of South American defenders and returning Gingers began hotting up.
Despite the value of playing multiple positions and his single valuable goal in the NutCan, TFC's off-season roster moves (as well as the rumoured additions) will have dropped Yourassowsky far too down the depth chart to justify his expense. Instead, the wandering winger will go down as a TFC footnote - one of those early Aron Winter transition players along with Javier Martina, Alan Gordon and Alen Stevanovic who have come and gone. At least he can get back to work on that giant laser.

"The Gents" with Stan Bentley - "Lose this postage address please..."

Welcome to "The Gents" with Stan Bentley - The Yorkies' regular advice column for our valued readers. Bring your modern day problems and have them answered by the most valued voice - a 1950's journeyman footballer. "Back of the net!"
Dear Stan,
I didn't have much contact with my father growing up but now, as an adult, I have the opportunity to rekindle my relationship with him. Do you think this is a good idea? Stephen - Grimsby, ON
That's a bit of a gherkin isn't it Stevie? Old Stan's dad, Old Stan Sr., never had much time for us sprogs what with the war, the animal husbandry and Kettering Town FC. Made me the man I am today though - the tough fathering, not the animal husbandry - and he always had a boiled sweet when I needed one. Give it a go lad, why not? From an acorn grows an oak! So, you're in Grimsby are you Steve? Stan played for Grimsby Town back in the day. Had a lovely girl there for a bit. Trapeze artist - flexible stuff. Sheila was her name. Lost contact with her after I went to Plymouth Argyle... came back a year later and she had a nipper of her own - little lad... Stuart... Stefan... Ste... Um something like that. Anyways - must run. Good luck - no need to write back!
Hi Stan,
I'm really upset with my husband right now. He bought tickets for the big TFC vs. LA game but only for his friends - not for me and our kids. I don't think its right to leave his family behind, do you? Am I right to be angry? Thanks. Michelle - Stoufville, ON
What in the name of good King Wenceslas?! You don't know a Sheila, do you? What are you trying to get across here, woman? A man needs space! Maybe your husband just wants to go to the match with some mates - ever think of that? Maybe he's not ready to be tied down from sun-up to sundown! Maybe his Triumph Two-Seater isn't made for kiddies! Maybe he owed money to a dodgy bloke in Grimsby! Time and tide wait for no man! Um, what were we talking about? Oh, yes... sure... be cross with him... whatever. Old Stan needs to find a train timetable for St. Pancras sharp-like. Glad to help... lose this postage address please.
Hey Stan,
As a football man - what do you think of Toronto FC's investment into the academy? Do you think if the young kids get that kind of mentoring they will be successful? Jonathan - Toronto, ON
Sorry? But why would I know anything about mentoring boys? Anyways this isn't Stan - he had to go... do somewhere else... I'm Old... Stu Bartley. If it gets you on to different news I'm sure Stan would have said "walnuts and pears you plant for your heirs" - or something similar. But he's not here. It's just me... Stu. Stan went to... Rhodesia... to do some scouting for Barnsley FC... yes, that's what I'm sure he said. Quite sure he also told his postman Reg to ignore letters from any Stephens, Sheilas and possibly someone named Johnny "The Nose" in Grimsby. Oh there's the 10:40 to Dover, that's my... I mean that's Stan's train. Off he goes! Cheerio Stan! Locomotives - great stuff.
Have a problem, question or comment for Stan? Well, you're probably out of luck for a while as Stan's mail seems to be going unanswered. We're sure he'll return one day but in the meantime you could try a telegram to Rhodesia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sup Le Mental?

