The Yorkies' Regular Features

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Monday, July 29, 2013

THE STARTING 11: Argos to BMO BoGo!

"Come back tomorrow as Toronto FC host Columbus..." 
Editor's Note: The suddenly resurgent "Argonauts to BMO Field" story divides Toronto FC fans into two groups. The cynics who think that it is inevitable (Hi everybody!) and those who think it simply won't happen, or if it does - no big deal. Good morning to you there in Accounts Payable at a certain "major league" franchise. Wink.
To address both groups, your usual Monday morning dose of frivolity will be Buy One Get One Free today. After jumping in our IKEA ball pit of idiocy, we urge you to read Kurt Larson's article in today's Toronto Sun for some more clarity on the issue.
THE STARTING 11: Side effects of the Argos moving to BMO Field (Pessimists Remix)
 "What me worry?"
If it squawks like a hawk and is walked to midfield by a bored looking man like a hawk... it's probably a hawk. When Tim Leiweke and CFL Fetishist/ "Mayor" Rob Ford both suddenly started talking about stadiums within the same 20 minute period last week our ears pricked up. When local newspapers started talking about an Argos to BMO resurrection, the ears pricked higher. When Toronto Councilor Mark Grimes started ignorantly yapping about the need to move the Argos to BMO... prick. Both meanings. We are clear here at The Yorkies on our feelings... the day we are asked to watch football on CFL gridiron lines is the day we leave and don't come back. Apart from the absence of many, many "day one" supporters, what are other side effects of a CFL stadium share?
11. It will destroy TFC
10. It will destroy TFC
9. It will destroy TFC
8. It will destroy TFC
7. It will destroy TFC
6. It will destroy TFC
5. It will destroy TFC
4. It will destroy TFC
3. It will destroy TFC
2. It will destroy TFC
1. It will destroy TFC
THE STARTING 11: Side effects of the Argos moving to BMO ("It Won't Happen" Optimists EP)
Bo Knows Lambe

We know many of you equate our opinions on this issue somewhere between Bigfoot hunters and Globster aficionados. Fair enough - we truly hope you are right. We have heard the arguments: poured concrete, pitch issues, no city money available etc. Whatever. Next you'll tell us Loch Ness isn't real too. Anyhoo... there are some bright sides to the possible gridiron assault. Like so...
11. Maurice Edu will receive a financial windfall when TFC is forced to get refund on grass and reinstall turf
10. Just a few more adjustments and the Blue Jays can move in too!
9. Terrible TFC signings conveniently "lost" in giant field divots created by 300 lb. linebackers
8. Finally, Reggie Lambe gets a chance to become the"MLS/CFL Bo Jackson"
7. MLSE management gets a shot at an Academy Award for their role as "unwitting victim of circumstance despite reaping financial rewards of added home dates"
6. The exciting Buffalo Bills vs. Toronto FC Series
5. Handy replacement as Bob O'Billovich succeeds Ryan Nelsen
4. The move would bring the Argos slightly closer to the geographic base of their support... Barrie, Ontario
3. Argos fans can survive the inevitable monsoon rainstorms by breathing through their plastic blowhorns
2. TFC night fixtures go "green" as Pinball Clemons' teeth used to light the stadium
1. Rob Ford vs. David Miller Foxy Boxing

Saturday, July 27, 2013

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v Columbus... or Welcome to Trilliumania XVIII

If you can channel WWE/F commentator Jim Ross, it'll make for an easier read.

We are LIVE at BMO Field with a "capacity crowd of nearly 23000" in attendance, in sunny Toronto, Ontario, Canada where a new world heavyweight champion will be crowned.

Ladies and gentlemen, for the past year, we here in the federation have been embroiled between two warring factions where everyone has aligned themselves with one side or the other. On one hand, you have the Bumble Bee Barbers, as indicated by their yellow and black uniforms and shaving cream sponsorship, who have been the more successful of the two in the last 12 months. On the other hand there's the Red Profiteers, who have done little to show signs of progress over the same time frame.  The Profiteers, managed by Bushwacker Ryan, who is managed by The Paynemaker, who is managed by The Man They Call Tim, have made announcement after announcement that there will be new signings to their faction.  The Rock, CM Punk and Kane have long been associated with The Profiteers, but nobody ever shows up.  Where title changes matter, it’s all here, LIVE, at Trilliumania XVIII

Onto the show!

Opening Match
"Ginga Ninja" Eckersley v Josh Williams
Josh Williams nearly had the win until Eckersley was 'saved' by "Super Pickle" Joe Bendik and the two of them proceeded to beat down Williams.
Winner : Williams (DQ)

World Television Championship
“Homegrown” Ashtone Morgan (C) v Dom “Doom” Oduro
Defending champion Morgan spends much of the match in control, but his ego gets the best of him.  Out of nowhere, Oduro lays down a few chops, whips him into the rope and catches him with a missile dropkick to the jaw.  Early candidate for upset of the night.
Winner : Dom “Doom” Oduro

No Rules Hardcore Grudge Match
Will “Steel” Trapp & “Caesar” Augustin Viana v The Killer Bees (“Bee” Justin Braun & “Jumping Jeremy” Brockie)
Some spectacular action with number of weapons, but the match really changed when Viana was suplexed through the Spanish announcer's table, then rolled back into the ring for the cover.
Winner : The Killer Bees

Women’s Match
Rachael “Barretta” Bonetta v Ryan “Wendy” Richter
Midway through the card, everyone went to the washroom but got back in time to see the finish
Winner : Richter

Hair vs Hair Tag Match
Matias “El Gaucho Logo” Laba & Alvaro Rey “Mysterio Jr.” v Federico “Not Gonzalo” Higuain & “Luscious” Bernado Anor
A fast-paced lucha libre match, which you would think is racist since none of the competitors are from Mexico, but it’s not, because I have a friend who said it was OK (it’s a gag, work with me).  Lots of quick moves and high-flying.  Rey gets the hot tag and hits Higuain with a springboard huricanrana and clears the ring.  Upon a spectacular top rope plancha nailing Higuain at ringside, Anor catches Laba with his back to him, spins him around, kick to the midsection, and lands his Luscious Spinning Powerbomb.
Winners : Higuain & Anor

