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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CHANTS ON GOAL: Dutch cats, fat cats and cats on tin roofs

Suarez Soolsma in da house!

Welcome to our newest regular feature "Chants on Goal" where we bring our Yorkies' flavour to TFC terrace songs and chants. We're not trying to reinvent the BMO Field choir-wheel but giving you a few of our ridiculous favourite "hits" for you to enjoy and, if you feel the musical urge, bring them to your corner of the stadium. While there may be an absence of "ole's" allez" "Reds" "rouges" "love" and/or "f*cks", we hope they may inspire your inner BMO-balladist!
Enjoy Nick Soolsma and his love for his pet cat Suarez? This feline fancy-tune may scratch that itch!

SOOLSMEOW MIX (to the "Meow Mix" theme song)
He likes chicken
He likes liver
Soolsma, Soolsma,
He delivers

meow, meow, meow, meow,
meow, meow, meow, meow,
meow, meow, meow, meow,
meow, meow, meow, meow,

(optional second verse for you go-getters!)

Cat named Suarez
He's our winger
Soolsma, Soolsma
He delivers

meow, meow, meow, meow,
meow, meow, meow, meow,
meow, meow, meow, meow,
meow, meow, meow, meow


Not feeling the love from the owners? No Beer! No Gear!

ROCK THE ML$E (to the tune of "Rock the Casbah")
Anselmi don't like us...
Don't stuff his cashbox!
Don't stuff his cashbox!

(repeat until everyone gets it)

Love everything from Salford including ginger defenders and Coronation Street? Put on your Deirdre glasses for this one..

ECKERNATION STREET (to the "Coronation Street" theme)
Oooooooh, Richard Eckersley
Plays right-back ginger-ly
Signed from Burnley
Richard Eckersley...

Got a song or a chant you tthink TFC supporters need to hear? Email it to us at or send us the idea on Twitter @theyorkies1812 and we may feature it in a future "Chants on Goal"

Monday, May 28, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Toronto FC vacation plans

A shirtless Richard Eckersley, yesterday

After racking up their many league win, Toronto FC players have been given a much-deserved (?) rest during the International break. While some of the squad have been called into duty for their National sides, the remaining players and staff get to enjoy a little fun in the sun before their next MLS fixture. This got us wondering... just what does a member of "The Best Team in Canada" get up to when faced with some early summer r n' r?
11. ARON WINTER: Visiting local hospitals - offering "pity"
10: DICOY WILLIAMS: Continuing to maintain the football world's most dramatically emotional Twitter account
9. BOB DE KLERK: Getting "promoted" to new role as TFC's "Assistant to the Regional Equipment Manager"
8. REGGIE LAMBE: Hanging out with Joao Plata - feeling tall
7. NICK SOOLSMA: Visiting Orono, Ontario's "Jungle Cat World" - sending Suarez a mournful postcard
6. RICHARD ECKERSLEY: Searching Toronto-area pharmacies for the elusive SPF 470 sunblock... before it's too late!
5. TORSTEN FRINGS: Buying souvenir baseball caps - reversing them
4. STEFAN FREI: Working on his beard - trying to get "Swiss Hobo Chic" trending in men's fashion
3. ADRIAN CANN: Working out his abs into a 14-pack
2. DANNY KOEVERMANS: Taking family up the CN Tower - proclaiming it as "the world's worst freestanding structure"

1. TOM ANSELMI: Deflecting/scheming/plotting/sucking

Saturday, May 26, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Philadelphia... or would a Chumbawumba quote be just too absurd?

Here's a fun fact about being 0-0-9 AND national champions at the same time : you start to expect things.

The mighty Robins looked really good against Vancouver mid-week and their persistence / luck paid off (finally).  So as an opportunity to build momentum, the scheduling gods predicted both TFC's pending mediocrity and corner-turning momentum to hand us a date with one of the second-worst teams in the league in Philadelphia.  Perfect dramatic context to this fixture.

Today's match is under the heat and humidity expected for late-May in this area.  Our 6 weeks of spring has passed us already.

Predictions :

A bunch of 2-0 and 1-0 guesses, with a 2-1, 3-0 and a "4 and up"-0 for the Robins.  We had a 2-0 for the visitors and a for 0-0 draws.

Quote of the Match :

Oh look, all the blogs I don't read gotta stick together

~ @jonsinden commenting on @theyorkies1812, @rohankoomar,
, @wakingthered and yours truly all sitting together

We're a cartel.

8' - Plata takes a boot to the face but the ref gives advantage and Lambe fires a shot at the Philly keeper Ogopogo (I'm SURE that's his name) who parries it back into the path of Lambe who gets around the downed keeper and shoots it across the face of goal, albeit at a tight angle.

30' - YELLOW - Morgan goes into the books for a bit of a rough tackle from behind.

43' - YELLOW - deGoo for something.  Didn't see.

Half-time mood : Optimism slipping into a deep deep sleep.

50' - A Farfan (there are twins) has a go from 30 yards and the rocket hits the cross bar.  Too close.

54 - SUB - Lambe makes way for Eckersley.  Though I'm disappointed for Lambe going off, there must be more to it, I'm excited to introduce the new terrace classic!

(to the tune of The Beatles "Let it be")

He was just a young lad in
Man United's academy
Raging ginger right back

Out on loan for a season
permanent move from Burnley
Raging ginger right back

Eckersley, Eckersley,
Eckersley, Eckersley,
Raging ginger right back

60' - SUB - The battered Plata makes way for quotemeister Koevermans.  Bag a brace Danny!

63' - Cross from Frings gets headed down by Henry, forcing a big save from Ogopogo.  Koevermans right there waiting for a loose ball.

70' - SUB - Soolsma comes on for Silva.

88' - GOAL - Soolsma from the left puts a low cross that Ogopogo gets to but can't hold onto, Koevermans bobbles and thighs the ball into the back of the net.  Rock rock on!

4 minutes of extra time

90' - Soolsma gets another low ball to the top of the 6 yard box where Johnson is there and tries to battle his defenders for a space to shoot instead of passing it 3 yards to his right to a wide open Koevermans.  Disappointing.

Full-time : Toronto 1, Philadelphia 0

Man of the Match : We debated a few names and we're going with Cann.  Now, some of his clearances were suspect but he marked his man very well and wasn't caught out of position.  Frings was the obvious choice and he played very well, but just not this time.