Like the SuperDraft... just less Super... and more Mental

No we aren't being all streets with French crazy people - we are being all streets with the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft! And honestly, what's a draft if it's not a wee bit mental? And hey, Montreal's in it now so là vous allez.
The Torontos had five picks today in the annual hunt for gold (not Matt Gold) that slipped through the two rounds of last week's SuperDraft. Did they get lucky and unearth this year's Joao Plata? Or, did they just cost themselves five round-trip tickets on Air Canada while these lads toil at training camp? Only time and blunt Dutch criticism will tell but here's the most important* information on today's five picks.
*not important in the least
SCHOOL: New Mexico
POTENTIAL NICKNAMES: "Winter", "Mint", "Not Easy"
BIO: Played with Columbus Crew Academy (gulp)... from Strongsville, Ohio which means he's strong... apparently has "dangerous speed"... (School bio here)
SCHOOL: Connecticut
POTENTIAL NICKNAMES: "Nontalban", "Nicky Nickardo", "And Pliers"
BIO: At 6 foot 1 and 167 lbs. he resembles a birch tree in profile... from Clarendon, Jamaica so has a chance to create the Dicoy-Nickardo Dancehall Sound System on defence... (School bio here)
SCHOOL: Santa Clara
POTENTIAL NICKNAMES: "The Master", "Low-Brow Nickname", "Psycho"
BIO: Winner "Easiest New Nickname" at 2012 MLS Combine... Captain of his Broncos squad... hates that novelty souvenirs only available for "MICHAEL"... (School bio here)
SCHOOL: Southern Methodist
POTENTIAL NICKNAMES: "Ivo Genius", "Dr. Ivo", "Ivo Kneivo"
BIO: Is an actual Brazilian!... Has his own website! (Here)... looking forward to confounding broadcasters by playing one-two passes to Andy Iro... (School bio here)
SCHOOL: Columbia
POTENTIAL NICKNAMES: "MixMaster MikeMazzullo", "The Pele of Yonkers", "Meatball"
BIO: Went to an Ivy League school so he probably reads books... Is from New York so may know how to breakdance and/or tag subway cars.... (School bio here)
And some Jacques Lu Cont to help you get Le Mental...

Monday, January 16, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Other changes to next year's CONCACAF Champions League

It's gone to Extra Time!

Rather quietly last week, the pristinely un-corrupt body that oversees Caribbean, North and Central American football announced changes to its Champions League format. CONCACAF's changes are a good news-bad news scenario for Canadian clubs as the NutCan winner will get to skip the preliminary round and go straight to the group stages, but, be placed in a three-team group with at least one other MLS club or a Mexican giant. Overall the changes seem positive but when reading the fine print there are some other new features that will definitely add to the continent's "premier club tournament"...
11. Donkeys no longer considered legal substitutes
10. Away matches to Bermuda called off after Guatemalan league loses three clubs to "Triangle-related" incidents
9. Official pre-match anthem changed from classical music piece to Van Halen's "Panama"
8. All matches in Jamaica to be held at Hedonism Resorts
7. Extra time penalty kicks at cup final to be replaced by kicking the ball at a piñata with the tournament trophy inside
6. Haitian clubs no longer allowed a witchdoctor on coaching staff
5. Fans wanting to throw bags of urine at opposition must only use new official "CONCACAF Champions League Bolsa de Orina" Ziplocs
4. Trinidad & Tobago club Joe Public FC finally forced to reveal their true identity
3. Loser of the British Virgin Islands vs. US Virgin Islands club match can no longer be called a "virgin"
2. Giant holes in Central American pitches can no longer be filled with political dissidents
1. Winners get trophy... and Nicaragua

Friday, January 13, 2012

THE RUMOUMETER - January 13, 2012

Welcome to The Yorkies' regular off-season rumour roundup - "The Rumoumeter". Too busy to keep your TFC ear to the ground every week? Just stop by the site and we will quickly show you what rumours are hot - and which ones have hit the back burner. Some of the rumours have weight - others little more than whispers; we take their temperature with... "The Rumoumeter"...



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter’s Draft affected by Chile conditions?

Now THAT'S a SuperDraft!