World Tag-Team Championship Match
Bobby “the Brain” Convey & “Medium Jon Studd” Osorio vs The Ohio Playaz (Danny O’Rourke & Matias “Dirty” Sanchez) (C)
Convey took much of the beating in this match.  For long periods of time, he was on the end of a vicious double-teaming at the hand of the Ohio Playaz.  It all looked to be over when the hit the Buckshot Buckeye, two-man sling-shot into the rope met with simultaneous superkicks but it took out the official too.  Just as the official had come to, Sanchez suplexes Covney, but a slow count allows Convey to kick out.  Convey ducks a clothesline and makes the hot tag to Osorio who clears house.  The good guys
Winner : Convey & Osorio

“Stone Cold” Steve Caldwell vs Andy “Atom” Gruenebaum
In a match that had everyone on their feet, Caldwell was about to hit his “Stunna’” on the well beaten Gruenebaum, only for the ref to be distracted by teammate Finlay, which led Gruenebaum to clock Caldwell with a steel post.  Roll him up for the easy pin.
Winner : Gruenebaum

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Chad “The Law” Marshall (C) v WiedeMankind
Marshall controlled much of the match, really working on the right knee of WiedeMankind but resorted to some dirty tricks.  Marshall was given multiple warnings by the referee, the last of which was hanging on to the ropes too long trying to hyperextend.  Once the ref got in his face, Marshall was about to hit him, but WiedeMankind hooks his arm, then proceeded to take over, one bad knee and all, torrentially raining down blows on the champion.  The underdog and crowd favourite WiedeMankind then pulls out The Greatest Sock of the Modern Era and mandible claws Marshall until he passes out, then goes for the dramatic cover, 1, 2, 3!
Winner : WiedeMankind

As WiedeMankind was celebrating, a man in a ski mask carrying a steel chair comes charging into the ring, sneaks up behind WiedeMankind and just wraps it around his skull, sending him to the canvas.  What followed was a series of chair shots to the wounded knee of the downed newly crowned champ.

Once he was finished his brutal assault, he drops the chair, stands over WiedeMankind and starts waving his hand... in a... cheque signing motion?  He unmasks himself, OH MAH GAWD!  IT'S DERO!  DERO!  HE PICKS UP THE BELT WITH A BIG GRIN ON HIS FACE!  OH MAH GAWD!  WE'LL SEE YOU AT (Aron) WINTERSLAM!

Fade to black

No one is quite sure what got into @ignirtoq this time around, but it was a bad idea that spiraled out of control, as they tend to do at The Yorkies.  He is a wrestling mark, and has been known to take in high-level independent wrestling shows from time to time.  And he doesn't think Ryan Richter is a woman but was necessary to call him Wendy to complete a gag.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE MATCHUP: Motley welcome Crew

Rumour: Tommy Lee to TFC as a goalpost

TV: TSN 2 (Afternoon deuce-light)

No major changes, no goals in over five hours of play, no wins at home for well over a year. We do however have a middle-age man in casual dress slacks walking a largely uninterested bird to the midfield where they stand awkwardly for a couple of minutes while fans look away in uncomfortable embarrassment for all involved to the strains of AC/DC. Did we mention "Chinese Heritage Day"? Can you feel the passion?

Honestly, there is very little to say here (sorry Alvaro Rey... even with you) that most of you haven't heard for the meaty part of a decade. Columbus Crew, defeatless (we know) at BMO Field in nine visits brings their travelling yellow roadshow in a fixture we're supposed to get real worked up about. Apparently. A fake derby, for a fake cup under clouds of fake transfer rumourage. So pretty much like every TFC v Crew fixture since 2008. 

Paging Dr. Feelgood.

"The New Soft"

TORONTO: Same ones from the last two matches.
COLUMBUS: Federico Higuain, Chad Marshall, Tony Tchani

- Pretty much the same as 2007-2009: 2-1
- Pretty much the same as 2010-2012: 2-1
- Exactly like the rest of 2013: EVENS
This fixture has never been without controversy. Invading bus loads, religious urination, tased bro's, xenophobia and that dodgy Filet-O-Fish I ate at the McDonald's just off the interstate. This round is no different as news is just coming in from Canada Border Services that one of the three construction workers on Crew's badge has been detained at the border. Steve "Guy on the Left" Kaplowski is being held under Section 14 of the Canada Floral Protection Act. MLS officials have yet to rule whether Columbus can activate a reserve construction worker to complete their "world renowned" logo before the match.




He is a winger from Seville. Figaro. Figaro.

While this may not be the Spanish-speaking droid you were looking for, Toronto FC (former long-distance mistress of Diego Forlan) has signed 24-year old wide midfielder Alvaro Rey. The winger, whose name translates to "The King of Dudes Named Alvaro" has spent much of the summer on trial with The Reds but they unceremoniously let him go a few weeks ago. But now he's back! Why it's almost like he was the 7th best signing option but 1 through 6 fell through! Exciting times.

Rey has mostly toiled in the Spanish 2nd Division, and lower, most recently suffering back-to-back relegations with clubs Gimnastic and Xerex. And for those who were excited that TFC had actually bought a Spanish Xerox machine - we are sorry to bear bad tidings.

Rey's scoring record in the nether regions of Spanish football can best be described as "recorded". Unconfirmed scouting reports call him "The Andalusian Reggie Lambe" but as our subscription to "Segunda Division B Weekly" has run out, we will have to reserve judgement until we actually watch him lose with his new teammates.

You have to pity the young "King of Dudes Named Alvaro". He may feel the very unfair glare of BMO Field's great unwashed who have been force fed on a month's worth of generally overzealous Diego Forlan rumours only to be presented with the scraps off of Xerex's table. The palpable frustration may very well be vented upon his inevitable missed passes and errant shots on goal.

To paraphrase former QPR defender Ryan Nelsen: "Frightening".


Monday, July 22, 2013

THE STARTING 11: Ways that Ryan Nelsen plans to "frighten" opponents

The Diego Forlan announcement.. IN 3D!!!