Goat of the game : I'm going to go with Johnson only because he should have had better play on the ball and some of his shots were bad.

Ref Rating : 2 out of 5.  Nowhere near as bad as the V-cup match with Vancouver, but still terrible and inconsistent.

Happy for Koevermans and the goal.  He needed to prove to himself and his teammates that he wasn't quitting but frustrated.  Message received... Philadelphia's kits are ugly.  I like the colours, just the kit is terrible.  It looks like the designer spilled gold paint on a navy shirt around the neck.  They are not pretty.  Consider going for 3 wide gold stripes on the front and navy all over... Frings' body language just screamed frustration.  Not sure if he's frustrated with his game, his teammates' games or everyone's game.  But I get it... Who else gets frustrated with deGoo's hostile antics.  It would work if he were tough and had a reputation as being tough, but it comes across a bit juvenile.  Conspiracy is his contract gives him monetary bonuses for yellow cards collected... Good lord it was humid today... Do you ever wonder if "bad reffing" is endemic of MLS, football everywhere, the general lack of respect of players towards officials and how that transposes to supporters or the general lack of acceptance of technology for the officials to do a better job of making the correct calls.  Or is it just me thinking that MLS officials are terribly substandard... Finally some of the supporters are singing songs with negative epithets (i.e. swears) along with the upper echelons of the TFC front office. Too late or better late than not at all?

So there's going to be a bit of a break from home team footie, I would like to appeal to you, the soccer supporter.  This won't be a heavy handed approach, this is just plain and simple.
Canada v USA is June 3rd for the Centenary match
Canada v Honduras is June 12th for a World Cup Qualifier. 
Come to one, come to both.  Bring people you know and people you don't know, but come.  Show those who support the visiting team who's house their in.  

Player Ratings : Kocic 7, Hall 6, Cann 7, Henry 6.5, Morgan 6.5, Frings 7, de Guzman 6.5, Silva 6 [Soolsma 8]; Lambe 6.5 [Eckersley 7.5], Johnson 6, Plata 6.5 [Koevermans 7]

If following me on twitter @ignirtoq is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.  Don't know how amusing I am in 140 character limits, but I chime in.  And follow the others too from the quote of the match bit.  They're usually the instigators of footy-related absurdities.

Friday, May 25, 2012

THE MATCHUP: “Union Day" at BMO Field!

Danny Callif's button went unclaimed

Okay. Is THIS the real "new beginning"? After every cup victory for TFC this year, much has been made that the result would be the catalyst for much needed league success. As we all know, that has yet to happen but if the team spirit isn't right after snagging the club's fourth Canadian Championship on Wednesday evening, it may never be. The timing may be right for The Reds to break their league duck as Union are as close to a fellow struggler as we could find. But... what if it doesn't happen? If TFC falls back into old habits and... gasp... go 0-10... what next? The ever cool Aron Winter doesn't seem too worried but with no more cup matches until Champions League, the league is where they must now find victory.
While we rarely rant in a pre-match (we leave that for every other post and Twitter), we nearly choked on our own prognostication when TFC emailed their "valued" season ticket holders yesterday to inform us of the exciting "Caribbean Carnival" and Oktoberfest" promotions on their way. We have always joked that when BMO Field got to be half-full that a truckload of thundersticks, the "TFC City Dancers" and adorable mascot "StrikerPup" (TM) would emerge but we didn't expect ML$E to bite so soon. This is exactly the kind of garbage that a club that is far more interested in profits than product pulls. The lack of this stupidity is what drew genuine football fans to TFC in the first place. BMO Field was NOT like most of the other MLS stadiums that were drowning in "family fun" promotions and thus became renowned for its "real football experience". So "Teflon" Tom Anselmi - if you want to pack the house again, cut out this promo trash and give your "real fans" what they want - a stable and successful club on the pitch.
If you want to read more on this very bad sign for the future of the club, we highly recommend our good friend Duncan Fletcher's article on the topic at Waking The Red.
Now back to regularly scheduled idiocy...
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The Fresh Prince of Wales Trophy"
TORONTO: Torsten Frings, Danny Koevermans, Ashtone Morgan
PHILADELPHIA: Freddy Adu, Danny Mwanga, Carlos Valdes
ML$E gameday promotion on Saturday will be...
- "United Steelworkers present "Union Day": 3-1
- "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air-A-Palooza": 10-1
- "Snakes in the South Stand Day": 25-1
The Danny Koevermans-billed "Worst Team in the World" moniker has gotten TFC into some hot water as basketball's Washington Generals are contemplating legal action. The Generals, best-known as the Harlem Globetrotters' whipping boys, make their living off of the "World's Worst Team" angle and are unhappy at TFC's claim to infame. Luckily it seems like a compromise will be found as ML$E's promotions department is adding a special gameday event where The Generals will play a "soccer-basketball" friendly vs. Toronto FC. The Generals will dress as Caribbean Germans while TFC will wear their special "Support the Troops" camouflage kits (soon available at RealSports for $129.99). Members of Liverpool FC's reserve squad will be the game officials. "All For One $"!

And now... because it's Friday and the Union have a snake on their badge... what else would we play? But since Duran Duran are unionized - here's some dude named Wilson from 1985...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Vancouver... Or worst champions evar!?!?1!!!

When I think of the V-cup (formerly the NutCan), I think of stupid 8pm kick-offs and a traditional staring competition with the eye of some storm.  I'm not impressed that the correlation doesn't involve a championship.

Can you believe it? We've won this thing before.  Many times. Consecutively. Strange... And poor Vancouver - a beacon of domestic supremacy (*spit* 86ers!) for the better part of 20+ years.  This is truly a bizarro scenario.

If you're visiting this site for the first time, what the hell are you doing here?  Here's a recap: haven't earned a point all season yet yet on the cusp of silverwear, the striker thinks he's on the worst team in the world, we're grateful for a lack of relegation and a "coffee gopher" may very well be our next manager.

And Koevermans' enlightenment has found him on the bench.  Tactical I'm sure...

Predictions were 2-1, 2-0, 1-0 for the visitors, 2-1, 3-2, 4 (and up)-0 for Toronto and a 3-3 draw.  I called 1-1 and the Robins win on penalties.

On to the match:

Capo : Everybody, hands up
Tony : We're being robbed!