Wow that's a lot of punnage in one title. With reason though, as something is definitely going on behind the scenes which will help explain Toronto FC's two First Round draft picks at the MLS SuperDraft. (Don't you just hate those non-Super Drafts? So boring.) With their braintrust gathered in Kansas City, TFC did their best to confound those who do mock drafts.
With the 4th Pick overall, The Reds decided to go with consensus "best player available" in attacking midfielder Luis Silva. The 5-foot 11 Senior form UCSB upped his stock during the combines with an ability to find the open man, assisting on no less than 7 goals. Many NCAA experts predict the 23-year old to push for a starting role with TFC and at the very least make for very useful depth. Silva, a Los Angeles native, spent some time in the Chivas USA youth set-up and enjoys playing FIFA 08 - his new contract should help him at least get a used copy of FIFA 10.
POSSIBLE NICKNAMES: "The Silva Bullet", "Silva of Hope" (thanks to twitter's Darth Pingu for that one), "The Silva Fox" and an extra 20 points to the first broadcaster who announces a Luis Silva-Joao Plata goal combo as "The Silva-Plata"
After passing on their greatest need - defence - with the first pick, many TFC observers felt that the club must have known that they could pick up hulking defender Andrew Jean "The" Baptiste. If that was the plan, those wacky lumberjacks in Portland scuppered it by taking Baptiste with the 8th Pick.

With a giant Harden-sized hole remaining in the backline, The Reds seemingly took a gamble with the 12th Pick by taking Notre Dame defender Aaron Maund. The 6-foot 1 Senior was primarily a centreback in his NCAA career and flirted with Trinidad & Tobago's U-17 program. The 22-year old Massachusetts native was not predicted by many to go so high in the draft but with TFC's dearth in the back,  he may have a shot at a pro career more abundant than expected. Also, Maund attended a High School called The Roxbury Latin School which sounds like a salsa nightclub - so there's that.
POSSIBLE NICKNAMES: "Maundsta","The Long Maund of Rebound", "A-Maund Joy" plus an extra 20 points to the first broadcaster reading a TFC line-up who makes Iro - Maund sound like "Irie, mon"
So as the dust settled, Polaroids were taken and Sporting KC fans ended their xenophobic Canada chants, TFC walked off with these two young gents but a whole lot of questions. Firstly, the aforementioned hole in the defence wasn't really addressed; however, at press time (I have a card that says "PRESS" in my fedora ok? Jeez.) the TFC management team were making loud murmurs about two defenders who were about to be signed. Best guesses at their identities are Chilean Miguel Aceval and the return of Richard "GingaNinja" Eckersley which makes us think that this day may be long from over.
The second conundrum offered by these picks is that neither are Generation Adidas status which means that their potential salaries will count against TFC's salary cap - which is thought by most to be bursting at the seams. This off course would have only solution - the departure of some existing members of the club. Which makes us think this day is really long from over.
- L'impact du Montreal Impact chose defender Andrew Wenger with their 1st overall pick which immediately excited the French community who mistakenly thought Arsene Wenger had joined the club
- Whitecaps chose speedy forward Darren Mattocks who was blah, blah, blah - who cares - it's Vancouver
- New England Revolution chose Kelyn Rowe who won't have trouble with crowd phobias in front of the Revs' dozens of fans
- D.C. United's pick, Nick "Ponce" DeLeon, immediately drew the ire of Dwayne De Rosario who demanded a "fountain of youth" in his new contract
- Ethan Finlay, Columbus' 1st Rounder, demanded to know where the other 2/3 of Crew's new away kit was but was placated when he got to meet the three dudes on the club's logo
- Don Garber is still refusing to go by the name Dong Grabber
- News of Kenny Cooper's trade to NYRB being met with the phrase "Salary Cap - Shmalary Cap"


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big deal for wee man

A three-year deal Joao?

