Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bradley, Defoe, Gilberto, DeRo

Today marks the dawn of a new era for TFC. COME ON YOU REDS!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Match 3: At home vs. Chivas USA

The post-DeRo era begins for TFC this afternoon, as winless Chivas USA comes to town.

After last weeks success I would be disappointed with anything less than 3 points, but without De Rosario there is a chance that the attack could be in shambles. The TFC attack has gone through 2 players in their short 5 year history: Danny Dichio, and DeRo. Who will step up to fill the void?

Yourassowski sits this one out, as he was sent off last week. Julian De Guzman continues to recover from off-season knee surgery. Doneil Henry is out on international duty.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Confirmed: DERO TRADED!

TFC and Aron Winter have made a statement to the club sending disgruntled captain Dwayne De Rosario to the New York Red Bulls.

In return TFC receives 21-year-old midfielder Tony Tchani, 26-year-old defender-midfielder Danleigh Borman and a first-round pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

I'm stunned, to say the least.

Below is how the rumour played out:

According to various reports, the club is sending the midfielder to the New York Red Bulls for 21-year-old midfielder Tony Tchani, 26-year-old defender/midfielder Danleigh Borman and a first round draft pick.

This would be the stupidest thing Toronto FC has ever done, and TFC has done some pretty stupid things.

Even with Aron Winter's new system, it has been obvious through the first 2 matches of the season that the attack goes through De Rosario. There is nothing that Tchani or Borman can bring to the table that will replace this.

Now we wait and see just what is what...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Martina scores a brace! TFC 2 Portland 0

A different story for Toronto FC after their home opener against the expansion Portland Timbers as the Reds reward their home fans for braving below-freezing temperatures to witness a victory in Toronto's fifth home opener at BMO Field.
Javier Martina excelled, the Dutch striker finally on the receiving end of some quality service. His ability to finish was evident, especially on the second goal - a spectacular half-volley that curled in off the post from 20 yards out.

Mikael Yourassowsky was sent off in the 80' as he received his second Yellow Card of the match for what appeared to be time-wasting. Despite this, Yourassowsky had a very strong game, and his box-to-box presence played a huge role in TFCs success.

Despite the scoreline, TFC experienced more of the same trouble with their transition game that plagued them in the season opener in Vancouver. Towards the end of the first half, TFC found themselves bottled up yet again in their own end. Aron Winter brought on newly acquired Alen Stevanovic to replace the again ineffective Nathan Sturgis and the difference was clear in the second half, as TFC was able to string together a number of impressive looking runs on transition.

Nana Attakora was not in the lineup, but Ty Harden played a much improved game from last week, and Adrian Cann did an exemplary job in keeping Kenny Cooper, at times literally, under wraps.

There is still a lot of room to improve for TFC, but this first victory is a solid step in the right direction. It will be very interesting to see what Stevanovic can do once he is more accustomed to his teammates, and over a full 90'. Julian De Guzman gets closer to returning each day, and his return will be a huge lift to this TFC squad.

Next match: April 2: vs. Chivas USA

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Toronto FC Home Opener vs. Portland Timbers

Toronto FC looks to their opening match to improve on a poor showing in Vancouver last week.

On the injury front, Julian De Guzman is still out of the lineup while he recovers from knee surgery. Newcomer Elbekay Bouchiba will have to wait to make his TFC debut, out with a sprained knee. Midfielder Gianluca Zavarise is listed as questionable with an ankle issue.

I hope to see a stronger performance from the TFC back line. Nana, Cann, and Co. need a much improved performance than last week. Substituting Ty Harden may be a good starting point for Aron Winter.

The TFC midfield was also a mess last week, and I think Nathan Sturgis has earned himself a place on the pine. Zavarise would be his likely substitute, but with his status in doubt Sturgis may be pressed into action yet again.

Upfront, the Dutch newcomers have yet to impress, though the flow of play and poor midfield performance nullified their presence in Vancouver. Despite this, Maicon Santos performed well, and De Rosario was dangerous as always.

Serbian-born Alen Stevanovic comes over on loan from Torino FC in Italian Serie B, having prior had a stint with Inter Milan. Having just arrived in Toronto I would be surprised to see the 20-year old midfielder take the pitch today, though we might see him as a late match substitution.