5' - Plata is injured!  At least he should be with how he's playing.  Check this out, he received a pass and instead of doing 4 stepovers, he had a go for 25 yards out.  Stopped by Cannon.

7' - Plata gets on the end of a cross with a weak glancing header but it handcuffs Cannon trickling just past the face of goal.

Quote of the Match:
If you ask me, I believe the Queen had her offed.
~ Brandon on Winter's formation and not the conspiracy
surrounding the death of Lady Diana.

21' - If Vancouver goes up 1-0, I hear they've got an earthquake planned for this year's natural disaster...

36' - Free kick has Frings launch a low rocket just wide of the net.

Half-Time mood : content.  Toronto are playing well right now.

54' - SUB - Avila goes down hurt and Koevermans is about to come on the pitch, however...

56' - RED - deGoo hits the showers for slapping Davidson but was likely getting at least a yellow for shoving Le Toux.  In all fairness, Le Toux goes off for his second yellow.  Davidson stayed down a long time for that slap.  Musta been a haymaker.

60' - SUB - Eckersley comes into the game for the injured Avila.

63' - Cross gets glanced again, this time by Lambe, that rolls across the face of goal.  If only we had a #10 type player sitting on the bench...

75' - YELLOW - Lambe goes into the books for a hard foul with no ball.

77' - SUB - Plata makes way for Soolsma.

81' - Eckersley beats his man and slides a pretty ball across the box that Soolsma leans into and slams it into the back the net.  I should mention that he was a few feet offside when he received it.

83' - GOAL - Lambe undoes two defenders and pots it past Cannon.

84' - SUB - Lambe comes off for Dunfield.

85' - YELLOW - Henry gets booked for something.

85' - Vancouver free kick just goes over the bar.  Ohmygoodness...

5 minutes of extra time

90+3' - Vancouver corner had everyone come down for it, including Cannon.  Kocic goes up for it and misses and takes a knock.  Thankfully, the ball was cleared by Morgan.

Full-Time : Somehow... Toronto 1, Vancouver 0

Toronto FC, against all common sense and expectations and currently 0-0-9 in league play, are your Voyageurs Cup Champions.  Yeah, I know, right?

It's also been brought to my attention that Toronto FC goes right into the Champs League main groups... mind you, so does everyone else.  Eight groups of 3 teams each.

Man of the Match : Frings was excellent.  Also, Plata played well, Morgan was very good too.

Goat of the Game : deGoo for the stupidity on the pitch, but otherwise he wasn't that bad.  And Vancouver were playing "very aggressively", which should be read as "being big asshats" so I get his frustration.  (Maybe it is my bias, but before I can be called on that, read some of my other reports how I bury the mighty Robins.)

Ref Rating : 1 out of 5.  Piss piss poor.  Linesmen were bad.  The ref lost control quickly of the match.  Blew plenty of easy calls.  They should get a +1 for not falling for Hassli's antics, but get a -1 for not booking his whining disposition.

Seriously, we're the worst champions in the world.  Quite possibly in history.  Granted, I don't think there are many national championships awarded after a 4-team 2-leg knock-out competition... Plata was cutting back on his step-overs and I hope he realized he was far more effective because of it... I kinda felt bad for Koevermans not getting subbed.  I understood why, as the red card changed the strategic dynamic of the game.  I was certain he would come on as Johnson was about to lose his crap all over his marker, but he did not... Toronto controlled most of the first half, and a good chunk of the second half.  Vancouver didn't get many clear opportunities at Kocic and that's big props to Toronto's back four... Seriously Hassli, in your career, has pleading with officials made your game that much more effective?  You play rough and weren't called on it, and you were roughed up and weren't called on it.  Which way would you prefer?... Speaking of Koevermans, I totally get his frustrations.  At 0-0-9, someone has to break their silence... I should give a few shout-outs.  Aside from the usual @theyorkies1812 and @rohankoomar, its nice to see @kzknowles hanging out and enjoying the madness. 

Sometimes, just sometimes, I'd like my football team to be, you know, ordinary and boring.  You know Kansas City doesn't have stupid drama like this.  Neither does San Jose.  Neither does Chicago.  I'm sure they have dramas, but this is just beyond normal.  Oh football... how I adore thee. C'mon you Robins!

Player Ratings : Kocic 7, Hall 6, Cann 6, Henry 6.5, Morgan 7, deGoo 6, Frings 7, Plata 7.5 [Soolsma 7], Johnson 6.5, Avila 6 [Eckersley 6.5], Lambe 7 [Dunfield N/A]

Should boredom ensue, please follow me on twitter @ignirtoq and see the madness whenever I choose to contribute.  The name comes from a character I had in a video game for a few years.  It is not football related.  Otherwise, popping in from time to time just to see what's up is totally acceptable.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Earth, Wind & Dire

"The Giant Laser is working!!!... er, I mean, look... a storm."

With all of the off-season expectations of better things to come forgotten, Toronto FC's 2012 season has (already) come down to this. There is no other chance at glory this year apart from hoisting the club's fourth Voyageurs Cup. The Reds have a slight advantage going in after scoring a key away goal in the first leg but, if the team that Danny Koevermans' hinted may be the worst in the world right now, plays as they did on Saturday in D.C. - that advantage will be wiped out. Unless of course, a violent weather front wipes out the game first. Optimism!
A loss on Wednesday could of course have much deeper repercussions than just an empty spot in TFC's trophy case. A loss in "The Cank" may very well give the Tom Anselmi-led front office cabal all of the ammunition they need in some supporters' eyes to put an end to Aron Winter's reign. With the palace coup coronation of Jim Brennan to first in line to the throne complete, the transition could be swift and Brennan (or as he will be managerially known: Jose Cappuccino) may soon be in charge. Of course, a win would be more fun - if not for the relief of victory but rather the chance to enter the CONCACAF Champions League as Canada's representative with a potential 0-20 league record. It would be CSA-riffic!
"The Great Canadian Bagel II: Cank's for the Memories"
TORONTO: Ryan Johnson, Danny Koevermans, Nick Soolsma
VANCOUVER: Camilo, Eric Hassli, Darren Mattocks
- Massive thunderstorm: 3-1
- Baker's dozen of tornadoes: 10-1
- Biblical plague of frogs: 30-1
The conspiracy theorists amongst the Vancouver Whitecaps supporters have already complained to the CSA, CONCACAF and the United Nations after strange gambling trends around this match have been detected from Asia. Large amounts of money have suddenly been put onto "Southern Ontario low pressure fronts", "Nor'Easters" and "Giant Laser Accident/ Toronto". There has been no official word yet from any official football body, Environment Canada, Ban-Ki Moon or any local supervillains.

