Saturday, June 23, 2012
Hope at Last for TFC?
Well Wednesday night sure was fun, wasn't it? In a thrill-a-minute game vs Houston that, in all honesty, Toronto FC should have won, if only Paul Mriner didn't make the bone-headed decision to take off Julian De Guzman, who for me was TFC's man of the match, for an attacking midfielder with 20 minutes to go. It was a deflating end to an otherwise promising evening that saw many positives from which the team can build upon.
The aforementioned JDG was a monster in the middle of the pitch, continuing his form of recent weeks which validated the DP contract he was awarded 3 years ago. He was effective in shutting down the Dynamo attack, & delivered an excellent cross in to Danny Koevermans that enabled him to bag his 1st goal of the night. Speaking of the Dutchman, it was indeed a welcome sight to see him netting a brace. It has been quite frustrating to see our well compensated striker so ineffective, even downright disinterested at times, no player on the team more symbolized the ills of the clubs the Koevermans. I can hope that if this is the first glimpse of a revitalized Danny 2.0, it is also a harbinger of things to come for TFC. Special mention must also be made of Terry Dunfield. The never before seen offensive prowess he displayed gave Houston fits. I personally cannot recall a more effective performance from someone playing out in a wide position for Toronto FC. The way Terry challenged the defenders was very good & delivered excellent balls into the box that gave plenty for Houston to deal with. These factors, & many more caused some emotions to stir inside of me, a long suffering TFC fan, something I hadn`t felt in a long time & surprised that the bitter ending didn`t dissipate..
Now I know what some of you will say, especially those amongst the ranks of the perpetually pissed off who look for any itty bitty reason to dump on TFC, MLSE, the Illuminati, whoever, to vent their frustrations about the state of affairs surrounding the Reds. Hey I share those criticisms, I will be among the first to rejoice if the day comes the powers that be come to see the light & send Tom Anselmi packing, but if you are looking for snide, sour, snarky putdowns of the club, I would encourage you to seek out either of these fine gentlemen. I promise, you will an abundance of it from those two, their seemingly endless supply of bitterness will sustain you. I am more of a glass half-full type of fella, though hopefully not to the point of delusion. I wish to believe in the optimism I saw on Wednesday night. Now sure, the defence is still shambolic, their efforts at combatting crosses & set piece plays were absolutely shambolic, no glossing things over there, but the transfer window opens up in less than 2 weeks, & you can be damn sure that Mariner & Co are aggressively seeking out new blood for the backline. TFC is not a 1-9-1 side, & it is not a stretch to assume that a capable centre back partnership could have a resounding impact on the team`s fortunes. My reasoning is that with the midfielders & strikers playing a system that they are actually capable of playing, & a head coach that is far more pragmatic than his predecessor, things can & I suspect & certainly hope, it`s onwards & upwards for TFC.
However we will not have to wait long to see if my theory will hold up. The Reds play Paul Mariner`s former employer, New England, later on Saturday It is an eminently more winnable match than the previous 2 were. At the friendly confines of BMO, against an overachieving Revs side thatwhileshowing signs of promise, is still very much in the throes of a rebuilding process, trying to recapture their past glories, is a match that Toronto is quite capable of getting a result from, & we, the fans, should be disappointed if they do not succeed in do so. The effort in Texas is something that can be built upon & today is the perfect opportunity to do so. So, boy & girls, we will see if our hopes are justified, or if, as so many times before this year, our hopes are about to be horribly crushed by another lacklustre, underachieving TFC display. I tend not to think so today.
Prediction: TFC 2 Revs 1