The TotalTFC team will be at the match freezing in the steel of BMO field, so no live blog. Follow us on Twitter (@TotalTFC) for updates!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The day after... TFC v. Vancouver

So the supporters groups are up in arms, at least taking sides, after the Slaughter at Empire Field. I would like to advise everyone to STAY CALM. It's the first match of the season.

Keep in mind that, unlike the case with TFC, the Whitecaps are a long-established organization, so despite this being their first MLS match, the club already has a preferred playing style and an established game plan. Something TFC still hasn't been able to muster here in its fifth season.

Still, it's largely a brand new side in Vancouver, but realistically it's the same boat in Toronto. Maybe even more so with the complete front office cleanout from last season. On top of that, Mo and Preki didn't leave current management much to work with.

At the end of the day, it's one match out of many more to come. Granted, TFC didn't look very good, but there is certainly room for improvement and some players had solid individual performances.

The Good

Dwayne De Rosario

Looks like he will be filling his familiar Midfield floater role, bringing a very offensive minded presence to the midfield from either wing, or the middle, where ever he sees fit. This is where DeRo is most effective, allowing his creativity to shine and open up plays for his teammates. Tracked down a lovely lob pass from Santos to score TFCs first.

Maicon Santos

There's not much that needs to be said about that left-footed blast in the 74'. Let's face it, the guy has the ability to pull goals out of nothing with that kind of left foot, and we've seen it before. Great vision shown to set up DeRo's goal too. Unfortunately his number of touches were limited by TFCs overall poor midfield play.

The Bad

Adrian Cann and Nana Attakora

The anchors of our back line were a mess for most of the match. Seemingly lost on each Vancouver drive, you could see them scrambling about the field as if they were unsure of who to cover, or what to do. Winter's new style of play will put an awful lot of pressure on these guys. If TFC is going to succeed they will need to make the adjustment faster than they have showed.

The Ugly

Ty Harden

Toronto FC has a long and storied history of terrible defenders, but Ty Harden may have put in the single worst performance in Reds history. Outmatched on strength, footspeed, and field smarts, we may as well have slapped a red shirt on a wooden dummy and called it a day. The dummy would have had less turnovers. Now it's not necessarily fair to pin all of the turnovers on poor Harden, he almost never had any options to pass too as TFCs midfield pulled a Copperfield-esque disappearing act almost every time they had a chance to clear, which leads me to...

TFCs midfield

With the exception of De Rosario, the other players lined up as "midfielders" had as much impact in the match as I did from my couch at home. Jacob Peterson had some quality touches early, but his lack of ability is evident on just about every play. Nathan Sturgis was completely invisible all match, while Dan Gargan just couldn't seem to figure out if he was supposed to line up as a defender or a midfielder and ended up playing as neither. Without this important linkage from the defence to the attack, TFC spent the majority of the game hoofing the ball upfield only to have it pushed right back in to their zone. This resulted in Vancouver's 11 corner kicks and plenty of quality time on the attacking side of the ball. Combine this with a struggling back line and you have a recipe for disaster!

Some positives...

Despite being stuck in neutral for most of the match, I can see where Winter's system is taking us. With JDG in the lineup at his comfortable holding midfield role, he will be able to fully utilize his distribution ability, unleashing the killer through-balls that we are used to seeing from him on the MNT to provide service to the 4-man TFC attack. This ability was sorely missed last match.

While a quality player at holding midfield is the keystone to this attack, strong play on the wings can provide substitute in its absence. While Sturgis and Peterson just weren't up for the task, things improved slightly when Yourassowski and Zavarise came in as substitutes. At the very least they brought energy, speed, and aggressiveness to the pitch. While their quality of service remains to be seen or judged, this style of play on the wing will do well to support a 3-man front. I hope to see them both in the starting lineup for next weeks home-opener vs. Portland.

Keep faith TFC fans. Give Winter some time to instill his system into his new charges. The confusion on the back line will only dissipate, and give way to an effective and exciting transition game. TFCs new Dutch attackers are still largely unknown commodities given the poor play by TFCs midfield last match. The season is far from over, in fact, it has just begun.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Match 1: Dominated in Vancouver. 4-2 Whitecaps

Toronto FC opened the 2011 MLS Season with a loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps, in the Whitecaps MLS debut.