And... since it's Tuesday(?!) and we all need a dance... if tactics and/or inclement weather don't do the trick, we can try this...

Monday, May 21, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Innocent football terms and/or Joe Cannon adult films

Oh sometimes this stuff just writes itself

For every Johan de Kock there has been a Fabian Assman. Where would Florian Dick be without Ralf Minge? While Major League Soccer may not possess a nom du foot quite as blunt as a Stefan Kuntz, there can be no doubt who tops the list as "Most Likely to Appear in Porn Credits": Joe Cannon. What a gift the Vancouver Whitecaps goalkeeper was been given by his family - a name that Dirk Diggler would have... well you know... all over. It's hard (chuckle) not to whip out (oh stop it, perv) the double entendres when reporting on Whitecaps matches so as we head towards the 2nd Leg Final on Wednesday we try to separate innocent football terminology from following the words "Joe Cannon starring in..."
11. "Box to Box Action"
10. "Out Comes The Magic Spray"
9. "Furious Five-A-Side Play"
8. "Man-To-Man Marking"
7. "Changing Ends at the Half"
6. "Beating the Keeper"
5. "Handling in the Area"
4. "Winning over Two Legs"
3. "Caught Ball Watching"
2. "A Tremendous Solo Effort"
1. "Spoiling his Clean Sheet"

Wait? What?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

AFTER 90: United in failure

Leaving the foggy past well behind him

Can this league drought possibly continue?
Will De Ro fail to score against us twice?
Will there be a parade if TFC gets a draw?
Does Winter dare rest starters before Wednesday's ACC Final?
Is ghost Robert F. Kennedy ashamed of his shoddy stadium?
Are we really a less desirable club than Chivas USA?
Does Jim Brennan try Winter's chair when he leaves the room?

1' - GOAL: D.C. United - Dwayne De Rosario
12' - YELLOW CARD - Ryan Johnson
43' - GOAL: D.C. United - Dwayne De Rosario

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: The pre-match warm-ups
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Barely sitting down before being down


45' - SUB: Danny Koevermans on for Terry Dunfield
68' - SUB: Nick Soolsma on for Joao Plata
71' - GOAL: Toronto - Danny Koevermans
73' - GOAL: D.C. United - Hamdi Salihi

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Danny Koevermans taking time out from a mid-match meal to score
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: Reading the sad online reactions of the one set of fans in MLS who have been used and abused like no others


PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 6 / Jeremy Hall 5.5 / Adrian Cann 5 / Doneil Henry 6 / Ashtone Morgan 6 / Terry Dunfield 5 (Danny Koevermans 6.5) / Julian de Guzman 6 / Eric Avila 5.5 / Reggie Lambe 6 / Ryan Johnson 6.5 / Joao Plata 5 (Nick Soolsma 6)


It's been emotional. While watching Dwayne De Rosario put the sword to TFC tonight was always going to polarize his former supporters, it was fitting that a man from the club's past helped dispatch an organization that still has the same issues that have plagued it annually. Let's be real - there is no use calling for Aron Winter's firing (even though it is likely) because the rot that permeates TFC's hallways comes straight from the top and oozes down to the most junior employee. There is no fix, because an abyss has been formed where the real culprits of this club's demise are untouchables who are mentally incapable of not meddling in team affairs and turning the front office into a political melodrama.

To some, the easy answer tonight is "Fire the coach!". While it is hard to argue the logic, as the team is drifting aimlessly, it will be a bandage on a broken leg that comes with a very likely unpleasant after effect - the coup-like ascendancy of Jim Brennan into the manager's role. There will be many an ML$E PR man rubbing his hands at the thought of "Team Legend" (cough) and new Manager Brennan having the chance at a Voyageurs Cup victory photo-op but that will be a folly too far for this shambolic club. At this point though, with Tom Anselmi and his cabal's iron grip over this club's fate not slipping an inch - does any of it make a difference? And even worse, how many more one-time fans care less tonight?

Friday, May 18, 2012


Oh Suarez Soolsma, you are so timely.

TV: TSN2 ------RADIO: THE FAN 590
It's deja vu all over again! It was only a couple of weeks ago that TFC was coming off a heartening draw in the Canadian Championship only to be dropped back down to Earth by D.C. United. Fast forward to this weekend and here we go again. With Aron Winter able to talk of "progress" after the draw in Vancouver, expectant eyes will be on The Reds to prove that they aren't just "a cup team". After the coup-style installation of Jim Brennan into the assistant's role, there is a feeling that Winter's job is only safe on a game-to-game basis and a prospective 0-9 MLS record may leave the Dutchman hanging on by a soul patch whisker.
D.C. UNITED: Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius, Hamdi Salihi
TORONTO: Ryan Johnson, Doneil Henry, Danny Koevermans
- "A pity": 2-1
- "Unlucky bounces": 3-1
- "Progress": 5-1
After this week's visit to the White House by MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy, Toronto FC had made a request to visit the football fan President Obama while in town. Sadly it was due to an ex-TFC player, Chad Barrett, that the request was denied. During Galaxy's visit, Barrett attempted to shake Obama's hand but his aim veered wildly up an over the President's approach. Barrett's shake attempt instead hit Vice-President Joe Biden squarely in the jaw sending the Secret Service into action, wrestling the striker to the ground. Barrett has not been seen since that day while Major League Soccer has been placed on the no-fly list.
And now a word from Nick Soolsma's cat, live in Washington D.C.


"I'm Suarez Soolsma and I endorse this message"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

AFTER 90: With all to play for...