"El MosQuito" will be buzzing around BMO Field for the foreseeable future as Toronto FC announced today that Joao Plata has signed a multi-year deal with the club. The dynamic yet diminutive Ecuadorian was often the only bright spark in a miserable first half of 2011 and his re-signing was considered as an off-season must in most supporters' eyes.
As per the secretive world of MLS contracts "terms of the deal were not disclosed" so it is yet to be determined if this deal is a full buyout of Plata's contract with original club LDU Quito, or, as reported in many circles, some type of co-ownership deal. Surely the details will emerge soon but for now, most TFC supporters will feel happy, and relieved, that a player who is considered to be an integral part of the club's future will remain in Toronto.
Of course, to stay on track after a breakout 2011, Plata will need to keep working hard to avoid any sophomore slump in a league where he will no longer be a surprise. Expectations will also be higher for Platita from fans and coaches alike in 2012 and how he handles such pressures will be the difference between success and failure. One thing that Plata did show in his first year that will surely help is a supreme confidence in his own abilities.
A deal not announced but one that is being anticipated with equally bated breath is for similar 2011 loanee Richard Eckersley. There is no shortage of goodwill between the player and the club but many feel that the defender's parent club Burnley will play financial hardball until the end of the European transfer window. Some defensive cover may indeed be on its way however as rumours that Chilean wingback Miguel Aceval is on the verge of joining The Reds are heating further today. With the MLS SuperDraft a mere day away, TFC 2012 is slowly taking shape.

"The Gents" with Stan Bentley - "A woman at the football?"

Welcome to "The Gents" with Stan Bentley - The Yorkies' regular advice column for our valued readers. Bring your modern day problems and have them answered by the most valued voice - a 1950's journeyman footballer. "Back of the net!"

Hi Stan
I've been dating my girlfriend for two years and am ready to pop the question. I'm thinking of doing it on the Jumbotron at the big TFC match in March - what do you think? Phil - Niagara Falls, ON
First of all Phillip, you're from Niagara Falls? Fantastic stuff! Are you a daredevil? Although if you're thinking about marriage... I guess you are! Second of all - what in the name of King George is a Jumbotron? Is this one of those robot elephants those mad Japanese boffins are working on? Magic stuff that. The future is really upon us Phillip - robot elephants, dogs in space... indoor plumbing. A wondrous age. Back to your original question though lad, you surely haven't thought this through... you're wife-to-be won't be at the match will she? A woman at the football? Excellent gag! Jetpacks and electric kettles maybe - ladies at football - not in our lifetime! Happy weddinging!
Being a man of the world & all I figured you might have some advice on loyalty and where to place it. My problem is that if my favourite footie team changes over the players & coaching staff any more often, they'll have to put a revolving door on the locker room. However, In spite of it all, some players really do show themselves as outstanding in the little time they're given. Do I follow favourite players on their new teams or do I stick by my team even if it's nearly unrecognisable from one season to the next? Marion Lisa - Toronto, ON
My dear maiden (Marion, see what Old Stan did there? Great stuff.) without loyalty to one's cherished club - what use is there being a supporter at all? Always had great pride in oneself in regard to loyalty to my teammates and club. Never dreamt of changing club stripes. However, the greatest shame of my career was one night when I was with Huddersfield Town - I had been to a mate’s stag in Paris and got on a night train back to London where we were playing West Ham. After getting off the train I found the stadium and went to the dressing room in a wine fog. The match was starting so I put on our odd new mustard colour away strip and ran to the pitch. It was peculiar though - Bill McGarry had grown a twirly 'tache, Jimmy Glazzard looked like a giant slavic butcher and Ken Taylor was speaking in tongues. It was only at halftime I realized I had got on the wrong train. Still, I had to stay loyal to my club. That was a great few months at Dukla Prague. Europe - what a curious place! Too bad about the foreigners.
Hello Stan,
How do you think the Draft is going to go tomorrow? Marco - Thornhill, ON
What's this you say my Milanese matey? The draft is coming back tomorrow? Well it's about bloody time says Old Stan. These coddled youth of today should be giving back to their King and country. I see those nogoodniks walking about the shopping precincts with their shaggy hair, denim overalls and portable telephone machines sending blackberries to their unwed mothers. Country is going down the pan so it's about time they brought the draft back. A good old battle will sort them out. Those Soviets won't sit still forever you know! Thanks for letting me know Marco - maybe I can go into town and get a sticky bun in peace. Ooh - maybe a blackberry one. Delicious stuff that. Tally-ho!
Have a problem, question or comment for Stan? Send Stan an email at or leave a message in the comments section below and it may be featured in a future issue 

Monday, January 9, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Extra reasons why SkyDome makes a good CCL venue

The halftime show will be spectacular!

