The Yorkies' Regular Features

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blight of The Conchord! Reds sack Ryan Nelsen

On Labour Day Eve? TBez - you cold!

We're not sure what they teach you in New Zealish business school (because he didn't learn it on a coaching course) but Ryan Nelsen pretty much sealed his fate yesterday when he publicly called out his boss. Blaming Tim Bezbatchenko for putting too much pressure on his squad (a home win against New England - how outrageous a request!) was a major professional gaffe and one that sealed Nelsen's sacking today along with his entire staff minus Jason Bent. And yes fans - that includes The Immortal Jimmy Brennan.

Of course this move was seemingly the tipping point for TBez. Nelsen, a manager who never met a badge he liked, has been mired in a stubborn and mediocre style for large stretches of this season. When his DP strikers were scoring for results, Nelsen was surviving - but never quite flourishing. As the season has plodded on and injuries, form and fatigue have affected the expensively rebuilt TFC, Nelsen had often looked naive in regards to his handling of the line-up. Stubborn tactics, head-scratchingly odd substitutions and a general lack of progression came to a boil after the particularly insipid 3-0 loss to New England.

However... You think TFC learned a hard lesson in regards to "on the job training" managers? Not so fast hot shots. At the sack and hire press conference today, Bezbatchenko announced that the new PERMANENT head coach is TFC Academy Head and former Chivas USA Assistant Manager (his managerial zenith) Greg Vanney. "Yes!!!" said 0.00012% of TFC supporters. On the surface this is a mind-boggling move for a club that hasn't hired an experienced manager since Paul Mariner - and his experience was sinking Plymouth Argyle. You are all forgiven for assuming the fetal position.

Of course past experience doesn't guarantee future success but this all stinks of a giant re-run for TFC. The season that started with all that "bloody big" promise has a very 2010 feel to it suddenly. A playoff run now turns into a learning process under yet another new manager. While Nelsen wasn't likely the answer, Greg Vanney is the answer to a question no one was asking.

Caught your breath yet? Well sit down. It gets weirder. There are very loud rumours today that Jermain Defoe is well on his way back to England, in particular QPR. With the European transfer window about to shut - this could be within 24 hours. When asked about the team's money-maker and his future in Toronto, you could have driven a bus between the lines of Bezbatchenko's answer. The words you are looking for are "smoke" and "fire". What a blow to the image of this club and the house of cards sold to fans this past winter if this move comes to fruition.

One thing is obvious after today. With the imminent departure of  Tim Leiweke, Tim Bezbatchenko is putting his stamp of leadership on this club. The only question that remains - what kind of club will he have left to lead?

THE SOUTH STAND REPORT : Toronto v. New England... or Look a Ferris Wheel!

Ya know, this was a terrible match.

Top to bottom.

The final score was Toronto 0, New England 3 (Nguyen, Rowe, and son of Canadian Legend Alex Bunbury that shall not be named - that last one really pissed me off), in which the lack of organization in the back field left Bendik hung out to dry all afternoon.  At least our favourite cuss word got 20 minutes to run out... Fagundez!

So you'll have to forgive us as what my wife and I did after the match is much more interesting...

On to the Ex!

13' - The crafts building had the usual stuff but that's to be expected.

19' - three people were sitting in their motorized scooters, comparing rides.  Too bad it was in the middle of an aisle.

23' - BUY - The wife buys fudge.  The Butterfinger one looks crazy!

29' - They had these plaques for "Prayer for the"  (some profession) like teachers and engineers.  They had one prayer for Defenders which went something like this...

Dear Football Lord,
Please grant me the patience to leap for a cross at the right moment
Wait for the ball before committing
The talent to cover my partner
To be a leader when there is chaos
To move the ball confidently around the back
To never over hit a backpass to the keeper
And not to play my mark onside


I'm sure these will be snapped up and given as gag gifts all this week.