After his predecessor rolled out such tender chewy sound bites as "the best finisher in the modern era" and "like a son that needs a slap", you'd think that TFC manager Ryan Nelsen may choose his words more carefully. But alas, the increasingly agitated Kiwi let fly last week that once TFC got rid of those pesky salary cap issues (that apparently no other MLS club has ever encountered) there would be "a few frightened teams" in MLS. Uh-huh. We waited for a snort or knowing smirk hoping that Nelsen was doing his best "Count Floyd" from SCTV ("Ooooh scary!") - but no - he seemed to believe himself. So exactly how does Count Twowinula plan to "frighten" MLS rivals?

11. Will sneak into Away Dressing Room before matches and chant Mo Johnston's name three times into the mirror

10. Full TFC coaching staff to roam the sidelines dressed as sexy, brooding vampires

9. Changing his pre-season prediction of TFC to be a "Shining Light" into simply "The Shining"

8. Revealing that all this time Andrew Wiedeman was actually a creepy old Estonian orphan!

7. Bitchy the Hawk replaced by flying sharks

6. Kevin Payne will reveal his true identity: Mad Austrian scientist Dr. Kristoff Pain!

5. Unveiling the club's new loan signing "An American Werewolf from Loftus Road"


3. Handing out white sheets with eye-holes so that supporters' "booooooooos" immediately turn into "BOO!'s"

2. The long-rumoured 3-4 new signings are actually a Human Centipede

1. We are told that "the phone call came from... inside BMO Field!!!"

And... truly the most frightening video you will see today...

Damn Lando Calrissian - you're a scary and casual sonofabithch!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto S.S.R. vs New York... or The Will Of The People Will Not Break (but continue to bend unnaturally)

Today is glorious day for people's Republic of Torontonia. We will see the destruction of our foreign bourgeois oppressors, American Bulls. The evil capitalists will surely fall under the mighty fist of the Red Army. The struggle of the Torontonian peoples will see reward for their sacrifice.

Comrade Henry returns from banishment after elite system punished him with disrespectful "red" card for sacrificing himself for the good of the people. Cosmonaut Agbossoumonde is resting but is willing to fight, even if oppressors admonish him with "red" card of his own eventually.

On with the vanquishing of our foes:

3' - Comrade Josef Bendik makes a save worthy of the people's adulation as he prevents American Bull & French traitor Henri from scoring.  Josef Bendik is given Hero of Socialist Labour award.

12' - Bolshevik spies prevent a well constructed goal from the heart of the working class.  Convey slots a ball through to Morgan, who crosses and finds patriot Brockie, but corrupt bourgeois officiating denies the will of the people due to offside.

15' - Fearing that their cover may be revealed, the 'white' officiating correctly calls the illegal goal which Cahill propagated by standing in an offside position to head past Josef Bendik.

Half-Time Mood : Content that the communist system is for the good of its people and progress is made through hard work for the good of all.  Long live the People's Republic of Torontonia!

52' - Braun, for a brief moment of clarity, plays the ball to Laba who loses the foreign capitalists but not attempting to shoot, lays it off to Osorio who should have shot it first time, like an execution of a traitor, but loses his focus and the attempt was for naught.

73' - True red Eckersley breaks free from the shackles of imperialism and fires for the glory of the people, but is deflected by Holgersson, forcing New York keeper Robles to out-strech his greedy hand to prevent the inevitable victory of the proletariat.

88' - SUB - Lambe joins the war against the facists at the expense of Braun.

3 minutes of necessary time as orchestrated by the 'white' officials

Conclusion of the Struggle : Toronto 0, New York 0

Labourer of the Match : Most glorious award goes to Comrade Matvei Laba for tireless work against the class struggle.

Shame of the People : Justin Braun showed most difficulty in working as hard as the collective.  Sent to gulag for re-education (translation: Loaned to USL-Pro Harrisburg City)

Judgement of the Bolshevik Officiating : 4 out of 5.  Though clearly influenced by their capitalist greed and desire for power, they let the match play on and did not impose their will on the people.  The score may be generous, but this score is reflective of other facist officials in the league, rather than the qualified officials that we can only dream of.

Uniform Recognition : Our surefire winner was a Tranmere Rovers kit over in section 119, however leaving the ground, Greenock Morton kit was spotted.  Tough break for Tranmere, as we were sure that was it.

If I May Be So Bold To Impose My Suggestions On To Our Generalissimus : Braun is disgrace to whole proud nation.  His lack of inner strength and discipline might have seen him off sooner in the struggle against our foreign invaders.  Understanding that we are limited with the resources at hand, Wiedeman could not have fared much worse.

Player Rating Bendik 6.5, Eckersley 6, Caldwell 6, Henry 6, Morgan 6.5, Osorio 6.5, Hall 6, Laba 7, Convey6.5, Brockie 6, Braun 5.5 [Lambe Nyet]. 

Thanks to @RedWineRoz for the photo.

Comrade @ignirtoq just read A LOT about communism on Wikipedia, and though he's pro-union, he's not about to give up his life to work the fertile soils for the good of the republic. This gag was a culmination of our retro-kit soviet style from earlier this year and the Leiwike interview where he mentions about how the Red Army has shrunk.

Friday, July 19, 2013

THE MATCHUP: It's just beastly boys

Now that's three in the middle!



Toronto FC currently lacks the skills to pay any bills. However, rather than drone on about having to watch the same line-up that couldn't be arsed against Chivas USA (Good effort boys! Like LOLZ! OMG! Budweiser!) we will use our favourite musical trio from our opponent's Boroughs as today's muse.

Feeling guilty that you don't really want to go to BMO Field and sweat it out at K-Paynz Allocation Party? Don't... rhyme along with this tune (Press play here if you like parties) and feel better...


Kick it!

You got Reds tickets but you don't wanna go
You can't think of much worse than a day at "BMO!"
You only missed two matches because you had to work
But your seatmate preaches guilt like you're some kind of jerk

You gotta fight! For your right! To stay home!

Try to sell your tickets but give away for free
To a cheap fanboy of Thierry Henry
Man, seven years of this just really stinks
It's nothing but expensive TORONTO LYNX (Busted!)