"50,000 fans". This was the mantra repeated ad nauseam during TFC's Dutch Breakfast Extravaganza on Friday regarding the CCL Quarterfinal at SkyDome. There is a great expectation from the club's owners as well as many supporters that the fixture versus LA Galaxy will equal, if not eclipse, Montreal's memorable CCL Big O filler of a few years back. With reasonable pricing and the possibility of midfield lothario/snug boxerbrief aficionado David Beckham appearing, there are many reasons already to buy your tickets by the bushel. However, if you need some last-minute coaxing before ordering your ducats - would you really want to miss memorable SkyDomesque moments like these?
11. A cramped Chad Barrett being removed from the field in the back of the Monster Truck "Grave Digger"
10. Argos fans milling about downtown failing to see the irony of Toronto FC playing in their stadium
9. Tom Henke subbed in for The Reds in the 80th minute to help close off the match
8. If Galaxy gets an early lead - the roof "accidentally" opening to the harsh winter elements during halftime
7. Ty Harden constantly getting distracted when dribbling the ball over the actual place where Ultimate Warrior beat Hulk Hogan for the Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania VI
6. Expensive chip buttys being made from 100% public funding
5. Soccer moms holding silent prayer vigil circle that David Beckham's kit is "retractable"
4. World records shattered as streamers reach field from 500 Level
3. Bitchy the Hawk hunting - then removing googly eyes - of SkyDome mascot Domer the Turtle
2. Joe Carter winning the match with 90th minute penalty kick
1. Mo Johnston being spotted nude in SkyDome Hotel window

Saturday, January 7, 2012

THE WORD: TFC defence getting a bit Chile?

Aceval in the hole?

The rumours are boiling out of Chile today that The Reds are about to add a new defender to their ranks. If the Santiago media are to be trusted, then 28-year old centre-left back Miguel Aceval has already agreed on a contract with TFC and the paperwork is in the midst of being finalized by Major League Soccer.
While not a household name in these parts, the 6-foot tall Santiago native has had a solid career in the Chilean top tier which began with South American powerhouse Colo-Colo. Aceval spent 2011 with Universidad de Concepcion where he managed 5 goals in 30 appearances. 2011 also marked the defender's first cap with the full Chilean national side in a friendly against Mexico.
Early scouting shows that Aceval can play on the left side or in the left-centre of the back four which could mean a covering role to Ashtone Morgan in the vein of Danleigh Borman, or in a best-case scenario - the ability to replace Ty Harden's current starting role at CB. Worst case scenario? Lots more Chile / chili / chilly puns all round!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dutch pancakes and links

"Mmm - you can barely taste the clog!"

Toronto FC got the SIXual Healing bandwagon / promotional tour on track today with a breakfast event for season ticket holders in Downtown Toronto. The second year manager Aron Winter held court and was joined by players Danny Koevermans, Stefan Frei and Ashtone Morgan. While the questions from TFC TV's Dan Dunleavy were mostly of the softball variety, some actual news was broken oven the sounds of chewing pannekoek.

TFC Director of Business Operations Paul Beirne joined Winter on stage to announce the imminent sale of tickets for the CCL Quarterfinal match against LA Galaxy at SkyDome. The price range will vary wildly from a respectably low $12 to a far too ambitious $69 per seat. Hopefully the lion's share of the tickets will be closer to the $12 dollar range, otherwise the dream of 50,000 attendance (no matter how many times Dunleavy promised that to the players) will be a near impossibilty.

Quite a coup for the club was made today as Winter announced that former USA U-20 coach Thomas Rongen will be the new TFC Academy Director. Amsterdam-native (surprise!) Rongen started his career with Ajax but spent the majority of his pro footballing life bouncing around the wacky world of North American "soccer" in the 80's. His most recent job was as manager of the official "Worst Team in FIFA" American Samoa. However, under Rongen, the American Samoans recorded their first ever international victory with a rag-tag line-up that included a transgendered defender! So that helps in recruitment.