37' - I can carney bark better than this guy! If you want someone to get excited over your hammer and launch the from game, you should make it clear that you can win a ninja turtle in one shot.   Terrible finishing.

The second half of our journey took place in the Direct Energy Bldg, still more of the same...

48' - near miss with the grossly overpriced Lemonade stand.  When the hell has that ever been a good idea the second time around?  Stupid $5.

67' - the discount DVD section is always a hoot.  May live in regret walking away from Parker Lewis Can't Lose season 1 box set,  or the classic Roadhouse 2. Only time will tell.

71' - BUY - 2 dozen Tiny Tom's donuts, classic icing sugar.  Always a strong finish.

79' - BUY - The wife broke down and got one of those overpriced lemonades.  So tart.  Just weak decision making. I know who buys them now.

87' - nearly seals the night with a cotton candy purchase, but just a few feet from goal and just didn't settle.

Man of the Match : running into a friend and catching up was kinda nice.  Seems to be doing well.

Goat of the Grounds : up yet arse lemonade extortionists

Kit Spotting : some lucky kid is wearing the new super classy PSV home kit, but serious props to the kids wearing their local shirts.  Grimsby Town (yes, the one past Hamilton, but before St. Catherines) and Toronto Croatia looking sharp

If you PVR'd the actual game : delete it, go watch the Lego Movie,  just gave you the gift of a satisfying 90 mins

For realzies, it's hard to think of a more lackluster performance all season.  Now let's purge this memory and await Philadelphia!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

THE MATCHUP: Blind Ambition


"Ye Olde English Derby Matche"

- 4: Hours it takes the average fan to get in and out of BMO Field during the CNE
- Fetal: The position you would find Ryan Nelsen in after someone proposes he plays three attackers up front.
- 17,000: Number of people at BMO Field who underestimated the influence of Steven Caldwell until recently.
- 8/10 TFC fans will never be arsed to say Gilberto's full name
- 25%: Chance that Ashton Morgan still exists
- TFC and Revolution personality Paul Mariner hates ocean travel. Irony.
- If this match is a draw after 90 minutes, a winner will be chosen by blind draw.

- After debuting at BMO Field, new Revs' DP Jermaine Jones will likely expect fans to sit on both sides of the pitch at Gillette Stadium. Mistaken.
- "Shuttleworth": The surname of Revolution goalkeeper Bobby and one of NASA's finest astronaut compliments.
- "Fagundez!" continues to be Major League Soccer's best family-friendly curse-word.
- 0: Number of hot dog eating competitions won by Revs' midfielder Daigo Kobayashi.
- 33% of Wahlbergs have an interest in Saturday's match. Funky.
- "Partially torn musket" is still the most common Revs' injury.
- Two thirds of the name "Canadian National Exhibition" is ironic when used in the same sentence as "Teal Bunbury".


Monday, August 25, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Things that Tim Leiweke wants to accomplish before leaving Toronto

Drake (feat. Tim Leiweke)

Well that was a bloody quick deal. A day after vehemently denying his departure from MLSE, that very same glorious corporation announced Tim Leiweke's exit as their head honcho by next summer at the latest. While Leiweke blew into Toronto like a hurricane, he leaves on a mysteriously short-term breeze. Make no mistake, the blustery salesman did some good things during his time as MLSE CEO but there are a few things he wants to accomplish before leaving Toronto for good...

11. Surf on top of a GO Train wearing nothing but an ill-fitting TFC warm-up jacket

10. Be in a Drake video

9. Get his hilarious sitcom script starring Muggsy Bogues and Joao Plata in the hands of a Hollywood producer

8. Teach Ryan Nelsen not to pronounce his name as "Teem Leewikky"

7. Figure out what the hell Jim Brennan actually does

6. Put an end to the "Bee-right" vs. "Bright" Dike debate

5. Finally get Mo Johnston to move out of BMO Field's basement

4. Hide in the Ecuadorian embassy until this whole LeiwekeLeaks scandal blows over (Ed. - please fact-check)

3. Complete his album of sexy slow jams with Fran O'Leary

2. One night out as Jermain Defoe's wingman

1. Release Chris Konopka back into the wild

Saturday, August 23, 2014

THE SOUTH COUCH REPORT : Toronto v Chicago... Or head colds in August sucks

I don't know what I did to deserve this? I'm a good person.  I am a part of an internationally acclaimed podcast.  I make custom soccer jerseys for laughs.  I shouldn't have got sick on my birthday week.  Now I'm on the couch while my brother in law babysits my seats.  So stupid.