The speed of the Whitecaps attackers seemed to give TFC fits generating 11 corner kicks, and with the exception of the early minutes of the match, Vancouver was dominant all over the pitch. If Whitecaps striker Atiba Harris was a better finisher, this one could have easily been 6-2. Fortunately, Harris put his best Chad Barrett impersonation on and missed several good chances.

New TFC boss Aron Winter still seems to be feeling out his roster. After being dominated early in the 2nd half, Winter brought on Yourassowsky and Zavarise and their arrival initiated a marked improvement in TFCs midfield play. I would hope this will warrant starts for these players over the likes of Peterson and Sturgis. While Peterson was involved and had some decent chances, Sturgis was completely invisible. Ty Harden had a terrible match, and Cann and Nana struggled throughout.

The new Dutch attackers were largely invisible also. All of the TFC attack came from two familiar sources. Dero slotted home an excellent through pass from Santos, who also found the mark with a spectacular left footed strike from 20 yards out.

TotalTFC returns!


90+3 - TFC defenders can't seem to close the distance on the Vancouver attackers. Either not enough speed or not enough effort. Either way they have been terrible.

90+1 - Santos with some nifty footwork in midfield.

88:00 -ANOTHER Vancouver corner. Cleared safe.

87:30 - Dero floats a free kick into the area, bounces around until it ends up on the foot of Makubuya, who puts it wide

86:30 - Khalfan whiffs on the volley, gets it again and puts on on target. Frei with the stop

85:00 - Long balls are creating dangerous opportunities for Vancouver. TFC defenders being exposed with speed

83:00 -Zavarise generates a dangerous chance with good hustle

82:30 - Hassli comes off to a standing ovation from the home crowd

81:00 - TFC on the counter, Red shirts fall all over the box. Goal kick for Nolly.

80:26 - Vancouver maintains possession off the corner which results in their 11th cornerkick

79:00 - Hassli again manages to get clear behind the Toronto line. 10th corner for Vancouver

78:50 - Dero leads the attack, Yourassowsky shows some speed down the wing. That could be a nice combination in the future for TFC

77:50 - Harden again with a brutal pass. This one fortuantely ends up on Gargans foot

77:17 - TFC finally showing signs of life

76:21 - Hooks over the bar

76:00 - Dero lines it up

75:00 -De Merrit with a hard tackle, free kick TFC just outside the box.

74:00 - MAICON SANTOS! From just outside the box, left foot to the top left corner. 4-2!

73:30 - Another through ball by Vancouver, TFC can't handle it, luckly goes too far.

71:56 - Hassli finishes a 2-on-0 all the way from HALF - disgraceful effort by TFC. 4-1 Vancouver

71:26 - This is closer to the lineup I expected to see at the start of the match.

70:43 - Toronto Substitution: IN Yourassowsky OUT: Lurch

70:00 - Harden AGAIN gives the ball away cheaply

68:44 - I'm happy that Sturgis is coming out. I was less than impressed by his play today. Excited to see Zavarise's TFC debut.

68:30 - Toronto Substitution: IN: Zavarise OUT: Sturgis

67:30 - Vancouver Substitution: IN: Knight OUT: ?

66:00 - good play by TFC ends up on the foot of Lurch Peterson, who drives it right at a defender and manages to hurt himself

65:30 - Harris in CLEAR on a breakaway. Frei stands his ground. If Harris could finish it would be 6-1. Thank goodness he can't

64:50 - Dero hits an awkward one right at Nolly. 1st shot for TFC this half?

63:00 - Not 2-1 anymore. Harris finally hits the goal. Reds just a mess trying to defend that corner. 3-1

62:30 - Yet another Vancouver corner. It's astounding that it is only 2-1

60:00 - Vancouver having their way all over the pitch. Outclassing TFC at every position

58:40 - Frei handles the corner just ahead of DeMerrit. How many more can TFC deal with?

57:22 - STILL all Vancouver. TFC is hanging on by their fingernails here. Corner is cleared, but no possession in midfield for TFC. Ball back in for ANOTHER Vancouver corner

56:00 - Dunfield hits a poor corner. TFC struggles to clear with any control. Nolly fires it back up for Vancouver.

55:30 - Harden puts the corner behind goal. Lets do it again!

54:40 - Cann comes back to clear a dangerous cross to safety behind the goal. Corner Vancouver.