The rest of the Q & A went as expected with Winter & Co. lobbing the expected answers to Dunleavy (when he wasn't promising "50,000 screaming fans at Rogers Centre).  Most promising was the continued assertion by Winter that Plata and Eckersley are "99%" likely to return. Now we can all just hope that SIXual Healing's mid-season lunch and post-season dinner events are as promising as today's.

Watch the entire TFC breakfast Q & A here...
For fun - do a shot of syrup everytime they say "50,000 fans"

Then watch this sexy Dutch clip...

THE RUMOUMETER - January 6, 2012

Welcome to The Yorkies' regular off-season rumour roundup - "The Rumoumeter". Too busy to keep your TFC ear to the ground every week? Just stop by the site and we will quickly show you what rumours are hot - and which ones have hit the back burner. Some of the rumours have weight - others little more than whispers; we take their temperature with... "The Rumoumeter"...









Thursday, January 5, 2012

TFC 2012 TBA no more

Twice to Montreal? That's handy.

Taking time from their busy schedule of designing dodgy new kits with blasphemous monochromatic badges, only being rumoured to actually sign players and wetting themselves over the possibility of David Beckham's extended stay with LA Galaxy, TFC today released the official 2012 schedule via Major League Soccer. Plan your lives accordingly to the unbalanced mess of a fixture list here.

While there are only minor changes from the leaked version of the schedule that went online a few days ago, the official version does have kick-off times so your drinking can now be planned in advance. Apart from that, we now get a little less Red Bull and a bit more Sporting but are still without a visit from Western Conference giants LA Galaxy, Seattle or Real Salt Lake. Someone at MLS headquarters obviously still believes we can sell out games no matter what. Alas, SIXual Healing now has shape.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"The Gents" with Stan Bentley - "In the middle of your wedding mattress"

Welcome to "The Gents" with Stan Bentley - The Yorkies' regular advice column for our valued readers. Bring your modern day problems and have them answered by the most valued voice - a 1950's journeyman footballer. "Back of the net!"

Dear Stan,
My husband and I are years away from retirement and with two young children, have a hard time saving money for retirement. What do you recommend? RRSP's? Love your advice, Tina - Markham, ON
The RRSP?! Whatever you do - do not put your hard-earned dosh there lass! Those carpetbaggers took a load of Old Stan's Stirling to invest in deepest Africa's "first men's beard and moustache clinic". Did it ever get built? No chance! The Royal Rhodesian Savings Partnership my foot! Wispy 'taches allover Zanzibar to this day! Do yourself a favour, when your husband lets you touch the money, put it all in mason jars or in the middle of your wedding mattress. However - do not hide it at your gent's place of business. You never know when he may be barred from returning. Somewhere buried under Walsall's Fellows Park is one of my old mattresses - full of mason jars. Still think the bloody Rhodesians were behind my sacking. Keep saving!
Hi Stan,
Big TFC fan and I love your column. Here's a little fun thing to do - please finish the following sentence: "I think a woman looks hottest in..." Dean - Burlington, ON
Old Stan loves a wee brain twister boy - Dean of whatever University you are Dean of. Alrighty then, here we go... "Stan thinks a woman looks hottest in..." "...the pantry after peeling the carrot and the potatoes have reached a boil with the steam going causing the temperature in the room to rise." You know Dean, pots bubbling, Yorkshire puddings baking, lovely lamb shank stirring in its juices, bit of a sticky toffee pudding for afters. Oh my, this questions has had quite an affect! Who's hot now? Why it's old Stan... for a lovely bit of mutton! Let's smell gas!
What are your thoughts on Eastern medicine? Terence - Toronto, ON
Interested in the mystical world of the East are you Terry? I don't blame you lad, it's quite a magical world that can soothe all kinds of malodourous ailments. I had a terrible turn with a new club once - faced a long spell off with injury. The regular docs had no answers for me so I travelled to the East and popped in and out of small shops and dens having a look for a cure. It was a world of interesting people with a language of their own and digestibles made from the oddest ingredients. Tell you what though - after a couple of months of jellied eels, sausage in batter, giant gherkins, pie & mash with parsley liquor and dark ales - Old Stan was right as night. Ah, that mysterious land. Luckily I was with Charlton at the time so London's East End was only a few stops away on the tube. Cheeky, mystical cockneys! Keep fit Terry!
Have a problem, question or comment for Stan? Send Stan an email at or leave a message in the comments section below and it may be featured in a future issue

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Circles... meet calendars. Leaked 2012 TFC schedule plans your year

You can never find FC Dallas on these damn Mayan calendars!