Looks like everyone is healthy.  Everyone except me.

3' - GOAL - Osorio to Morrow whose cross is headed in by Soumare.  He doesn't play for us.

5' - Oduro with a quality through to Gilberto forces a good diving  save from the Chicago keeper

22' - SUB - guess everyone wasn't as healthy as we thought as Caldwell comes off for Henry

43' - Closed my eyes for a bit.  Didn't miss a thing it appears

52' - There's a nap.  Missed nothing it seems

57' - YELLOW -  Warner goes in for a rough challenge.

57' - SUB - Jackson will come in for an injured Morrow

61' - Two minute nap. Well earned.

65' - Robert Earnshaw comes into the match. Good for him.  Hope he does well.   Next game.

69' - If I took a shot of cough medicine every time Dunleavy or Dolan used the adjective of "twisting"  in describing Amarikwa, I'd have long exceeded the recommended dosage #memorizedTheReport

70' -  GOAL - really Earnshaw? It's nowhere near October.  Counter, cross, header.

77' - SUB - Defoe comes off for Moore

79' - GOAL - Moore sends Gilberto through on a break and beats the keeper and buries it. GOALberto!

81' - Osorio breaks away and his shot is deflected by an impressive lunge to prevent which was obviously a goal

90' - GOAL - M*therf#cker.  Seriously? Are they out of ex-Robins? Amarikwa scores. No mentioning of twisting. I assume someone told them to knock it off with same descriptor.
3 mins of extra time 

90+3' - Henry should be booked.  Why not, this has had everything else.


Coughing Fits : 8

Messy Kleenex : 2

Phlegm : you bet.

Heavy Eyes : 29 mins worth,  including half time.

I think I'm doing better tonight than I was yesterday or even this morning.  Plenty of naps and football, like any good doctor would prescribe. Trying to stay away from NyQuil, who is a dear friend, due to the chance of having to drive people to the airport tomorrow. Hopefully will recover in time for podcasting. Though may produce less than 5% of the facts, the loss of nearly 43% of the comedy is a mighty blow to a side the struggles to keep it to a respectable length week in week out.

Player Ratings : Bendik 6, Bloom 7, Caldwell N/A [Henry 6.5], Hagglund 6.5, Morrow 6.5 [Jackson N/A], Oduro 6.5, Bradley 6, Warner 6, Osorio 6.5, Defoe 6 [Moore N/A], Gilberto 7

Contrarary to popular belief, @ignirtoq was not deliriously singing the Dichio song all game as the he's sick and not hallucinating. Full disclosure, he was sure last night Toronto signed Wayne Rooney, along with Troy and Abed from Community and one of those minions from the Despicable Me movies. The minion was the only one on DP money.

Friday, August 22, 2014

THE MATCHUP: "Do you wanna go Fire?!"


- 98%: Chance that Tim Leiweke's resignation will be involve the word "Argonauts"
- 2%: Chance that Tim Leiweke's successor at MLSE will have any f*cks to give about TFC.
- TFC physios are on alert for higher than usual "corn dog-related" injuries for the duration of the CNE.
- 7: Number of emotional reunions this season if Jermain Defoe returns to The Reds' lineup this weekend.
- Vegas odds put a Robert Earnshaw Saturday hat-trick at 2:1
- 82%: Probability of this fixture descending into a skirmish, kerfuffle and/or handbags.
- "Yes": The only acceptable answer to "Do you wanna go faster?"