You gotta fight! For your right! To stay home!

Won't want to leave the house to watch this situation
Just sign some damn players and shut up with allocation!
But you'll end up at BMO saying, "Where's the cheers?"
But don't worry Reds fans - just five more years!

You gotta fight! For your right! To stay home!

"The Rump Shaker"

TORONTO FC (snort): Joe Bendik, Matias Laba, Jonathan Osorio
NEW YORK: Tim Cahill, Fabian Espindola, Thierry Henry

- Last 10 minutes of match looking like ”Sabotage": 2-1
- "Skills to pay the Bills" new term for allocation money: 5-1
- Bitchy the Hawk replaced with "Brass Monkey": 10-1

You may think it's a stretch to have a whole Beastie Boys themed episode of The Matchup, but it's really not* (*it really is but we're bored of this season). In fact if you look through the band's discography you will see that their album titles reflect TFC's history quite aptly:
- CHECK YOU'RE RED (TFC Captain Transfer Window EP)
- SHRILL COMMUNICATION (BMO Field Promotions Team Remix)
- HELLO NASTY (Pre-Season Limited Edition)


And... Since it's Friday and we need all the help we can get to get our bodies movin' for tomorrow...

ADAM YAUCH 1964 - 2012

Thursday, July 18, 2013

AFTER 90: Up All Night To Get Crappy

Which one of you is Diego Forlan?



KICK OFF - To poorly paraphrase French robots (feat. Pharrell): "We're up all night 'til 'bout 1; We're up all night to watch some; We're up all night for no fun; We're up all night to watch Chivas"... Disappointing albums/football predictions aside we're all set at that most hallowed of all ticket-tout-monikered football grounds.. The StubHub Center...
1' - Palpable excitement as nearly a full minivan worth of supporters are in attendance at "The Stub".
5' - Steven Caldwell must be pumped to wear the Toronto FC captain's armband. Nothing bad ever happens to TFC captains.
10' - Honestly guys, I'm really trying to think of things to write here.
11' - Wizzle Wazzle?
18' - Darel Russell gets the "L" tackled out of him by some guy named Bocanegra
25' - Like a son receiving a slap from Papa Mariner, ex-Red Eric Avila sees red for a hard tackle on "Tha Roy G." Russell. A very weak call but TFC now with a 70 minute advantage to drive us nuts with.
30' - The Goats looking dangerous since going down a man. Of course.
32' - Jeremy Brockie misses a sitter. Will still miss his energy when he buggers off back to the Wellington Boots or whatever they are. Phoenix Wellingtons?
42'- I may have nodded off there...
44' - YELLOW CARD: Gale Agbossoumonde for too many letters
45' - Halftime and a chance for Ryan Nelsen to serve up some warm New Zealand sheep's milk and let the team watch the last 10 minutes of "Marley & Me"
45' - Question... how can TFC be more underwhelming in the 2nd Half? Answer: SUB: Justin Braun in for Robert Earnshaw
52' - A reminder to fans... TFC has had a man advantage for nearly a half hour.
55' - YELLOW CARD: Justin Braun for being awesome.
59' - Only a big save by Joe "Big Pickle" Bendik stops 10 MAN Chivas from going up 1-0.
64' - Darel Russell the biggest offensive threat at the moment. That's about all you need to know about TFC's evening.
68' - SUB: Somewhat ironically after the above it's Kyle Bekker in for Darel Russell.
77' - Jonathan Osorio - the only thing worth paying to see on TFC at the moment.
79' - GOAL: Erick Torres eats Agbossoumonde alive and sees his shot deflect off of Steven Caldwell and bounce by Bendik. Hilariously bad.
85' - 11 Diego Forlans couldn't help this mess of a team.
90' - I wish a Ukrainian blog would buy me too.
90'+ - Just wow.


PLAYER RATINGS: Joe Bendik 5.5  / Richard Eckersley 5.5 / Gale Agbossoumonde 4.5 / Steven Caldwell 5 / Ashtone Morgan 4 / Jonathan Osorio 6.5 / Matias Laba 5.5 / Darel Russell 6 (Kyle Bekker 5 ) / Bobby Convey 4.5 / Jeremy Brockie 5 / Robert Earnshaw 5 (Justin Braun 4.5)

Jeez. Jonathan Osorio? Sure.

We have all sat through some truly awful football since 2007 - this one is truly a contender for rock bottom. 70 minutes of man advantage football against a team that is apparently the joke of the Western Conference and Toronto FC could barely manage to be bothered. A rudderless defence, an offence bereft of any ideas going forward and a seemingly obvious lack of character and spirit.
Yes we all know they are short-handed at the moment - supposedly aiming the magical allocation cannon at 5 to 30 new players who are arriving "imminently" but that was simply not good enough. No excuses, that was nothing short of a slap in the face to the fans/masochists that they have magically managed to hold on to for seven years.
Tomorrow we will hear platitudes of the wondrous fixes that are on their way but make no mistake - this team isn't one or two players away from anything. They need a massive transplant and it should start with a heart. Sadly, against all science, TFC has found a way to get worse.
And since we were up all night to get angry... here is the dance equivalent of TFC's performance tonight...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

THE MATCHUP: Under-a-Chivas

Wow, those new Californian marriage laws are VERY liberal!

TV: TSN2 (The Late Night Deuce)

This is what it sounds like when doves die. Two clubs, two grand experiments in expansion science... two of the league's biggest lemons.

Firstly the hosts Chivas USA (apparently a terrible embarrassment but 1 point better than TFC presently) - a club created to capitalize on the Los Angeles area's monumental Hispanic population. A great idea in principle... except the part where they forgot that all Mexicans don't support Chivas Guadelajara and the ones that do, only want to watch... erm... Chivas Guadalajara. Akin to naming Toronto FC "Manchester United Toronto", the club shot themselves in the foot immediately and are still limping their way slowly to another city.