Considering it's apparently our last year on the planet, people are surprisingly making plans for the next few months. According to the good and diligent folks over at the great Canadian Soccer News - this includes Toronto FC. With Major League Soccer preparing to officially release the schedules soon, a leaked version of SIXual Healing has found it's way online. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs, holy communions and various Pagan rituals? Read this and weep.
Mar. 7, 2012 vs LA Galaxy CONCACAF Quarter Final
Mar. 14, 2012 at LA Galaxy CONCACAF Quarter Final
March 27-29, 2012 CONCACAF Semi Final
April 3-5, 2012 CONCACAF Semi Final
April 17-19, 2012 CONCACAF Finals
April 24-26, 2012 CONCACAF Finals
May 9 Canadian Championship
May 16 Canadian Championship
May 23 Canadian Championship
July 24-26 CONCACAF Champions League
July 31- Aug. 2 CONCACAF Champions League
Aug. 21-23 CONCACAF Champions League
Aug. 28-30 CONCACAF Champions League
Sept. 18-20 CONCACAF Champions League
Sept. 25-27 CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 2-4 CONCACAF Champions League
Oct. 23-25 CONCACAF Champions League
Mar. 17, 2012 at Seattle Sounders
Mar. 24, 2012 vs San Jose Earthquake
Mar. 31, 2012 vs Columbus Crew
Apr. 7, 2012 at Montreal Impact
Apr. 14, 2012 vs Chivas USA
Apr. 21, 2012 vs Chicago Fire
Apr. 28, 2012 at Real Salt Lake
May 5, 2012 vs DC United
May 12, 2012 vs Portland Timbers
May 19, 2012 at DC United
May 26, 2012 vs Philadelphia Union
June 16, 2012 at New York Red Bull
June 20, 2012 at Houston Dynamo
June 23, 2012 vs New England Revolution
June 27, 2012 at Montreal Impact
June 30, 2012 vs New York Red Bull
July 4, 2012 at FC Dallas
July 7, 2012 at Philadelphia Union
July 14, 2012 at New England Revolution
July 18, 2012 vs Colorado Rapids
July 21, 2012 vs Chicago Fire
July 28, 2012 vs Houston Dynamo
Aug. 4, 2012 at Chicago Fire
Aug. 8, 2012 vs Vancouver Whitecaps
Aug. 11, 2012 at Columbus Crew
Aug. 18, 2012 at Sporting Kansas City
Aug. 25, 2012 at Houston Dynamo
Sept. 1, 2012 at Sporting Kansas City
Sept. 15, 2012 vs Philadelphia Union
Sept. 22, 2012 at Los Angeles Galaxy
Sept. 29, 2012 at New York Red Bull
Oct. 6, 2012 vs DC United
Oct. 20, 2012 vs Montreal Impact
Oct. 27, 2012 at Columbus Crew
Phew. So there. All that before those wacky Mayans get down to their voodoo magic. There are literally months to stew over this chronological jazz. but at first glance some parts of Dong Grabber's redonkulous imbalanced schedule that stand out include:
- a tough season opener at a very difficult Seattle
- a chilly home opener to the Quakes and George Best's frozen ghost
- the inaugural "401 Derby" against Montreal on April 7 and a second chance to use elementary school French on June 27
- a mere six MLS home fixtures during June, July and August
- no TFC visit to Vancouver and no Toronto visit for LA Galaxy (shocker)
- ending the season with two potentially explosive matches against our rival Montreal and our secondary "rival" Columbus
- all fixtures complete before scheduled end of the world