52:40 - All Vancouver so far this half.

52:00 - Good freekick by Vancouver requires a good save by Frei

51:00 Harden is just out to lunch right now

50:30 - Harris through on goal, gets taken down clean by Nana.

48:00 - Haslii gets whistled for a jersey pull - still cheekily puts it behind Frei and earns a booking for his troubles

47:06 - We'll see if Winter can make some adjustments to generate more chances out of ball possession

Half time Substitutions: TFC IN: Makubuya OUT: Soolsma Vancouver IN: ? OUT: Chiumiento

45 + 4 - Freekick TFC - bounces around in the area, finally Lurch Peterson gets a head on it but Nolly pulls it in easily

45 + 3 - Harris bowls over Nana and goes in on goal. Harris can't even come close to hitting the net today. Nowhere near

45 + :2:17 - TFC moving slowly down the wing. Nothing doing inside the box

45 + :35 - Pretty obvious that Vancouver adapted to the TFC formation. The Reds have been bottled up since the Dero goal

45:00 - 5 minutes stoppage time

44:25 - Corner for Vancouver, safe hands by Frei as he goes up to get it

43:30 - Gargan gets yellow

41:00 - Dero can't pull in a bad pass, Midfield disappears allowing Vancouver to walk in on the TFC backline

40:00 - Great play develops in midfield for Vancouver, no finish from Harris

39:00 -Yellow card on Harris

38:30 - Another great chance for Vancouver on a good low cross

37:00 - Santos brought down, no space to turn, and no midfielders to pass to.

36:00 - Vancouvers 3rd corner to TFCs 0 - well delivered, ends up behind the goal on an unlucky deflection for Vancouver

35:00 - TFC midfield has been disappointing. All the good touches have come from Dero and the 3 forwards

32:30 - Soolsma and Dero get their signals crossed up. That could've been sweet if they were on the same page.

31:34 - Sturgis gets yellow for a late tackle

30:52 - Vancouver taking a defensive look to their 4-4-2.

30:10 - Too much of a gap forming between TFCs defenders and attackers.

27:11 - Yellow Card issued to Dunfield for excessive celebration

26:46 - Chuimiento sent that ball through. Cann and Nana not having the best of halves..

25:55 - Beautiful through ball to hometown boy Terry Dunfield 2-1 Vancouver.

22:44 - Great set-piece results in a good chance. Safe hands by Frei who was well positioned to save the open header

21:55 - Free kick Vancouver

20:59 - BIG collision at the edge of TFCs 18 yd box

20:00 - Lovely ball by Santos to spring Dero free

19:32 - DE-RO! DE-RO! 1-1

18:40 - Hideous giveaway by TFC in the back

15:20 - Not sure who was supposed to mark Hassli on that one. Lurch Peterson came back too late, both CBs were covering the short option who looked to be in an offside position anyway. TFC made a mess of that one.

14:16 - Vancouver won't have to wait as long as we did for their first MLS goal. Hassli unmarked. 1-0

13:30 - Nice ball by Gargan goes begging for a head. Goal Kick

12:20 - Maicon Santos strays offside... will Vancouver trap out the 4-3-3?

11:30 - Hassli gets away with one there...

9:43 - Quick short corner by Vancouver goes high. Nana and Cann are going to have to be stellar for this 4-3-3 to work.

7:30 - But the math works both ways; stong Vancouver attack results in a corner.

6:41 - Vancouver seems to be having difficulty trying to contain the TFC attack, it seems to be just a numbers thing. TFC always has an open option on one of the wings.

5:50 - DeRo puts a bit too much on an open cross opportunity.

5:00 - Anyone notice some odd camera work from the main camera? angle seems funny and really far away..

1:22 - Nice switch by Santos, sets up Martina who gets the ball to DeRo for the first shot on goal.


- Interested to see what Strugis can bring to the 11 shirt, and how the Dutch pair mesh with Santos up front. Not to mention Aron Winter's approach to the MLS game. Lots to be excited about for this season for TFC.

- TSN intro showcasing the history of the Vancouver Whitecaps. 1979 NASL Soccer Bowl Champs etc. etc. blah blah. Pretty jealous to be honest. Can't wait for TFC to have a historic highlight reel that doesn't include Andy Welsh scoring a goal.