-72% of Americans think of the TV Show first when they hear "Chicago Fire"
- 6 Months: Average gap between Robert Earnshaw goals in Major League Soccer.
- Fire forward Harry Shipp has won the coveted 2014 "Player Whose Name Most Suits a Pirate"
- Chicago currently 2nd in the Eastern Conference behind Montreal Impact as "The New TFC"
- Fire were third place in the recent Chicago Cup behind FC Earth and Wind City.
- "Draw": Frank Yallop's favourite result during a game of "Win, Lose or Draw"
- Chicago Fire defender Hunter Jumper is the closest thing MLS has to a green British sweater.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

A bloody big loss? How Tim Leiweke's departure may hurt Toronto FC

Much like the carnival hucksters surrounding BMO Field during the CNE, it is the "step right up" shtick of Tim Leiweke that has excited and frustrated TFC supporters in equal measure. The brash American CEO was brought in to fix the eternally stumbling Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment corporation on a wave of success that included wins for both the LA Kings and LA Lakers as well as the delivery of David Beckham to North American football. Unlike his MLSE predecessors, his monorail promises definitely put Toronto FC in a place of prominence next to their bigger brothers, the Leafs and Raptors - this was a new experience for TFC supporters.

While some of his bluster towards TFC has been cringe-worthy, few can argue that he really has had his eye on fixing the floundering club since day one and has backed that up with a top-to-bottom renovation that is beginning to show dividends. High-profile DP acquisitions, poaching a league wonderkid as GM and giving good lip service to supporters has healed many of the very deep wounds fostered by the likes of Tom Anselmi and his merry band of idiots who "lead" The Reds prior to Leiweke's arrival. All of which now leads to a big question: "what happens to TFC now that he's leaving?"

The whispers emerged earlier this week and today were confirmed that Tim Leiweke will indeed be leaving MLSE by next June at the latest. So just how could this affect the delicate balance that is the still-rebuilding TFC going forward? There are a few areas where fear amongst TFC fans may be warranted:

For years, TFC's front office was the justified lightning rod for TFC supporter frustrations. A rotating group of on-the-job trainers with little (or expired) connections to the league, let alone the greater football world, always left observers with the feeling that the lights were on but no one was home. They were mostly correct. The installation of MLS bright spark Tim Bezbatchenko, with Leiweke as the money man above, has been a tonic to seven years of rudderless leadership.

So what will happen to this branch of the MLSE Empire? Will the new CEO have TFC in his wallet and leave the day-to-day operations and team management to Tim Bezbatchenko? Will the young T-Bez be elevated to a higher "team president" role? These are questions that could have great impact on the club moving forward. Most supporters will agree that T-Bez seems like a very bright and well-connected steward who knows MLS intimately. Having someone like him as the "leader" of TFC would probably calm many nerves but his relationship under a new CEO will dictate that potential success.

Alternatively, a more hands-on CEO with an eye on ruling all of MLSE's properties with an iron fist may end up upsetting the fine balance and/or feel the need to install "his own men" into managerial roles. The best case scenario would seem to be allowing Bezbatchenko to grow into a club leadership role with greater autonomy under a financial overlord.

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Toronto FC-related CNE Attractions

Also how TFC chooses managers

Hot dogs are being corned; Judas Priest mirrors are being shined; ice-cream and waffles are about to make sweet, sweet love; and, the Polar Express really wants to go faster! Yes it's time once again for the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto's annual goodbye to summer/ carny-folk's annual hello to your sister. Of course the Exhibition Grounds are also the permanent home of local foot and ball squad/profit enthusiasts Toronto FC and as usual, the club has their own set of attractions to add to this year's festivities...