Speaking of TFC, it was in the expansion round after Chivas USA that the idea to capitalize on North Mexican's (aka Canadians) love for the soccerpuck that The Reds were born. Since The Goats had already effed up their club through poor branding, TFC would have to find a different way to eff themselves in the effer. That's called 2007-2013. And counting.

So what happens when two different flavours of mistake meet on the pitch? We are thinking some kind of Mediocre Supernova. God help the 17 people in attendance. And the 17 watching on TV from Toronto.

"El Crapico"

CHIVAS USA: Eric Avila, Dan Kennedy, Jorge Villafana
TORONTO: Jeremy Brockie, Steven Caldwell, Matias Laba

- The highest scoring match in MLS history: 20-1
- The lowest scoring match (-2) in MLS history: 20-1
- Attendance ranging between 20-1: 2-1

The Maracana, Wembley, The Bernabeu... The StubHub Center. LA's hallowed football ground is home to both Chivas USA and LA Galaxy with the former having their offices located in the stadium's infamous "Latin Quarter". The Goats have tried to aid their struggling attendance numbers by counting actual goats who roam in to graze on the pitch at halftime as well as people who may have once briefly thought about coming to a match. Possibly when drunk.
The newly re-branded stadium is located in Carson, CA - a suburb of Los Angeles that was founded in the early 1970's by guests of "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" who had been bumped from the show. On the banks of the Joan River, modern Carson is a vibrant community and home to The Ed McMahon Library & Bar, The Doc Severinsen Philharmonic Orchestra and a statue commemorating Tiny Tim's wedding.


Monday, July 15, 2013

THE STARTING 11: Other Toronto FC uses for Allocation Money

Meanwhile... deep below BMO Field...

It's the latest gag sensation at Toronto FC - not that they really needed new ones - Kevin Payne and his Scrooge McDuck lovin' for some good old American Cheddar aka Allocation Money. The image of a tiny Kevin sitting atop an ever growing cartoon pile of gold coins is a delicious one while the term "Allocation" has now become part of your average TFC fan's daily parlance. While a healthy allocation fund can be put to good use in MLS, many are holding their breath to see just how TFC will parlay this booty. However, for those of you expecting it to be splashed out on the likes of superstar Roger Milla, it may in fact be put towards other club expenses...

11. Paying the import taxes on the giant "Bon Voyage" Toblerone bar bought for Stefan Frei

10. Covering the expense from the Ontario government's oppressive Daytime Pyrotechnics Tax

9. Giving away thousands of free tickets to the Roma friendly won't be cheap you know!

8. Should have never agreed to pay Gale Agbossoumonde per letter

7. Commissioning Canadian music legend Burton Cummings to finally pen a second verse to "The Dichio Song"

6. Settling "The Butty Incident" out of court

5. Jim Brennan's "Contract For Life" doesn't pay itself!

4. Still imaginarily paying off Dwayne De Rosario's imaginary cheque

3. Stocking up on tons of Vidal Sassoon shampoo and conditioner in preparation for Diego Forlan's arrival

2. Keeping that diva Bitchy The Hawk rich in rare Baltic beluga caviar, Courvoisier cognac and cocaine

1. Revolving door maintenance costs

Minute 24 at BMO Field will be so mellow...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

SOUTH COUCH REPORT : Kansas City v Toronto... or 'Transfer Request' edition

Seriously, what the hell.  Now O'Dea wants out?  This club would make an amazing case study in sports mismanagement and dysfunction.  I mean if we could get the unedited version of the story.  Or the book.  C'mon, wouldn't the tell-all book be fantastic?  "The Successful Failure Machine" is my working title.  Last third of the book can be transfers alone.

This weekend has been a veritable PR clusterfuck. I'm sure their doctors of spin have just as easily packed it in until Monday and decided to let loose.  Probably have a drinking game to wash away the pain.

Onto the match.

6' - I'm starting a rumour that Weideman has just requested to be transferred to a better side.  Only interest has been generated from German 6th division side TeBe Berlin to meet the criteria.

15' - commentator mentions about O'Dea being sent home requesting a transfer.  Take a drink.

22' - Brockie gets two chances against the Lego Man Nielsen' stops both.  Unlucky.

23' - GOAL - feed took a poop, Sporting scored. Damn.

28' - commentator postulates whether Nelsen is the right man for the job.  Take a drink.

32' - Laba coughs up the ball, KC counter, Bendik makes a great stop then yells at Eckersley for being out of position.

44' - YELLOW - Brockie gets booked for a tackle from behind

45' - SUB - Hall is coming on for Richter to start the second half

49' - Bendik makes another critical save one-on-one.  Take a drink.

51' - GOAL - Saad picks up the rebound from the save by Bendik and poor Joe can't save them all.  Its his second apparently.

56' - RED - Oh Reggie.  Lambe has a late tackle from behind go at Saad and there isn't much contact but it was a reckless attempt.

60' - SUB - Earnshaw makes way for Braun who will likely be loaned to Chivas on Wednesday for just the second half.

64' - GOAL - tic-tac-toe and Bieler finishes the dismantling of the Toronto back four.

68' - commentator mentions about O'Dea being sent home requesting a transfer.  Take a drink.

76' - Caldwell and Bendik have a rather animated discussion trying to clear up who's ball it was to clear after Caldwell hammered it out for a corner.

77' - Collin heads in a ball after some pinball from the cover but the refs erroneously called it offside.

78' - SUB - Thomas comes on for Laba

81' - Vanilla Peterson comes on for Kansas City.  TFC faithful will remember him for having a spot on the roster, maybe playing a few times unremarkably

86' - commentator mentions about O'Dea being sent home requesting a transfer.  Take a drink.

Full Time: Kansas City 3, Toronto 0

Man of the Match: Bendik

Goat of the Game: so much general lack of quality, it would be easier to simply say 'not Bendik'

Ref Rating: 4 out of 5.  Screwed up minor calls on each side.  Well done.

I Am Not The Gaffer But...: if I was, I'd ask everyone to avoid bothering me with transfer requests until I'm finished having a good cry.  Perhaps wonder if QPR need an aging full back?  Wonder if there is a deity worth praying to?  See if there are tickets to the Tony Robbins motivational speaking engagement still available?

