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Saturday, April 20, 2013

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Houston... or I've got my spine, I've got my orange crush

No, I don't like R.E.M., I just wanted a song lyric with "orange" in it.

Now we discuss the weather.  For the last three or four days, the temperature broke double digits, with a high of 23C.  As of writing this, it's 2C.  That's, like 36F for our American reader (hey man, thanks for reading).  By Monday, it goes back up to double digits.  Why is the warmest game thus far the one in late March?  Stupid ass weather... at least enough lessons were learned so that I know to wear a winter coat.

The one story that I'm following this afternoon is the rise of SuperBendik(TM), and can he carry forward from the "Performance of the Year" (seriously MLS, how did you screw that up not giving him player of the week?).  Yes, it's a high expectation from the young man, but why the hell not.  Also, the new makeshift backline as both Russell and Ecks are out with injuries.

Starting XI:
Richter - Agbossoumonde - O'Dea - Emory
Lambe - Hall - Silva - Ephraim
Braun - Earnshaw

Legend for tonight's report, anything in blue was written at the game, anything in black was written long afterwards.

On to the match : 

1' - Good lord it's cold.  That wind... 

6' - Earnshaw shot beats Tally Hall, but crossbar. 

12'  - Possession Houston midfield

16' - Toronto defend holding Houstn fro attk

23' - Clear ball, no far, H attks

Quote of the Match:
Wll Bruin lik hot dg ghost on rigt
~ Dom saying something amusing. I think.

28' - O'D stp attk

30' - This pen suks. Ink no

31' - Agabossamun clear

34' - Agbssmn def

41' - Lambe baa baa

42' - Agss

Really from the 7th minute until the 45th, nothing important happened, because, frankly, I like my fingers.  It's cold.  Beginning to think my addiction to live footy is having an adverse affect on my well-being.  Seriously, to the 10,000 people who didn't show up*, you are the smart ones.  Sure, there was a pile of action with Toronto defending from a non-threatening Houston aggression.  Few attempts near the penalty area.  Kinda boring, and far from worth the frozen appendages.

* = provided the place would sell out as it wasn't even close to the announced attendance of 15,000

Half-time mood : f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-fff....f-f-f-f-f...

49' - Lambe 5 stp ovrs, pass Earnshaw offsid.  Baa Lambe.  Too mny.

53' - Heheh, Braun = Koevers Light

58' - GOAL - Silva cross, just misses Earnshaw, but gets cleared out to Jeremy Hall, who has a go from 25 yards out and beats Tally Hall low and to the right.

Me: It's like the inside of a creamsicle, but the inside never tasted like it was made of cream.  Probably something gross like bull semen.
Tony: Now that's Good Humor
~ a conversation remarking on the Houston kits

61' - Found a new pen.  Can write more before fingers numb.

62' - Red card for Houston's Taylor as he took out Earnshaw who was about to be away on goal

63' - Earnshaw with back to goal, pops shot over his head, chips keeper brilliantly but crossbar too

65' - Flurries.  Shit.

68' - Silva pops a low ball into the box, Braun goes for Superman header, but stopped by Tally Hall

69' - Silva tries to nutmeg the keeper, but Tally Hall stops it.

73' - YELLOW - Lambe something.

73' - SUB - Silva off, Osorio on.  Huh?

85' - SUB - Earnshaw for Wiedeman.  Probably rest.  Ran lots.

Wiedeman is coming on!  It's 4/20 today!
~ @kzknowles with a terrible,
but greatly appreciated, timely stoner pun

89' - SUB - Emory hurt ankle. Henry

4 minutes of extra time

90+1' - Clear ball!  Clr!  CR!

90+3' - GOAL - Shit.  Corner.  Creavalle headed 5 yds out.  LA, Philly, deja vu!

Full Time : TORONTO 1, HOUSTON 1

Man of the Match : We disputed who should get it, and because we couldn't make a compelling argument for anyone else, Silva gets the nod.  O'Dea was having a good game until the very end.  And I refuse to give the nod to Jeremy Hall

Goat of the Game : none, really.