11. Ol' Gil's Wolf Steaks

10. The House of 2015 Season Ticket Increase Horrors

9. Julio Cesar practicing alone in a field

8. AIR SHOW EXCLUSIVE: Bitchy the Hawk vs. The Snowbirds

7. The Jeremy Hall of Mirrors

6. Timmy B's Allocation Casino

5. Bradley Orr head butts The Superdogs

4. "Word Up" - Warren Creavalle's one-man tribute to "Cameo"

3. Collin Samuel judges/eats the butter sculptures

2. Jermain Defoe guesses the age, weight and phone number of your girlfriend

1. Club Excobar

Sunday, August 17, 2014

THE SOUTH STOOL REPORT - Kansas City v Toronto... or Why Not Let The Refs Have a Go?

So we're out at an unnamed pub with Vocal Minority Podcast celebrity and host @kzknowles celebrating her something-teenth anniversary of her 25th birthday, having a few wobbly pops and watching a few wobbling defenses. Sure we're optimistic, but reality can be such a silly beast.

Onto the match!
17 -  PENALTY - Jackson took out someone in the box.  I guess it is,  but it's weak. 

17 - GOAL - Dwyer converts

32 - PENALTY - Henry hauls down someone in the box which, regardless if it is or isn't a penalty, typically leads to...

32 - GOAL - Dwyer converts

45 - GOAL - counter attack has Oduro on the wing slots a ball through to Gilberto who takes a touch then SIDE STEPS THE BALL AND BACK HEELS IT IN LIKE A SUPERSTAR.  Fantastic.

64 - GOAL - Saed takes a cross,  half volley and buried it from the top of the box

71 - Jackson damn you...  Beautiful 1-2 then dances around a defender to present a 3 man break and instead of passing to a wide open Osorio and Moore he goes for a shot and gets stopped by the keeper.

74 - SUB - Oduro off for Lovitz

77 - GOAL - Sapong gets on the end of a cross and taps it in.  No chance for Bendik

78 - SUB - Dike makes his return from long term injury to replace Moore

Quote of the Match
I think they're gonna lose
~ Roz with biting commentary

83 - SUB - Bradley off for Bekker


Man of the Match : GOALberto.  Ol' Gil's FIFA 14-esque finish was just so pretty.  Too bad it overshadowed the result.

Though we here at The Yorkies "pride" ourselves on our "journalism" and "integrity", but we felt that both penalties were suspect. We are not refs, even though on multiple occasions we're sure we could do the MLS officials' job with little preparation or fitness, but we like to think we have a grasp on the game.

That being said, it was understood that a penalty was awarded not for any foul in the box, but rather a foul that impeded a goal scoring opportunity.  So if I had just pushed the ball towards out of bounds nowhere near goal and I was taken down on a tackle, it wouldn't be a penalty.  Perhaps a free kick in the box? Typically the calls made for penalties are legitimate goal-scoring opportunities and not for what happened twice in this match. I am willing to understand what exactly these nuances are, and what separates from a penalty or a foul.

Regardless of Toronto were poor (which they were at points), but I felt that at least one of those penalties were uncalled for and that a strong argument could be made for neither.  Being two-nil down and then having to mount a comeback seems unnecessary.  Those first two goals truly belonged to the officials.  KC just happened to be the benefactors.  Toronto deserved the result but didn't deserve to go out like that.

Player Rating : Bendik 6, Jackson 5.5, Hagglund 6, Henry 6, Morrow 6, Oduro 6.5, Warner 6, Bradley 6 [Bekker N/A], Osorio 6 [Lovitz N/A], Gilberto 6.5, Moore 6 [Dike 10 just for coming back]

Thursday, August 14, 2014

THE MATCHUP: We could be Royals


- 7: Amount of days since a Sporting player has violently vomited on the pitch during a match.
- Part of Matt Besler and Graham Zusi's lucrative new DP contracts includes large swathes of actual Kansas.
- It is tremendous fun to yell "SAL ZIZZO" while using a stereotypical Italian-American accent.
- 97: How American Jacob Peterson is on a scale of 1-10
- SKC defender Chance Myers is not in the MLS Top 25 in chances. Irony.
- Soony Saad is actually a very happy person.
- Former Kansas City Wizards great Maurice Johnston will not be honoured before this match.