BC Place: actual attendance pictured


Could this be the end to TFC's Canadian reign?
Will Aron Winter "park the bus" at BC Place?
Will he let Ryan Johnson know beforehand?
Who has to wash BC Place's giant curtains?
Has the Whitecaps schedule left them tired?
Are Granola Buttys a thing?
Am I the only one who would trade Vancouver's assistant coach Carl Robinson for our new one?
11' - YELLOW CARD: Jeremy Hall
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHT: Scrappy teamwork to cover errors
FIRST HALF LOWLIGHT: Seeing Carl Robinson as Vancouver's assistant... then seeing ours
49' - YELLOW CARD: Terry Dunfield
64' - SUB: Danny Koevermans in for Eric Avila
66' - GOAL: Toronto - Ryan Johnson
71' - SUB: Nick Soolsma in for Reggie Lambe
79' - SUB: Luis Silva in for Joao Plata
90'+ - GOAL: Vancouver - Eric Hassli
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHT: Ryan Johnson officially earning the name "Cup Killah"
SECOND HALF LOWLIGHT: A lightning bolt strike by Hassli
PLAYER RATINGS: Milos Kocic 6.5 / Jeremy Hall 6 / Adrian Cann 6.5 / Doneil Henry 7 / Ashtone Morgan 6 / Terry Dunfield 7 / Julian de Guzman 5.5 / Eric Avila 5.5 (Danny Koevermans 5) / Reggie Lambe 6 (Nick Soolsma 6.5) / Ryan Johnson 7 / Joao Plata 5.5 (Luis Silva N/A)
Unlike the 1st Leg against Montreal in the Canadian Championship Semi-Final, we are left with a feeling that Toronto FC actually played to plan tonight. Rather than simply parking the bus, Aron Winter's pre-match promise of counter-attacking football actually came to fruition. With the daring to pressure a very lacklustre Vancouver, of course came the reward in a massive away goal.
While The Reds were by no means a polished football machine, they managed to blend some scrappy teamwork and kept the pressure on Whitecaps who looked disjointed for large stretches. But, as one would expect from a cup match between these two clubs, a shocking moment turned everything on its head when Eric Hassli scored a wonder goal that no goalkeeper could have stopped. If nothing else, Toronto fans are in for a 2nd Leg treat next week with all to play for. Weather permitting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Second-year expansion club faces Vancouver for Canadian Cup glory

So hot right now!

Before the farcical coaching moves made yesterday, Toronto FC's website was extolling the possible virtues of returning to the all-out defensive style employed by Aron Winter in the semi-final first leg. Now when the club's official website "reports" something like this, you should likely take it as more of a public service announcement than journalism. They are almost preparing their fans for the worst in a type of pre-emptive strike against criticism.

While that defensive "tactic" worked against Montreal, Vancouver is a different kettle of salmon with a lot more firepower up front than Impact. If The Reds, who will be missing Torsten Frings and Richard Eckersley, allow this one to become a one-way shooting gallery, they will likely find themselves facing far more danger than Montreal could threaten. A tough decision for Winter who must be aware that a loss in this competition may mark his TFC demise. Again.
"The Great Canadian Bagel: Cank Edition"
VANCOUVER: Joe Cannon, Eric Hassli, Lee Young-Pyo
TORONTO: Milos Kocic, Reggie Lambe, Nick Soolsma
- Hipster Vancouver fans being silenced in awe over Jim Brennan's sideline hair-do and soul patch combination: 3-1
- Aron Winter being forced by the TFC front office to play a 4-4-2 formation - telling the press that "it's for the good of the team": 10-1
- Bob de Klerk's new job description includes literally parking the team's bus in front of Milos Kocic: 20-1
Vancouver, British Columbia... "The Windy City", "Sin City", "The House that Ruth Built". Canada's Pacific jewel is a town of modest folk who never sing their own praises despite constantly making the Top 5 on The Economist's annual "Most Righteous Cities to get your Buzz On" and "Cleanest Cities to Hold a Riot in" lists. Founded in 1972 by Dutch explorer/ narcotocist Jan Van Koevermans (no relation), the modern metropolis has become a global leader in sandal technology as well as a research hub into the mysteries of muesli.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Reds' bench takes a (hipster) haircut

The proverbial hipster Cheshire Cat

After a long and gruelling FIFTEEN MONTHS coaching Toronto FC's fledgling U-17 team, Newmarket's soccer royalty was gifted the job of TFC Assistant Coach today. Yes, the hipster-hairdo'd/soul patch aficionado Jim Brennan has replaced the bombastic Dutchman Bob de Klerk as Aron Winter's number two. The surprise move was suddenly announced today - you know, just in case fans started to feel that TFC had taken a turn for the better.
The hilariously entertaining and experienced de Klerk has been moved into a role called "Technical Manager". Technically speaking - it sounds like a demotion. He will apparently have "a more active role in the day-to-day operations of the club off-the-pitch," according to his friend and Manager Aron Winter - who may have just felt the first broadside by the TFC old-boys network. While there is nothing wrong with building a strong backroom, the movement of someone who is seemingly the boss's right-hand man is murky at best.
Shifting de Klerk to a role of that ilk is not necessarily a negative move... if a qualified professional is taking his place. But, this is not the case. As stated above, Brennan's claim to coaching fame is corralling TFC's teens for just over a year. An important job - but not one that gives you any insight into the world of professional level management. Many will say "but he was the club's captain", which is fine and good but his captaincy was one that was laced with rumours of his very cozy relationship with management in a time of great tumult amongst his teammates. He didn't leave the position behind with a lilywhite perception.
Much will be trumpeted (and excused) that Brennan is a good Canadian and it's important for Toronto FC to foster young Canadian coaches - but this is pure folly. Toronto FC is a large, professional club in the highest level of North American football and not a place where coaches should be "learning" their trade. If that is the case, why didn't Canadian citizen, Senior Academy manager and player with even more experience Danny Dichio or even long-time TFC coach Jason Bent get the job? Perhaps Tom Anselmi and Earl Cochrane watching from the stands today might give some insight.
Aron Winter will say all the right things about the changes made today but it would be shocking if any of this was his idea. Instead, it seems like the Machiavellian workings of the TFC/MLSE power brokers at work once again. Much like Jim Brennan's haircuts, this stupidity won't end soon.

THE STARTING 11: Other ways to defend against Vancouver

Puff, puff, percolate!