I just don't feel like putting anything here.  Just when the stability was here, a chunk of defenders up and leave (and 'stability' is used rather loosely).

Player Ratings: Bendik 6.5, Richter 5.5 [Hall 5.5], Agabossoumonde 5.5, Caldwell 6, Eckersley 5.5, Lambe 4, Laba 5.5 [Thomas N/A], Russell 5, Convey 5.5, Earnshaw 6 [Braun N/A], Brockie 6

Like some of you, @ignirtoq watched the game in its entirety and still can't imagine how he sat through it all.  He would like to recommend Pacific Rim as a solid action movie with pretty scenes, giant mechs fighting giant monsters and a 'meh' plot.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Roster Taketh Away, The Roster Giveth

You say goodbye, I'll say hello.

Before our generalissimo, @theyorkies1812, decided to take a brief sojourn away for the weekend, his words were something along the lines of "we'll probably cut and sign half of a squad, so you're f**ked, and don't go far from teh internetz in the next few days n00b" or something like that.

It only stops being funny when it happens to you.

For a few brief hours, Toronto FC's roster was down a man with the announced retirement of journeyman defender and Reel Big Fish lead singer doppleganger Danny Califf.  The 14 year veteran's acquisition at the top of the season was viewed as shrewd and necessary for a back line that could be described as cavernous.  With only 6 appearances to his name, he felt it was time to pack it up.  Personal favourite talking points from his retirement letter had to be his jab at a lack of playing time, referring to someone as 'peanut butter and jelly' (and if PBJ stands for something else, I'll be disappointed) and thinking that playing pro footie in 2 other nations that aren't his place of birth constitutes the distinction of having "moved around the world".  Sincerely, all the best to Danny and the family.  Just don't "Kovalchuk" us.  I personally can't take two of those in a row.

While the Robins cognoscenti reeled in the shock (or refreshed their twitter feeds expecting the announcement of a well travelled Uruguayan DP signing), Toronto FC announced bench filler the loan signing of Mark Bloom.  The 25 year old defender was rather the anchor for the NASL Atlanta Silverbacks, who finished 1st allowing 15 goals in 12 games.  We hope that when Bloom goes back to Atlanta at the end of his spell, he'll speak kindly of Toronto and avoid anecdotes that begin with "OMG, they're so dysfunctional, this one time...".  It also breaks a streak of 4 or 5 players in a row where a new acquisition didn't include the words "English Championship" or "Nelson's ex-teammate".

Hat tip to the ever-wonderful @kzknowles who is also a fan of ska.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

THE MATCHUP: Off to flee the Wizards

"And you definitely shall not score!"



What better way to face one of the finest teams in the league and their daunting home record than with a ridiculously understaffed squad? Oh hey Toronto FC, didn't see you there.

Fresh off of transferring their only actual attacking midfield option to D.C. United (for a journeyman to be named later) and with two injury-crocked veteran strikers in tow, your Tee Eff Cees will likely be dabbling in the football sorcery known as "Extreme Bunkering". Throw in missing internationals and the general ReggieLambeness of the current TFC squad and it becomes clear that a smash-and-grab is the only chance at points in Kansas. Fun.

It's not all doom and gloom though L'il EffCeemaniacs... we have been assured that new "talent" is on the way! Just let TFC management filter "PLAYERS OVER 34"; "FREE TRANSFER"; "AVAILABLE FOR LOAN" and "ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP OR LOWER" on their office copy of "Football Manager 2011" and all will be revealed.

Did we mention that the Roma friendly tickets are now on public sale? Distraction noodle!

"The Wizard's Sleeve"

SPORTING KC: Claudio Bieler, Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi
TORONTO FC: Steven Caldwell, Matias Laba, Darren O'Dea

- Ryan Nelsen opting for the revolutionary 9-1-0 formation: 10-1
- Bekker, Welshman, Laba, Henry and Morgan traded at halftime to fund acquisition of player "fans have heard of”: 5-1
- Mentions of the Roma friendly on the match broadcast outnumbering TFC shots on goal: EVENS

Sporting KC's Sporting Park is arguably the finest football stadium north of Mexico and a jewel in the thriving metropolis of Kansas City, Kansas. The city, founded in 1930 by powerful confectioner's union The Lollipop Guild, is a mecca of diverse cultural, artistic and intellectual communities. All of them based around barbeque. "KCK" is home to a large population of people mistaken for people with the same name in another state. The thriving industries in tornadic supplies, sorcery/hot air balloon manufacturing and munchkin technologies have led to the city being given the nickname "America's Other Kansas City of the Future"!


Who are you dark sorcerer?!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Escobarred: Reds open Transfer Window by sending Silva to D.C. for da moneyz

Like Scrooge on Christmas, Kevin Payne flung open the Transfer Window this morning and sent a young boy on his way. Rather than send the youngster for the biggest goose however, Payne sent young Luis Silva packing for the other nation's capital and D.C. United.

What, you ask is a 4th Overall pick worth in 2013's fragile global economic landscape? The other striker we need? A replacement attacking midfielder now that we have... um... Wiedeman...? Surely a wide midfielder right? Nope. TEH MONEYZ!!! Yes, "The Cashman" (see above) has added to TFC's hilarious Scrooge McDuck (I know, went over my Scrooge quota) gold coin pile and added more Allocation Money.

According to Payne, The Reds "are bringing in new attacking talent this window and Luis' playing time would likely suffer". That's all fine and good, but let's hope these "talents" aren't all in the retirement fund not-so-bargain bin. Jettisoning a 24-year old who, until recently, has been highly regarded, will not look too forward-thinking if the allocation ends up being used on a mid-30's journeyman like  (ENTER ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYER OF CHOICE) who leaves after six months.

To be fair, Luis Silva has often looked gun-shy and a shadow of the 2012 model this season but this deal will have to be judged on what it leads to rather than how it looks today. More news is likely on the way, until then we will always have this...

Monday, July 8, 2013

THE STARTING 11: Reasons why Diego Forlan would consider Toronto FC

A hair-raising possibility!