- 3: Number of letters difference between "contenders" and "pretenders".
- Opposition physios have put in orders for extra bandages, splints and ice packs to prepare for the imminent return of Bright Dike.
- 0.7: Average amount of times TFC supporters have complained about Justin Morrow this season.
- Quillan Roberts has been recalled from Wilmington to aid Warren Creavalle's attempt to form a "Cameo" cover-band.
- 1.3: Dwayne De Rosario sightings per month.
- 4: Souvlaki skewers eaten by Mark Bloom at "Taste of The Danforth" before complaining of "tzatziki headache".
- Jermain Defoe is leading MLS in emotional halftime reunions.

Monday, August 11, 2014

THE STARTING 11: Rewards for beating Bayern Munich in the MLS All Star Game

The most hipster club of all time.

According to many, the 2014 MLS All Star Game was one of the best versions of this annual match. Of course it's still an All Star Game so being called the "best one" is akin to being the tallest midget. We are not really fans of the "Late Mid-Summer Not-Quite Classic" but hey, we probably aren't the target audience. Either way, the MLS potpourri squad put on a show for the skinny jeans in Portland and by beating European giants Bayern Munich, scored some sweet Germanic rewards in the process...

11. Upon his recently announced retirement, Landon Donovan immediately becomes Vice-Chancellor of Germany

10. Don Garber's new office is in the tower of Neuschwanstein Castle

9. Kraftwerk to play halftime at MLS Cup

8. Portland Timbers allowed to rebrand as ultimate hipster football club "Borussia Portmund"

7. Crew Cat gets special delivery of free imported bratwurst for a year

6. J├╝rgen Klinsmann forced to give Toronto FC a full refund for "fixing the club"

5. For drive back to the airport, team bus graphics changed from reading "BAYERN MUNCHEN" to "BUTT MUNCHIN'"

4. Timber Joey gets 2 hours to "have his way" with the Black Forest

3. Ribery to Chivas USA

2. Bayern Munich manager forced to change name to "Chip Guardiola"

1. France has surrendered to Major League Soccer

Saturday, August 9, 2014

AFTER 90: Big Gulp

From Ohio With Love


1' - A beautiful evening in Central Ohio as the rivalry between Crew and TFC continues. What better way to celebrate the Trillium Cup glory than with a big jug of refreshing imported Ohio drinking water! Down in one!
3' - I don't feel so hot...
4' - Oh God... BACK IN A BIT!!!












43' - GOAL: Toronto - Gilberto calmly slots one home to give TFC the lead! Suddenly feeling better!

45'+ - PENALTY - Referee calls a handball on Justin Morrow in the Columbus area. Federico Higuain steps up and GOAL past Joe Bendik. Here comes the Toledo water again!


46' - Damn you Toledo water. Baldomero is now the second worse thing named Toledo!
47' - Jesus Andy Travis save me!




53' - YELLOW: Doneil Henry. GREEN: Ohio water.


59' - GOAL: Jonathan Osorio cleans up a Luke Moore dribble/fumble. Solid. Like this water.

61' - SUB: Dominic Oduro OFF / Jackson ON




78' - Lake Erie, you horrid algae-producing swamp...


81' - GOAL: A long looping ball from Justin Meram is misjudged by Doneil Henry which confuses Joe Bendik. A farcical equalizer.
82' - Lots of 2's tonight.


84' - GOAL: Things coming thick and fast. Not a digestion joke. Luke Moore gets his head on a sharp corner and restores the TFC lead.