Why it seems like only yesterday that nature's fury was walloping Teitur Thordarson's weathered Icelandic face and forcing a replay to the Canadian Cup final. As we all know, Toronto FC eventually beat Crystal Meth Palace FC (Whitecaps to their friends) and The Voyaguers Cup remained in its rightful home for another year. However, things have changed in 12 months - Vancouver is flying high in MLS while TFC is... well... making progress? As the two foes meet again for this year's final, it looks like Aron Winter will return to his dreaded defensive 9-1-1 formation for Wednesday's 1st Leg. We propse to Winter that parking the bus as he did at The Olympic Stadium isn't the only way to slow down the Vancouverites...
11. Hold their 1979 SoccerBowl trophy for ransom
10. Get Mo Johnston to screw Whitcaps' assistant Carl Robinson out of another job
9. Upset locals by telling the media that Stan Smyl's moustache was nothing but a tool of the ultra right-wing military industrial complex
8. Take out any Sasquatches early in the match
7. Infuriate Vancouver's South Korean defender by refusing to call him Lee Young-Pyo or Young-Pyo Lee but rather Young Lee-Pyo
6. Wash and dry their Lululemon yoga pants on the hot cycle
5. Relentlessly tease Martin Nash by calling him "Poor Man's Steve"
4. Keep stepping on the heel of their Birkenstocks
3. Interrupt scoreboard instant replays with clips of Whitecaps' GK/adult film star Joe Cannon's latest XXX feature "Dribbling in the Box II: Give & Go"
2. Secretly switch their regular weed with new Folger's Crystals!
1. Two words: granola laxatives

Friday, May 11, 2012

If he goes will there be trouble? If he stays will it be double?

The Winter and his discontent

Make no mistake, Wednesday evening's victory over Montreal was a much needed breathe of fresh air for Toronto FC and their long-suffering supporters. Beyond the win and progression to the Canadian Championship finals, simply being entertained and having a bit of the old "BMO Field atmosphere" return was nice. However, far from being the instant solution or reprieve for Aron Winter's management regime, the result has caused many to ponder... "What now"?
Obviously there are only two paths that can be followed. Does the club take the win as a sign that things have finally clicked and give the Dutchman and his team their full backing? Or, if results in the near future do not follow Wednesday's trend, does MLSE pull the plug on Winter's big experiment and start anew... again. At this moment there isn't a clear answer. Many TFC supporters want to see the affable manager make this work while an equal number are tired of waiting while he stubbornly pushes his vision without bending. No matter what decision is made, there will be good and bad to it.
- Wednesday night was not a fluke and the club continues to display the same type of desire, determination and skill-set within the system and pushes on positively
- TFC, while distant long-shots for the playoffs already, make some noise in the league for the rest of 2012 as spoilers, win the Canadian Championship and return some of the excitement to BMO Field that has been absent for most of the season
- Winter and the management team use the summer transfer window to bolster the line-up and fill in the holes where he feels they need a talent upgrade
- The ownership finally shows fans the patience to see through a grand re-building program to its finish and the wisdom to not meddle or put up roadblocks to Winter's requests for further transactions
- As laid out by Winter and his team on their 2011 arrival, the third season of his plan is where all of the pieces finally come together and his vision bears fruit
- The team falls back into old habits quickly and their slide into MLS infamy becomes near-farcical while Winter drifts through season with plummeting support
- Paul Mariner becomes even less involved with Winter's vision and his role becomes alarmingly diminished to the point of possible departure from club
- Winter's uncertain future makes him a "lame-duck" manager in the ownership's eyes and his flexibility during the summer transfer window is stunted
- Involvement from the club's "backroom" becomes more prominent creating a split in the club between those that back Winter's vision and those "company men" who would rather return to the tested waters of a SuperDraft-built "North American" style
- TFC stutters into oblivion through the summer months leaving BMO Field with close to 50% capacity for many matches later in the season and 2013 Season Ticket sales taking a sharp drop
- Without delay, a very competent and tested duo of Paul Mariner as Director and Steve Nicol as Manager (or a similar proven combo) are put into place and given complete control of football operations
- The installation of a more basic push-and-run formation manages to get results from the existing squad
- Making a complete clean sweep prior to the summer transfer window allows the new management team to begin adjusting the squad to fit their style
- The new management uses the remainder of the 2012 season to prepare for the off-season and into 2013 without pause
- Ownership looks proactive if the correct move is made and manages to salvage some hope for better times ahead
- Ownership takes the lazy and economic route by installing an existing employee such as Thomas Rongen as a caretaker manager before holding one of their infamous off-season "exhaustive searches" which ends in the pandering installation of "Canadian GM" Earl Cochrane and "legendary" manager Danny Dichio
- Whatever management team is chosen still being unable to steady the ship and forcing supporters to realize that the rot is so deeply set that long-term improvement is unlikely
- Entering the off-season with no plan and no vision leading to moves akin to Nathan Sturgis for a 1st Round Draft Pick
- MLSE's inept "old boy" network gaining full control over football operations sending the club careening into a spiral that is dominated by pathetic promotional campaigns over any real substantial football decision-making
- A real and lasting damage caused to what remains of the loyal fan-base when they are faced with yet another "re-building" process.
No easy answers then, despite what side of the fence you currently stand on. Who wouldn't really want to see the gentleman scholar that is Aron Winter succeed in Toronto? Finding those that dislike him for reasons apart from the club's record is near impossible. However, everyone knows where nice guys finish and if the desire for change is present in the backrooms of MLSE, then sadly there is no time like the present. Whatever decision is made, the ownership needs to make it, get out of the way and accept responsibility for its result.
And now (since it's Friday despite the week off) the best thing to play a New York stadium since.... Alessandro Nesta?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT - Toronto v Montreal... or When will the bleeding stop?

My apologies for the delay.  I'm sick.  Sore throat, congestion, the whole shooting match.

Sure, Toronto hasn't won a game in the MLS so far, but when you think of it, they haven't done too bad in all other competitions in 2012.  1-2-1 in Champs League and unbeaten in V-Cup.

OK, optimism over.  There isn't much of an excuse as to why this side is as mediocre as they are.  They should have a winning record with this side.  Maybe a little 3-3-2 or something like that.  But no.  Last Saturday's match was such a scam, Groupon would have to offer refunds.

And optimism isn't flying high around the stands.  Predictions were 2-0, 2-1 for les Fromages, but there were 2-0 and a gutsy 2-1 after extra time for the mighty Robins.

Onto the match.

2' - GOAL - No f'ing way!  Plata has a go in front of a crowded new and gets blocked, but the deflection lands on the path of Lambe who buries it.

