State of Mind: Footy Gods are having a laugh, right?
Location: Not telling; don't need anymore pitying looks
0 and 5...kind of trips off the tongue doesn't it? It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry at this point - which emotion do we as supporters give in to? Laughing means the situation gets oh so comically bad that we don't have a choice but to laugh. Bright side of comically bad? Soon those of us that go to every match will have our pick of seats at BMO Field. The flip side is that well, we'll have our pick of seats...
Saturday's match was notable for several things: The moment of silence for Piermario Morosini before the match, the return of Adrian Cann and the lack of rain (seriously, it didn't rain).
Have to give kudos to the club for having the moment of silence for Morosini and to the fans for observing - it was completely silent at BMO for that minute; I had chills. See this post by Dave at Waking The Red for more details on Morosini's passing and reactions from the football communitiy.
The return of Adrian Cann was a bit of a worrisome prospect for me. I was very concerned about him being rushed back from injury especially as he'd yet to go a full 90 in either of the reserve matches. Even though I thought he played well in the reserve game a few weeks ago I still felt he needed more time. During the first half my fears were being realized; from my view in 226 Adrian looked a step off during every play. Clearances weren't purposeful, his headers went awry and well, he looked like a player that hadn't played in over a year; rusty. However, when (to my surprise) he came back out in the second I noticed a marked difference - I don't think it can all be attributed to the change in field position and no longer playing into the win - he looked much more comfortable and was more active and vocal in keeping the back line organized and his clearances and headers had much better success. While one match does not speak to the rest of the season, I think that Cann's return to the SXI is a good first step back onto the road to success for the team. And when paired with Doneil Henry later on in the second half a lot of us were wondering if we were seeing the future CB pairing for our Reds. While still quite young, Henry played quite well, again showing some of the form he displayed during the recent U23 tournament.
The first half overall was not one to inspire confidence - the team looked stagnant, weren't creating chances and with the exception of the battle between Ecks and Ryan Smith and Milos forcefully calling out Dunfield for a missed assignment, it was nothing to write home about. Had the team come out in the second half showing that same lack of effort I would have been ticked off. However in the second they showed life - they looked like a team and one that was pissed off about losing and actually wanted to win. Terry "Slide Tackle" Dunfield was doing a decent job in the mid but the changes in the back (Henry on for Aceval) and Avila on for Silva in the middle noticeably changed the energy and the attack. I thought Avi had some good touches on the ball and showed some nice moves on the attack - I expect to see more of him in the coming weeks.
Reds fans can be forgiven for thinking the laws of physics are different around the opposing goal or that our strikers are cursed as Ryan (RJ9) Johnson and Danny K. could not buy a goal. Admittedly Dan Kennedy had several amazing saves (and ended up winning POTW honours for his stellar keeping against TFC) that once again kept our boys off the scoresheet. I actually thought Danny was going to take out the goal itself on his last miss (they're cursed I tell you!).
Did I forget to mention the goal? Oh yeah, Oswaldo Minda of Chivas scored in the first half on a set piece where once again a defensive breakdown (stop me if you've heard this before)... Yet another reason to dislike the entire first half and of course helping to preserve Chivas' perfect road record thus far this season doesn't help - oh Fortress BMO, where are you? The Goats did not play better than our Reds but they scored that goal and our boys once again did not.
It's been a tough start to the season and I don't blame fans for being frustrated with the lack of wins and goals. Even an eternal optimist like myself finds it tough to be chipper; but as long as my team puts forth an effort I will support them to the end. And that comes to what actually made me angry on Saturday; not the result but the reaction of the fans. That was NOT a performance that deserved to be booed. Did you even watch the second half? To the guy several rows back of me who declared around the 80th minute that he was going to burn his tickets; please go right ahead - let someone else that will support the team have your seats. Part of supporting a team is to actually support them through good times and bad. Yes our Reds have had more bad than good so far, but if you only want to support winning teams then well, move to Spain and support Barca. I've booed our team before; but that was after 90 minutes of lacklustre, nothing effort upon lacklustre nothing effort - Saturday wasn't that and (result aside) our boys put in an effort that should be cheered. It should not be the call for heads to roll and declarations of abandoning the team you purport to love. I'll be in my seats this coming Saturday and for the rest of the season; regardless of what happens. Will you?
Links A Go-Go: If you haven't read these already you should get on that...The hilarious Table 5 report from Mark at The Yorkies, Duncan's breakdown over at Waking The Red and Armen at Red Nation Online.