There is much to say about the widely rumoured imminent signing of Uruguayan forward/ shampoo & conditioner aficionado Diego Forlan. We will cross that elderly South American bridge when (and if) we come to it. Who knows... we may only be hours away from the unveiling of the TFC marketing department's newest star the next legend to don the famous TFC Red. While Forlan is beyond a doubt in the twilight of his career, the 34-year old can likely attract interest from other international clubs so why consider career graveyard BMO Field?
11. He would immediately go down in history as one of the Top 10 Greatest Uruguayans to ever play for TFC
10. His family are desperate to meet hilarious international YouTube comedian "El Mayor Rob Ford"
9. He wants to get as geographically distant from countryman Luis Suarez's "biting range" as possible
8. Pumped to reunite the Manchester United magic with kid he once saw in the Old Trafford parking lot - Richard Eckersley
7. When Jim Brennan calls - you answer.
6. It would be an honour to continue the lineage of great TFC strikers like Lombardo, Cunningham, Gerba and Mista
5. Famous Canadian health care system will be handy when ACL ruptures after first match on MLS artificial turf
4. He’s an amateur hawk wrangler
3. In his honour, Toronto movie rental institution "Queen Video" has promised to change name of store to "Monte Video"
2. The Greater Toronto Area is a hub of innovation in the field of effeminate hairband technology
1. The completion of TFC's new Five Year Plan will be a great 40th birthday present!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT - Toronto FC vs Montreal... or who doesn't like memes?

You guys, seriously... I just spent the best $1 ever on an app.  It's a meme generator (link for those that don't know) and now I can create appropriate Toronto-related memes in class internet form.  It's the bestest.  And why the hell not?  It's not like there's been much good to say.  Our formerly hot young defender is a red-card magnet head-case, we're thin on the back line and we're playing Montreal.  Sure for some, this is a 'derby'.  For me, they're a grey mouse (more on that later).

Toronto is coming off of a positive-but-utimately-disappointing performance against RSL, and RSL ain't anything special.  They're no Montreal.  First place Montreal.  Year TWO Montreal.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish we were owned by a cheese magnate... *sigh*

1' - GOAL - Romero gets sent in catching a sleepy O'Dea, Bendik comes out to thwart the attempt, but doesn't get enough on the shot as the rebound ends back at Romero's feet and he puts it in a near-vacant net.

6' - GOAL - Brockie gets loose, wide left side of the box and launched a bullet high right. 

20' - GOAL - OK, what?  Caldwell gets his newly signed skull onto a cross and buries it.

24' - GOAL - What.  The.  Hell.  Is.  Going.  On.  Here.  Silva lays it off to O'Dea, takes three big steps into the box and hammers it low and into the corner.  Amends made.  This is happening!

37' - YELLOW - Russell for a rough tackle.  Sure, why not.

44' - YELLOW - Convey for, um, something.

Half-Time Mood : Damn.

46' - YELLOW - Agbossoumonde for, what can only be described as, accumulated bullshit.

49' - Blown call?  Blown call.  Sometimes it's so obvious...

55' - At this point we realize that someone is terribly gun-shy...

67' - Brockie gets set up with a ball 12 yards out by Lambe, but Chad Barrett's it way over the bar.

Quote of the Match :
He's the Earnshaw of Bermuda.
~ @theyorkies1812 on Lambe attempting
to poach bad defender passing
Then this shit happened...

69' - GOAL - Kamara turns and fires from nearly the penalty spot.

70 - GOAL - Ugh.  Di Vaio.  I predicted it, to be fair...

74' - SUB - Braun comes on for Silva.

77' - SUB - Hall comes on for Russel, which is well received from our stoop.

84' - SUB - Lambe makes way for Koevermans, a.k.a. Dutchsh Jeshush

89' - Brockie nearly becomes a legend with a shot just side of the right post.  So damn close.

4 minutes of extra time.


Man of the Match : We're gonna go with Brockie though there was some serious love for Laba and O'Dea could've had the nod if he hadn't fell asleep in the first 39 seconds of the game.

Goat of the Game : Agbossoumonde if only for the fear that he was one more tackle away from pulling a Henry.  He wasn't bad, but he was getting chippy.

Ref Rating : 2 out of 5. Giving Toledo a 1 is too easy.  There were a few times he let play go when it could've been stopped for a foul but didn't.  But he blows so many simple calls.  We did joke that it would be a challenge for him to screw over both Canadian sides tonight and if there was a way that neither team would earn points, he'd find a way.

I Am Not The Gaffer But... : While I appreciate going for the win in the last few minutes, I should be forgiven for wondering why the hell Koevermans came on when a fresh defender could've appeased uneasy regular patrons.  Also, I know this may not be a gaffer problem, but there wasn't a single defender that could be dressed as there were really none (naturally, anyways) on the bench?

Kit Spotting : We saw an AEK kit, which was different.  We almost gave the nod to the guy with the TFC kit with our very own Haitian sensation Fellinga on the back until we spotted a Sydney FC home on the way out of the ground.  Winner.

When you have to explain to people why they announce a sell-out when clearly one in every five seats are unoccupied, you aren't impressing anyone... seriously Silva, SHOOT THE DAMN BALL... To be fair, I predicted 4-1 Montreal.  If you don't think I have faith, then I don't think you ever watch the matches... Speaking of predictions, we believe Brockie is going to play out much like Plata : heralded loan a success, back to parent club, returns next season from a full transfer, bust, picked up by L.A. and bags a brace in his first full appearance... man, who doesn't love the 30 minute GO Trains, amirite?... Toronto truly deserved the 3 points tonight.  They played cohesive, creative, agressive football for about 65 minutes, which is about equal to the amount of football of the same description that they've played in TOTAL all season before tonight.  Struggled to regain composure after the quick two Montreal goals, but it wasn't all panic in the last ten minutes... I still wish Di Vaio played for Toronto, even though I really wanted to see Bendik pummel after end-of-half whining.