15' - RED - Wha?  Eckserley gets sent off for what, we have no idea.  Early theories included the Illuminati, the Saudis, both George Bushes, the North Koreans (and Kim Jong-Il is still alive), al-qaeda and the Girl Guides of Canada.  After reviewing the tape (yes, we have the technology), it was declared a stomp on Ubiparipovic, which I don't think was remotely intentional.  Stupid ref.

19' - Avila has a go from in close to be parried away by Ricketts

38' - GOAL - Cann takes a swing from 12 yds out and the deflection ends up in front of Johnson who buries it.

40' - YELLOW - Cann for a non-foul. Stupid ref.

Quote of the Match
Corradi is a Gaddafi
~ Tony calling it like he sees it

43' - Plata's trademark "too many touches" gets him closed down but this time beats a defender or two and scoots the ball to Johnson who just fires it wide.

Half-Time mood : I'm going to go with relief.

56' - SUB - Avila comes off for Dunfield

67' - SUB - Plata makes way for Hall

73' - SUB - Lambe gets a nice round of applause and makes way for the returning Soolsma.

4 minutes of extra time (for WHAT?!?!)

90+3' - Soolsma gets a break down the wing and though he could've taken it, lays an oh-so-pretty ball across for Johnson who goes low but is stopped by the diving Ricketts.  Heady stuff here.

Full Time : Toronto 2, Montreal 0

Man of the Match :  Frings.  The guy was everywhere tonight.

Goat of the Game : none, surprisingly.

Ref Rating : When he wasn't handing out bookings for made up stupid shit, he wasn't bad. We'll give the crew 2 out of 5.

Did we mention that Frings was everywhere? Well, he was... This is the second time this season that Toronto loses someone to a straight red and play BETTER than they were.  I'm thinking we need to play more 4-3-2... Both of Toronto's goals, though well earned and reflective of their dominance, were off of defensive deflections.  Not complaining in the slightest... I know TFC have to market their away kits to the home support and all, but we should never have to wear them.  Unless they're some awesome navy/silver striped kit.  We are available for kit design consultation... Lambe's acquisition is turning into the diamond in the rough kinda thing that we always hope for.  He's aggressive and doesn't quit... Felt bad for Ecks as he was running the right side of the pitch very well, turning guys inside out and got an early shower for an ill-timed block... I'm still in shock every time I see Soolsma do something good.  The 2011 version angered me so much that it's going to take a while for the 2012 version to erase him from the memory banks.  Perhaps a hat trick will do it... The mighty Robins played with heart and no quit, polar opposite of the side on Saturday.  More team talks for everyone!

Anyone interested in The Yorkies Set 2011 of cards, please inquire within as there are a handful of sets remaining.

Player Ratings : Kocic 6.5, Eckersley N/A, Cann 6, Henry 6, Morgan 6.5, deGoo 6, Frings 7, Avila 6.5 [Dunfield 6], Lambe 6.5 [Soolsma 6], Johnson 6.5, Plata 6 [Hall N/A]

(I'm not the most compelling tweeter but if you're bored, follow me @ignirtoq.  Not as brilliant as @theyorkies1812, but I do what I can.)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

THE MATCHUP: Winter's end?

Goodbye old friend. Goodbye old friend's wispy 'stache.

What started a year and a half ago so optimistically could very well end with a whimper at the end of the Canadian Championship's ("The Cank" to its friends) semi-final. Aron Winter's grand experiment of creating Ajax, Ontario is on its very last legs after a nightmare start to 2012 and a loss to arch-rival Montreal in a competition TFC has won thrice could push ownership's hand. By many accounts the knives are already out and sharpened behind the scenes for the pleasant yet infuriatingly stubborn Dutchman. If Winter once again pushes his new "Total Preki" 4-3-3 (minus the offence) - or as it was re-branded in the South Stands on Saturday: "The 9-1-1 Formation" - and TFC yet again stumbles, we may be seeing him for the last time in TFC rouge.
Of course, with TFC's history in this competition there will likely be an earthquake/tornado/locust delay followed by a squeaking 1-0 victory off the boot of Ty Harden.
MANUFACTURED DERBY NAME: "The 401 Derby III: The Cankening"
TORONTO: Eric Avila, Adrian Cann, Ryan Johnson
MONTREAL: Patrice Bernier, Bernardo Corradi, Donovan Ricketts
- Mariner / Nicol: 5-1
- Cochrane / Dichio: 25-1
- Rongen / de Klerk: 50-1
Setting the "worst start" record isn't the only infamous title TFC is in line for. If Aron Winter does get sacked in the near future, The Reds will be well on their way to the "Most Managers" record as well. Word from behind the scenes hints that TFC already has their contingencies in place to bring back all twelve managers they will have hired and fired in a 10th Anniversary celebration in 2017.

The future halftime parade will feature: Maurice "Mo to my friends (and far more enemies)" Johnston; John Carver; Chris Cummins; Predrag "Preki" Radosavljevic, Nick Dasovic; Aron Winter; Steve Nicol; Danny Dichio; the second coming of Predrag "Preki" Radosavljevic; Jim Brennan's Facial Hair with a whistle; the winner of TFC's "Dream Manager" Competition; and Danny Dichio. Welcoming them will be Tom Anselmi and Earl Cochrane who despite everything will still be there! Hurray!

Monday, May 7, 2012

THE STARTING 11: Reasons why Torsten Frings tossed the captain's armband away

Voller: men's hairstyling legend

If there was a bad movie-of-the-week about Saturday's loss to D.C. United, the moment when Torsten Frings came off the pitch injured would have been very melodramatic. Frings (as played by Casper Van Dien in the film) marched off the field injured and frustrated and tossed aside the black captain's armband in what looked like a disgusted motion. (Imagine the armband hitting the grass in slow-motion with thudding sound effects and the crowd gasping... now!) After the match, the renowned professional Frings dismissed talk that the tossing was an act of impudence but rather that he needed to leave the pitch in a hurry for treatment. Yup. But what else could be behind Das Kapitan's doffing of cloth?
11. Somewhere, a baseball cap was in dire need of reversing
10. With De Ro in attendance, Frings thought it was tradition for TFC captains to make a bold silent gesture of disgust
9. Hasn't yet learned how to say "I've had enough of this f*cking sh*t, I’m a God damned World f*cking Cup legend" in English
8. Upset after his pre-match attempts to style his long hair into a 1980's Rudi Voller style perm failed once again
7. After himself, he felt that the next best team leader would be a blade of grass
6. Armband still slippery with hair product from Jim Brennan's days as Toronto FC captain
5. Thought that Joao Plata was going to take his place and was simply tossing it down to where his arm should be
4. Furious with Miguel Aceval's inability to pronounce Borussia Moenchengladbach properly
3. Far too anxious about the future of the European Union's financial austerity measures after the election of socialist Francois Hollande as French President
2. Had to get into the locker room quickly before Danny Koevermans ate all of the Black Forest Cake that his family sent from Bavaria
1. It was actually an experiment to see if anything could plummet to the ground faster than TFC's playoff hopes

In honour of our Kapitan here he is on lead guitar performing with German pop sensation Peter Schilling. Also, Miroslav Klose on drums...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v D.C... or Is Eight really Enough?

