Sunday, March 25, 2012

It Was A Rainy Day At BMO

Mood: *SIGH*
State Of Mind: *SIGH*
Location: Hiding under a pile of TFC SSH scarves 

Well that was fun, wasn't it? Seriously - didn't you enjoy sitting in the gusting winds, the rain, the half-full stadium at kickoff - all to watch our team put in a listless, disorganized performance? You didn't? Good. Neither did I.

I am (as it says at the top) relentlessly optimistic when it comes to TFC, but oh they do make it difficult to maintain that optimism when they put in performances like yesterday.

However, first I'd like to mention (read: rant about) the poor attendance for kick-off.  Here is what the East Stands and part of the South Stands looked like right before kick-off yesterday.

Does this look like a supportive, excited, here for our team kind of crowd to you? I know it was an early start. I know that there was limited parking and that part of the Yonge Subway line was closed. And I know that the weather was not what you would call optimal. The early start - get the hell out of bed an hour early, have some coffee and deal with it. The parking & transit issues had been well publicized by the team and was all over twitter, facebook as well as email reminders - there are numerous ways to get to BMO; it was easy to avoid the shutdown between Yonge and Union, the GO Train is a great option; etc. etc...The weather - you know as well as I do that the weather is going to be crap at BMO 50-75% off the time - are you really telling me that you're literally a fair weather fan? If so, please sell your tickets and only come to matches during the two or three nice days we get at BMO each year. For just one game I would like to see a full house BEFORE KICKOFF. Why? Because that's what passionate fans who care about their team do! They show up and are present for their team!

The performance - well, I certainly expected a much more umm, how shall I put it - cohesive, competitive, ah hell; just plain good performance.  I realize that our defense has struggled this year (and the year before and the one before that, and so on and so on) but the loss of Frings should not mean that it turns into a free for all out there. That admonishment about leaving Wondolowkie unmarked? Remember, dangerous striker and all that? Ignored. That fear (that we all share) about Ty Harden stepping onto the pitch - completely realized. The hope that Aceval would step up? Actually, some of that hope was realized as I felt that most of the time Miguel put in a decent performance in the middle. He made more right moves than not. Ecks (although I continue to enjoy his all out effort every match) and Morgan weren't terrible but the entire back four once again lacked any sort of communication and organization that lasted for any length of time.  Poor man marking and communication is what cost the team the game tonight.

Hey midfielders and strikers - don't think you've escaped my ire - not all of you mind but...Danny K...what is with the fitness thing? How many months does it take to get match fit? I like Danny, celebrated his amazing strike rate last year and had hoped that the pairing of he and RJ9 would lead to great things; but he has been lukewarm at best so far this season. Granted he looked a little sharper yesterday but we need him to be razor sharp going forward. Ryan Johnson was oh so close several times but didn't seem to have his usual finesse and was definitely not on his game. And Joao...that sophomore slump is hitting pretty hard isn't it?  Reggie Lambe proved me wrong (I was not happy to see him in the S11) with a pretty solid performance - he was fast, focused and had some nice movement. Terry Dunfield also had a decent performance - more of that calm thoughtful play please, but JDG seemingly reverted back to type with a lacklustre passing game (shocking) and poor presence in the midfield. 

I don't like being down on my team - I wouldn't have missed the home opener (or most matches actually) for anything, but oh it would be lovely if the joy and excitement that we felt less than two weeks ago, could continue for longer than a few days at a time.  I know that they're struggling with the loss of Frings and Frei and that has to weigh on a team.  The conditions were not ideal to play in but hey, San Jose played in those exact same conditions. And there were some good stretches where the team played well and seemed to be righting the ship but then that lack of organization at the back and in the midfield came roaring back to bite them in the ass. The team needs to come together while missing Frings - there needs to be a voice on the pitch game in game out keeping them on track.  Who that is remains to be seen; perhaps Julian will step up on Wednesday and keep the team focused - I certainly hope he does. 

Again, I don't think this is the end of the season - there should be no calls to fire everyone and start over - this is a team that can win. This is a team that can still have the breakout season that we've all been waiting for. I expect to see them fired up on Wednesday night, ready to put in that complete effort that we have seen from them more than once this year. Boys you've got three days to get focused, get pumped and get ready to show us that you want this. We'll be there cheering you on every step of the way; just give us something to cheer about.


Note: Dear Ref - why did you not card Leinhart after numerous infractions?  He certainly earned them time and time again. Just a thought for next time. Thanks.

Links-A-Lot: Here are your usual suspects for added analysis and post-match breakdowns: Waking The Red, The Yorkies , Partially Obstructed View and Red Nation Online

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