State of Mind: Sigh, yet hopeful
Location: Secret TFC Supporter Couch
It wasn't all for naught, was it? Yes our beloved Reds again failed to secure any points or beat that annoying yellow team. Yes, they once again failed to score and yes many fans will fail to see any improvement or reason to continue supporting the team this season.
I will not say that I am not frustrated that an eminently winnable game fell through the cracks and that I am not even a little despondent that TFC still have zero points on the season. But what makes it all the more frustrating was that our team played well; hell they played better than that annoying yellow team.
Let's focus on the positives first shall we?
1. That. Save. You know what I'm talking about - when Milos stonewalled Milovan Mirosevic on that completely bogus Penalty Call. From my seats in 226 it was a loud, raucous, joyous group of fans who screamed and celebrated with Kocic as he punched the air in triumph in front of us. Oh to have preserved that moment and stopped the game right there. Is there any question that Milos deserves that #1 keeper designation? I thought not.
2. Some really decent play by Dunfield and de Guzman in the midfield - no, I'm not having a laugh; I really mean that. They both played quite well - this is what's known as progress and hope for the future.
3. Soolsma - seriously, where did Nick find this added dimension to his game? Was he hibernating last season? I swear I saw him outrun more than one Crew defender - Soolsma with pace? What alternate universe are we in?
4. Logan Emory - yes, I know that there are many of you that feel the error he made that contributed to the Columbus goal should erase all of the outstanding work he put in as CB. I obviously disagree - I saw a number of smart decisions, little hesitation at using his mop of hair to head the ball out of danger and decent man marking. I would not be unhappy to see him in the SXI again.
5. Ty Harden - he actually wasn't terrible; in fact more than once I think I actually praised him - an odd feeling to be sure.
6. Overall good team effort - I mean that. They had some really nice runs, good control, and were attacking and defending well.
The not so positives...
1. The goal - *SIGH* A combination of a mis-handled ball by JDG and a poor clearance by Emory saw the ball fall right at Bernardo Anor's feet and well, you were there, you know what happened next.
2. Failure to score; again. It's becoming a bit of broken record isn't it? This is definitely a team that can score - so why aren't they? Some excellent forward play and still nothing.
3. Continuing to play the aerial game when it obviously wasn't working against a (surprising to me) very solid Crew defense.
4. The ref - from the terrible decision on the penalty call to the non-calls on TFC players every time they got hammered - I could go on, but again you were there, you saw it. I realize this is an uncontrollable variable but difficult to watch and experience nonetheless.
5. Well, they lost - that has to go in the negative column. For all of the positive play they still didn't come out the other side with three points.
I realize it's difficult as a fan to watch your team succeed on one level (hello CCL) and continue to fail in league play. However it is not time to throw in the towel - do not stop coming out and supporting our team - it is going to turn around, they will right this somewhat foundering ship.
For me the most poignant moment of the match came after the final whistle. I looked out onto the field and saw Ecks kneeling on the pitch, obviously despondent pounding the turf in frustration. A minute later when he was awarded the man of the match he barely stood still long enough for the obligatory picture and then stormed off - it is both heartening and upsetting to see a player that frustrated - you want the players to be affected by a loss but you have to wonder and worry how it affects them long term. Do they fight back or give in?
I say fight back boys; we're there cheering you on and I for one can't wait to see you turn it around.
Links-ahoy: The Yorkies, Waking The Red, Red Nation Online, Mistake By The Lake