Just open this link in a new tab and let it run in the background.

Here we are on the cusp of greatness.  Generations will ask, where were you when JFK was shot?  Where were you when the twin towers fell?  Where were you when TFC set the benchmark for mediocrity?  And my answers are (a) wasn't born yet, (b) waking up about to head to work, (c) in the same seat I always experience my mediocrity, halfway up 113.

Dwayne De Rosario currently leads the league in assists with 7.  Maicon Santos is 4th in goals with 6.  Both of these players used to play for Toronto FC and now they do not.  Part of me wants to reflect on what Toronto has let walk away for various reasons, however, that list is very long and the more I read into it, the more disappointment washes over me.

Predictions flew in of 3-0, 2-1, 4-2, 4-0 (with a DeRo hat trick) and a rediculous yet seemingly plausible 13-0 for DC United.  A few stepped up 3-2 and 2-0 for TFC.  My 'friend' had the prediction of "how much is a field goal again?"

Quotes of the Match
Frings aren't what they used to be.
~ President of the Luton Town Supporters Club of North America

18' - A cross in front of the goal wakes the south end, albeit briefly.

22' - Aron Winter, walking the touch line, starts yelling at his side for the sake of his job.

33' - Bitchy, the hawk, gets a nod.

35' - Toronto gets a legit attempt on net as Morgan has a break, lays it back for Johnson who forces a leaping save from Hamid.  The DC counter gives Santos a 20 yarder that Kocic gobbles up.

Quotes of the Match
The announcer needs to come on 'Toronto shot on net by number 19, Reggie Lambe!'
~ Julie

How long after the warm-up does the game start?

Half-Time mood : Nice day for a barbecue, no?

45' - SUB - Silva makes way for Plata, or Silva-Plata.

54' - Somehow DC united were denied a goal or a penalty after the ball was cleared off the line by Lambe's hand.

55' - GOAL - Party Boy Chris Pontius has a go from 20 yards out and launches one in to the top corner.  Retribution for the hand ball earlier?  More than likely.
Robins 0, DeRo & Friends 1

Quotes of the Match
Does that shot come in mens?
~ Gooner a few rows behind on Plata attempt that didn't quite make it

65' - Frings appears to be favouring his shoulder, the medical staff come to take a look at it.

67' - Frings tosses his captain's armband to the ground and walks towards the dressing room. (more dramatic than it sounds, he's probably hurt)

68' - SUB - Frings off for Jeremy Hall

75' - GOAL - Hamdi Salihi volleys a perfectly arced header past Kocic.
Robins 0, DeRo & Friends 2

77' - Winter may be calling his real estate agent...

77' - Anselmi should be tidying up his resume...

77' - Steve Nicol somewhere is asking his wife where his good suit is...

89' - YELLOW - Morgan for something.

Full-Time : Toronto 0, D.C. 2

Man of the Match : Umm... I don't know... that van Persie brace earlier in the day was nice, wasn't it?

Goat of the Game : All of them, save Kocic.  And Kocic gets a pass because those two goals would've been difficult to stop by anyone.

Ref Rating : 3 out of 5.  Didn't like him.  Didn't hate him.

I wish I could identify the biggest problem here: a lack of passion, lack of skill, lack of tactical intelligence from the players, lack of offensive imagination, lack of intellectual assessment from Winter.  Throughout the game, it felt that the biggest problem changed, like a game of hot potato and when the music stopped, DC had an opportunity.  Usually the lads and lassies and I have little round tables during the match but even our moods had changed.  So we made jokes all game.  And it wasn't the usual cast of characters, it was just about everyone around us.  This was bad.  Perhaps the glossing over of history (all 5 seasons of it) has made today feel like rock bottom.  

And to hell with the record.  Seriously, if people in Toronto, true, part-time and trendy supporters alike, were truly concerned with the win-loss column, the audience would've dwindled to a point where Columbus could laugh at us.  If TFC goes 0-0-34 on the season, my renewal is a given as long as the team is trying.  I held my notepad all game and the majority of what was written were gags.  This is what the South Stand (or our little fifedom in mid 113) witnessed - nothing important.

Here we are in year 6.  This club has had over 110 players in 5.3 seasons.  This club has had 7 coaches, 3 general managers.  With all of these changes, the results have stayed roughly the same.  Perhaps all of the changes isn't where the problems lie.  Perhaps the changes have been the wrong ones (well, except Mo).  Toronto has let talent walk out the door for nearly nothing in return

The TFC executives need to be replaced.  All the other tweaks have been ineffectual.  Season's 1-3, They had the perfect scenario - fans happy and willing to pay for a mediocre product.  Too many 15% increases in seasons tickets and consistent failure has sacrificed the health of the long term for the short term.  A crowd announced of 18000 was total bollocks as it was closer to 16000.  Still a good crowd for MLS, but a poor crowd for TFC.

Right now, the marketing gurus are being looked to for their upcoming greatest escape ever : selling a season's ticket while increasing the price for a side that set the benchmark of mediocrity.  I believe there will some kind of an increase.  We were "blessed" with the lack of an increase last year, so that has to change.  When the focus is the money and not the result, you get the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Perhaps a new leader will focus on the winning first for once.

Kocic 6, Eckersley 6.5, Henry, 6, Aceval 6, Morgan 6, Frings 6 [Hall N/A], de Goo 5.5, Silva 6 [Plata 6], Lambe 6, Johnson 6.5, Avila 6

Do you think they try to bundle TFC tickets now with Marlies tickets?