Friday, May 18, 2012

Our Cup Runneth Over, Well Almost

Mood: Tired but happy
State of Mind: Enjoying the moment before cynicism Saturday
Location: Not in hiding, happy to sport my TFC colours today

*With apologies to the Ramones* 'Ninety, ninety, ninety more minutes to go...I'll need to be sedated."  

That's all, just ninety more minutes until the Voyageurs Cup will once again reside in Toronto. After a close to perfect road game Wednesday night in Vancouver, including an all important away goal, our beloved Reds have the nominal upper hand in the 2012 edition of the Voyageurs Cup over their west coast rivals the Whitecaps. I say close to perfect because well they didn't win, right?  Instead they once again conceded a goal in added time erasing a solid offensive and defensive effort on the night.

Wednesday night our boys surprised a number of people including myself and Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie by playing an energetic attacking game and taking it to the opposing team instead of sitting back and grinding out a non-result like they did two weeks ago in Montreal. This is how they should play every game; none of that stultifying, agonizing anti-football we saw in Montreal. It's much more enjoyable to watch and to play. This combined with the solid (most of the time) defensive efforts of the backline - yes, even Jeremy Hall once he settled down - should serve to see our boys actually, oh I don't know get some points this season in something other than a cup competition.

The Reds put together a pretty complete end to end effort. The defense started off looking shaky and nervous and if not for the forwards continually pressing the attack and some nice saves by Kocic our boys may have easily found themselves in a hole. Camilo Sanvezzo was particularly troublesome and caused several moments of "oh no, here we go" but the CB pairing of Cann and Henry were solid in the centre allowing Ashtone Morgan to work on keeping the wily Camilo contained. However the work done by the midfield (Dunfield's Ecks impression notwithstanding) & Ryan Johnson and Reggie Lambe up front kept the pressure on the Whitecaps defense and created a number of solid chances throughout the game.

After both teams escaped without having been scored upon in the first again the expectation was that the good old TFC Bus would make an appearance and yet again they surprised by continuing to push the advantage and were rewarded when a beautiful cross by JDG found Ryan Johnson (who was everywhere), who easily put it past Joe Cannon - this resulted in bedlam in my living room - well, as much as one person can create bedlam that is. I should probably apologize to the neighbours though...

After that it was a stressful, almost didn't want to watch 25 minutes of continuing competitive and attacking football by both teams. It had us cringing at every close chance, yelling in frustration at every odd and/or missed call by the newbie ref (how many handballs did he miss?) and finally swear in exasperation when in the 92nd minute Eric Hassli was given time and space to fire that rocket of a shot into the net past a frozen Kocic; who couldn't have stopped it if he had tried.  Really? Again with the late defensive breakdown; it's stopped being comical - now it's just rage inducing. Don't get me wrong; a draw (with an away goal) is the best I had hoped for in that game.  But to come that close to stealing the win and coming back to Toronto with all of the momentum and then watch it get blasted away? Frustrating...

I look upon it (as Aron Winter would say) as progress (or progresh) and am very confident of a win next Wednesday and our boys winning their fourth straight Voyageurs Cup!  It should be a fantastic night so see you there OK?

              In honour of the bus that didn't get parked here's your throwback tune of the week:

Link it up: Here you go! The Yorkies, Waking The Red, Partially Obstructed View and Red Nation Online.

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