90'+ - SUB: Luke Moore OFF / Kyle Bekker ON / Stomach OFF


PLAYER RATINGS: Joe Bendik 5.5 / Warren Creavalle 6.5 / Nick Hagglund 7 / Doneil Henry 5.5 / Justin Morrow 6 / Dominic Oduro 6 (Jackson 5.5) / Michael Bradley 7.5 / Collen Warner 6/ Jonathan Osorio 6.5 / Luke Moore 6.5 (Kyle Bekker N/A) / Gilberto 7

Michael Bradley

Friday, August 8, 2014

THE MATCHUP: It's a Crew, Crew Summer


"The New Soft"

- Crew Stadium is the USA's first soccer-specific stadium and winner of the "Most Flammable Scoreboard Award" 2010 - 2013.
- A group of leading American opticians have come out against a proposed friendly tournament between Columbus, Norwich City and Villarreal calling it a "reckless assault on eyesight".
- 1/3 of photo-realistic construction workers featured on terrible football badges are known carriers of The Clap. Don't be a victim.
- 14th overall SuperDraft pick and Columbus defender Ben Sweat has been loaned to Dayton Dutch Lions putting the brakes on his burgeoning R&B/Soul career.
- 10: Average number of patronizing pats on the head Crew's Federico Higuain gets from his brother Gonzalo at family gatherings.
- Crew Stadium security have been battling internal fighting amongst two factions of Crew supporters who can't agree whether their kits are "canary" or "banana".
- 12.77: Dollar amount raised by Columbus Crew mascot "Crew Cat’s" charity single "Lickin' My Bits for You". 10% of proceeds go towards the fight against Feline AIDS.

- Having already captured the 2014 Trillium Cup, Toronto FC will receive their bounty from Crew this weekend: 450,000 trillium bulbs. Lucrative. Floral.
- 6.5: Height in inches of Warren Creavalle's cameo. Word up.
- There is a 93% chance of finding Dominic Oduro in a Columbus-area "Papa John's" pizza restaurant this weekend.
- 20: The over-under amount on Jermain Defoe "groin injury" gags we use this weekend.
- Toronto-area bro's have a 1 in 5 chance of getting tasered in Central Ohio.
- The Reds are said to be doing well and resting comfortably after a near-miss with an overpriced Colin Kazim-Richards transfer. Disaster averted.
- 9/10: Number of times that TFC defenders urgently look for Michael Bradley when the ball ends up at their feet.

** Possibly

Monday, August 4, 2014

THE STARTING 11: TFC-related roadside attractions on Highway 401

"No Maxim, no!"

The "401 Derby" between TFC and Montreal Impact is not only one of MLS' most fierce rivalries but also one with a heavy flow of supporter traffic between the two cities. Connecting Toronto and Montreal is of course the mighty Highway 401 (and then something called an Autoroute 20 in Quebec). Along the rather mundane journey are a few spots of interest: "The Big Apple" near Colborne, a short detour to Jungle Cat World in Orono; and, that mystery smell near Cornwall. However, if the keen TFC supporter keeps an eye out, they will find a few spots with great relevance to their beloved club...

11. "The Issey Nakajima-Farran Inhumanity Memorial"

10. A 40-foot tall Greg Sutton goalkeeper's glove

9. The spot just outside of Bowmanville where the TFC bus pulled over to let Danleigh Borman pee in the woods only to drive off without him on purpose

8. The rural barn which Chad Barrett could infamously not hit the side of

7. The massive pothole in the express lane where Maxim Usanov punched the Highway 401

6. The curb where Mikael Yourassowsky used to is still trying to hitch a ride back to Belgium

5. "The Maurice Johnston On-Ramp to Nowhere"

4. Every bridge that crosses to the USA where Jacob Peterson used to try and escape the team bus and run across to freedom

3. The Thousand Islands / The place where Collin Samuel drank a bottle of Thousand Islands salad dressing

2. Prescott, Ontario's infamous nightspot "Club Prescobar"

1. The Official Town of MLSE: Port Hope

Sunday, August 3, 2014

LE RAPPORT DE STADE SUD - Montreal v Toronto... or At Least I Didn't Take The Train (and no one was hurt)

As I am kitted out, ready to depart my gracious hosts for this derby,  I can't help but think "what the hell am I doing here?!?" I'm still a bit sore, it took way too long to get out of the GTA, it's kinda warm, and we still have to battle Montreal traffic to get to Stade Fromage. I know Montreal is crap looking upwards and our beloved Robins are on the brink of a tumble downwards, but when haven't they been. Amirite?

