State of Mind: Did that really happen?
Location: Super hot supporter's couch
Anxiety Level: High - have we lost Danny?
What a game. It's hard to believe that so much happened in just 90 minutes - OK, 102 minutes thanks to the insane amount of added time. Goal, shambolic defending, Danny hurt, Milos standing on his head, shambolic defending, 12 minutes (yes 12) of added time, RJ can't finish and THEY FREAKING WON!!
This game had a lot of underlying stories heading into kickoff - Mariner's return to his old stomping grounds, JDG being traded, the Rev's AJ Soares pretty much guaranteeing a win and the little matter of TFC never having won in Foxborough.
The game started out well for the Reds when Luis Silva put one past Revs keeper Bobby Shuttleworth after some very nice work from Reggie Lambe. Our Reds up 1-0 less than 10 minutes into a game? Fantastic. But no one I was watching with was satisfied; TFC does not generally inspire confidence these days, even when they score first. But they surprised us. Lots of nice play through the middle, some actual decent passing and they kept pressing.
But then in true TFC fashion they started going to pieces putting on a fantastic combination of shambolic (what, I like the word, sue me) defending and a maddening inability to finish (can we please enroll RJ in a finishing school of the non-charming variety?) at the opposite end. And yet, yet they were still up 1-0. Thanks to some sublime goalkeeping from Kocic our Reds continued to hold the lead - what alternate universe was this?
Then came the most devastating moment of the game; no not a Revs goal, but Danny Koevermans down on the pitch clutching his knee after a collision with A.J. Soares in the box with less than 10 minutes left in the half. He was stretchered off and from all indications it doesn't look good at all for the finally fit and in form striker. This is one of the scariest and most upsetting things I've seen as a TFC fan; because as Danny goes so go the fortunes of TFC. Prove me wrong RJ....TFC have no secondary scoring threat and unless Ryan can figure out between now and the end of the month how to actually put the the ball into the net, things are going to revert back to very ugly for our boys.
Newest Red Andrew (Andy the eye candy) Weideman came on in his place and while yes he's a forward; he's one with very little experience and likely did not expect to play for his new team quite so soon. He did not acquit himself very well when he first came on the field - although this is not surprising, first game, he's hardly played this season - and by the end of the game had shown a few nice touches but he's still very much an unknown quantity and hardly expected to step into Danny's boots.
The second half was quite frankly terrifying to watch - and why was Aaron Maund given a run out, why not put Avi out there? The Rev pretty much owned possession and spent the majority of the half continually pressing and attacking the Reds goal. If not for some outstanding work by Ecks and Kocic (MOTM in a stellar performance) at critical moments as well as some decent play by Logan Emory and the rest of the back line this game would have (and honestly should have) been lost. But at the end after seven minutes (SAF must have been in town) of added time in which I don't think I dared to breathe as I waited for the inevitable (and patented) TFC last minute goal concession, the ref blew the whistle and unbelievably, wonderfully the Reds had won.
This was by no means a game to hold up and say ooh, look at how well they played, look at the progress! No, this was one of those "how in the hell did they manage to hang on and come away with three points?" kind of games. Not only did they win for the first time ever in Foxborough but they won one of those games that have always bitten them in the past - I did not expect them to come away with more than one point on this day and on any other day this team would not have come away with the win. But every team gets at least one of these wins on the season and finally it was TFC's turn. Certainly they and we the fans will not quibble at 3 points (on the road!), a clean sheet and back to back wins (it's not a streak) - I'll take all the positives I can get.
What happens next is still very much in the dark; there are signings coming but are there attacking players being looked at; as all of the focus has been on securing an experienced CB to anchor and organize the defense. No one could have anticipated that Danny would go down, but RJ's lack of finish has been apparent for most of the season. Patience is being asked for and I'm fine with waiting as this team does not need yet another knee jerk signing to temporarily bandage its wounds. The woeful lack of depth on this team is not a new issue but seems highlighted in neon this season; reinforcements are needed and soon. Hopefully our patience is rewarded with smart signings and a chance to rebuild (for this is a rebuild, not a 'tweak') for next season. So, see you on Wednesday?
Allez Les Rouges!
Late Links: Read all about it! The Yorkies, Waking The Red and Red Nation Online.