Mood: Sad, resigned, but not ready to jump off the ledge.
Today came the devastating news that TFC captain Torsten Frings would be out for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring injury that he suffered executing a perfect (and goal preventing) tackle in their loss to Seattle on Saturday. The screams and cries of dismay could be heard throughout the twittersphere as everyone reacted to the news that we were all hoping not to hear. The reaction is perhaps best illustrated by the always brilliant comic strip East Side Stand Up by Paul Marhue. There is no way to find the silver lining in this announcement - as I've said many times Torsten Frings is simply the best player to every put on a TFC kit - there is no way to replace a player of his caliber.
However; as upset as we all are by his injury, losing him for the next several weeks and even the turf that played a huge part in causing the injury (likely would not have happened on a grass pitch) we have to move past it. Dwelling and moaning and saying "if only" isn't going to make him heal any faster - this is football; players get hurt; teams still have to play week in and week out.
Of course the big questions are who will bolster the back line? Who will step up and take charge of the still shaky defense? And who will wear the captain's armband in Frings' absence? A bit of twitter silliness (see we can still laugh) this afternoon had us speculating that perhaps Ty would be "the man"...we were kidding, geez relax...didn't you laugh just a little? After crying out in horror that is...not even a giggle? Okay, okay, back to the issue at hand.
Again, these questions have no easy answers - can Aceval become the commanding presence in the centre? Will one of the fullbacks be asked to move over and take on one of the central roles? Will JDG finally play like a DP and be that link that controls the play and the midfield? Will there be a last minute signing or just do we just hope that Adrian Cann really is only a couple of weeks away from rejoining the team on the field? Those questions won't even begin to be answered until Saturday when the first sans-Frings S11 gets announced.
To me as a fan what's been heartening has been the response of the rest of the team - they've all been stating not just their willingness to fight but they've acknowledged that the entire team cannot rest on the talents of just one player. The always straight talking Ecks likely said it best in an interview at training by simply stating "Get on with it - everyone has to step up in Frings' absence". Get on with it - best response ever.
I'm not saying that we as fans shouldn't be nervous or concerned about the next month and a half; at the same time this shouldn't be the cue to sound the death knell on the season. If our team is that reliant on one player then why bother playing at all? I for one am very interested; even a little excited to see how the team reacts over these next few weeks - and it is only a few weeks; not the entire season. I want to see them fight and come together and show that this season is indeed different; that they're a different team who won't crumple at the first sign of adversity.
This Saturday come rain (it's probably going to be rain, sorry) or shine I will be in my seat ready to cheer on the boys in red at our home opener. I won't be thinking "oh man please don't let them lose" - no, I'm going to be confident that they will be fired up, focused and that they will win.
Come On You Reds - All Of You.
Lamenting Links: Waking the Red, The Yorkies,