I was fortunate enough to travel to Germany for the 2006 World Cup and while in Munich, I stopped at the club shop of the greatest club in all of the nation, TSV 1860 Munich!  While there, I asked the attendant how easy or difficult was it to obtain kits from other clubs, specifically Hannover 96.  He told me that with the exception of the big clubs, like Bayern, Dortmund, Hamburg and maybe Schalke 04, you'll have to go to that particular town to find it.  Every city and town has a club and they are referred to as a "grey mouse" (translated from German), which is, common and unremarkable.

For me to hate/dislike Montreal is irrational because neither club has done anything significant to the other in their quest(s) for glory.  "Big" clubs to me are the glamour teams or historically successful ones, like DC United, L.A. Galaxy and Harrison Extreme Beverage.  I have a stronger distaste for Dallas and Kansas City than I do Montreal or Vancouver because nothing has happened with the northern clubs.  For now, Montreal is a grey mouse.  One day that may change.

Player Ratings : Bendik 7, O'Dea 6.5, Agbossoumonde 6, Caldwell 7, Richter 6, Convey 6, Russell 6 [Hall N/A], Laba 6.5, Lambe 6.5 [Koevermans N/A], Silva 6 [Braun N/A], Brockie 7

@ignirtoq feels that he's already got value for the money from the generator. With a little bit of luck/laziness, this won't be the last time he uses it.  We assure you, he will not be able to expense this app.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ginge Binge! Reds fill up on Michael Thomas... Sign Caldwell to permanent deal


A minor addition to the Toronto FC midfield today as TFC announced that they have acquired Michael Thomas from Sporting KC in exchange for a 2nd Round Pick in the 2015 SuperDraft. Little more than a depth move, not that there's anything wrong with that, but he could at least pretend that his extra first name was Philip.

The Kansas native returned to MLS with his home-state team after a couple of years playing in Sweden but had done little to prove his value in Sporting's busy midfield. An athletic if unspectacular player, despite Kevin Payne's protestations that he's one for the future, Thomas will likely fill a hole on the bench and eat minutes during the busy "friendly season".

Thomas does add to TFC's growing "ginger" depth though which bodes well for the important marketing towards Toronto's Irish, Scottish and Viking communities. He's no Philip Michael Thomas... but hey, who really is?

"Ladies and gentleman, #88... (mumble) MICHAEL THOMAS!"

But then, just to steal the thunder from Michael Thomas' marquee signing...

TFC has handed a permanent contract to big Scottish defender Steven Caldwell through 2015. While this deal will undoubtedly be an expensive one, it is hard to diminish the improvement to the backline that Caldwell's experience has brought.

Now, to just improve the midfield and forward positions to match the pricey expectations of TFC's sudden "Million Dollar D".

"Bank of Scotland son!"

Monday, July 1, 2013

THE MATCHUP with bonus Canada Day edition of THE STARTING 11: Mercy, mercy, mercredi (Now with 30% more bonus updated junk!)

We know, we know... you're in 1st


Joyeux Anniversaire Canada! You don't look a day over 140.
What better way to say "I love you platonically" to our fair land than a meeting of two of this nation's Top 3 football clubs? Well TFC is at least Top 10. On Wednesday it's dreaded rivals, Montreal Impact, heading southwesterly down L'Autoroute 401 for a midsummer night's dalliance with Toronto FC. Heard of Impact? Well dressed older Italian gents; quite good at the football; going to the playoffs in their second season; fond of Voyaguers Cup ass-poundings? Yeah them.
While derbies always gum up the machine, TFC will have to bounce back from a bit of a miserable fixture (at least half a miserable one) against RSL this past Saturday. Squad absentees will be the name of the game with questions abound surrounding the possible re-signing of Steven Caldwell (who will be unavailable sans new contract. Any updates posted below.) and of course the missing Canadian nationals jetting off to the Gold Cup.
On the bright side it will be nice to have something new to blame afterwards.
"The 401 Derby"

TORONTO: Danny Koevermans, Darren O'Dea, Luis Silva
MONTREAL: Patrice Bernier, Marco Di Vaio, Daniele Paponi
And now, as a special gift to all you Canucks and Canucklovers/Canuckistan Sympathizers reading internationally we bring you a bonus Starting 11:
THE STARTING 11: Ways that Montreal Impact supporters are spending Canada Day
Not all Quebecers can agree on the "Nationalism" question. ALL of them agree - relaxing is tres bien. While not all Montreal Impact supporters will be card carrying members of the Maple Leaf Appreciation Society they sure won't mind spending a day off doing whatever it is Support Du L'Impact do when they have some free time...
11. Hacking into TFC TV and editing the "Just For Laughs Gags" theme tune over TFC match highlights
10. Enjoying the warmth at Joey Saputo's annual "Provolone in the Sun Festival"
9. Talking in hushed tones about the wisdom of Jacob Peterson's political views
8. Burning effigies of that "dastardly nationalist traitor of the Quebecois Nation's righteous path"... Greg Sutton!
7. Petitioning the Canadian government to create a "Heritage Moment" film about the 2013 Voyageurs Cup semi-final
6. Avenging the Plains of Abraham... one plastic seat at a time!
5. Booing strippers wearing red lingerie
4. Walking around hip neighbourhoods in plaid shirts with trendy facial hair and an ironic Montreal Expos cap trying to look cool. (Sorry, that was from "Ways Toronto FC supporters are spending Canada Day")
3. Quietly appreciating Canadian healthcare... for its protection of elderly Italian footballers
2. Planning a hilarious frat boy prank to kidnap TFC's "Bitchy the Hawk" and replace her with a picture of the St-Hubert's chicken
1. Mocking TFC in both official languages
And... since it's Canada's birfday... and since we promised a dear friend to include this vastly under appreciated chanteuse every time Montreal was visiting... (Title translation and TFC jokes are ribbed for your pleasure)

UPDATE: Jesus TFC... statutory holiday! That means "you get to act like a statue for a day". It's Latin - I Googled it on Wikipedia.

Anyhoo, The Reds thought it would be fun to eff around with the only club that's more of a clown car than them and traded their top allocation spot to Chivas USA in exchange for The Goats' 2015 First Round MLS SuperDraft pick and an international roster spot through the 2014 season. Chivas USA will in turn use the allocation spot to sign American international Carlos Bocanegra.

Like two blind men playing cards.