Ref Rating : 5 out of 5.  Really, it's more 4 out of 5, but given how most of the other crews would've blown the straight red earlier, I give them the full marks and I expect them to be fired from MLS by Monday.

I Am Not The Gaffer But... : Why did Silva come off?  That blew my mind!  Granted, Toronto's game didn't seem to start until the beginning of the second half, and when they were playing aggressive and creatively, however Silva was either a major part of the creativity or having a quality go.  His contribution was evident as he was playing, and seeing the 4th official's numbers, it was bizarre to think he was coming off.  With Osorio's addition, there might have been 2 real chances after that.

Who else's face is wind burnt?  And what the hell was up with the flurries?... I might be crazy, but as soon as the mighty Robins were playing with the wind in the second half, they looked composed and confident.  First half was a weird settling in stage.  Braun went from invisible liability to being a functional member of society... Braun doesn't seem to be the strongest with a pass or a touch, but has a killer instinct.  He came close a few times sniffing at goal... It's too damn cold for kit spotting yet.  Wednesday should be a high of 9C, which is practically shorts weather... I rated Ephraim based on how he didn't mess up, and aside from one or two touches, he was pretty good... Latest gaffe involving the subliminal attempt to get a bird that isn't a Robin associated with this club, Bitchy, the falcon that barrels down the players tunnel and then sits on her perch sought freedom this time, and buggered off up to the second deck.  It would've been far funnier if she took off and never was seen from again... If football ended at 90 minutes like in the good old days of MLS, this club would have 4 more points than they currently have (there's no way I'd want that back, I'm just saying).

Player Ratings : Bendik 7, Richter 6, Agbossoumonde 6, O'Dea 6.5, Emory 6.5 [Henry N/A], Lambe 6.5, Hall 6.5, Silva 7 [Osorio N/A], Ephraim 6, Braun 6, Earnshaw 6.5 [Wiedeman N/A]

@ignirtoq finally thawed out about an hour and half after he returned home.  He wildly anticipates the pending increased GO Train service on weekends so he doesn't have to wait 45 f'ing minutes post match.  It's not like each match has been a secret for years or that there's congestion preventing one additional train.But he's not angry or anything...


  1. Silva was pretty gassed...he needed to be subbed. He was a strong offensive catalyst while he was on.

    As much as Braun tries hard, this team would be dead in the water without the threat posed by Earnshaw up top.

    Osorio is back to being the preferred sub ahead of Bekker: they seem about equally matched in the technical skill department, but Osorio is the quicker athlete and I think at this time Nelsen covets that element of his game more.

    O'Dea rightfully takes his blame for the tying goal (nice to see someone take responsibility for a subpar play or performance, right Julian de Guzman?), but Henry's poor giveaway started that whole sequence off.

    Shame about Screech. Thought he had a strong match defensively with some well read interceptions. Hope his injury isn't too serious. Nice to see usual whipping boy Hall get a well earned goal.

    1. It made for some old habits to break. The usual suspects played well, and the O'Dea gaffe ruined, an otherwise, good game for him.

  2. I was willing to give Lambe the goat of the game just for looking lost and marking no one in particular as the second header off the corner scored on TFC. I think that the clock is ticking for both Ephraim and Lambe. We can talk about protecting slim leads and the inevitable collapse, but now going into game 8 we are carrying these two wingers plus Bostock and Silva, all who have failed to score. When Jeremy Hall is your only midfielder to contribute a goal (Osorio has 1 too), something is critically wrong with your attack.
    I think a healthy Darel Russell has to be given a chance at right wing and Lambe sits. I suspect that QPR will be dropping big contracts and will want Ephraim back this summer so he is short term help at best.

    1. I agree with just about everything there. It's terrible to think that many of these names get picked because they are the best at what is available, and I think that's just tragic, especially when you anticipate that your new signings from England are sitting on the bench.

      After Russell's cracker from a few weeks ago, I'd hate to think that he's buried in the back four.

      I applaud Nelsen in trying to mix up the midfield, but it feels like there is no winning combination with what he has. And where are our Argentinians!?!?!