Onto the match:

10 - GOAL - Gilberto with a cracker fired from 15 yards dead centre of goal. Magic!

54 - GOAL - Oduro out-paces his marker, in on goal from 30 yds. out, almost takes too many touches as Perkins gets some of his chip,  but as it's trickling toward the goal line,  Luke Moore wins the race and lunges the ball over the line. The tourists rejoice.

73 - SUB - Jackson comes in for Oduro

73 - SUB - Henry's shorts come off for a new pair of shorts.  Seriously.

80 - SUB - Warner off for Bekker

82 - Hagglund heads it off the bar from just in front of goal,  on the rebound Jackson has a go but stopped by a desperate defender's lunge.  Ensuing corner has a beautiful Gilberto curling shot just bend around the far post.

89 - SUB - Lovitz comes in for Gilberto.

4 mins of extra time


90+8 - Oh yeah, we are still being penned off. This is clearly for everyone's safety

90±12 - no problem selling beer to the section up until the 75th minute, but there's an issue with one lone person needing to rid their body of the beer. Makes sense.

90+15 - guy in a leather hat makes his escape, and all security can do is get in the way of letting him leave it appears.  Now leather hat guy is hopping over the railing to circumvent the lone security guard in his way.

90+21 - someone in traveling support has lit a fire in the stands.  Of course, because that's just what you do.

90+28 - OK now we can leave our seats and for some of us, pee

90+31 - of course we can't leave the way we entered the ground. Sure, let's leave by this other new and exciting way.

90+34 - oh look, this is where the players leave from. @kzknowles gets her shirt autographed. Find out by whom next Vocal Minority Podcast!

90+38 - underground parking. We will be out of here in no ti... 

90+44 - This isn't our lot. OK how do we get out of here

90+49 - exiting B underground lot. Of course we didn't park here.

90+52 - "oh this looks like the way we came" said many characters in a horror film

90+55 - man the Big O is super creepy when it appears that you are one of the last humans around for miles.

90+63 - no seriously, where's our lot? I tell my friend to text his wife and to tell her that he loves her, just in case we can't make it back alive.

90+68 - oh a sign... What do you mean there's underground parking lots of A1, A2, A3 and A4? No wonder locals resent this place. 

90+71 - this looks like parking but how does one get in

90+73 - here's an entrance. Playing "Marco Polo" with the car lock button on my key and I can hear it but I can't see it yet... Found it. We are going to live!

Man of the Match : I liked what the new kid was doing so Warren Creavalle gets it

Goat of the Game : not applicable

Ref Rating : 4 out of 5. Not bad at all

Kit Spotting : a family of Gremio kits should have won but a traveling supporter has Ruiz on his back so that's a lock

I Am Not The Gaffer But... : I would have made the first substitute earlier, taken Osorio off for Lovitz but well played so no issues here

If You PVR'd It : not a classic but watch the Gilberto goal again.  And then one more time.

I kinda feel bad for Jack Mac & Ernie.  Last season they were the super hot sensations in Philly and now they're struggling on a terrible Impact side. Hope they regain their form soon... What is Oduro thinking? On Wednesday, he took a pile of terrible shots from terrible angles and tonight he tries to lay it off on a 25 yard breakaway. The pass got through but I'd be surprised to think that anyone would have been upset to see him shoot... Why don't we have a song for Doneil Henry yet?

Player Ratings : Bendik 7, Creavalle 7.5, Hagglund 7, Henry 7, Morrow 6.5, Oduro 6.5 [Jackson N/A], Bradley 7, Warner 6.5 [Bekker N/A], Osorio 6, Gilberto 7 [Lovitz N/A], Moore 7