TFC 0-1 Colorado : late loss
I had this big rant all prepared for/about referee David Gantar, based on the view that he had blown a call in the 76th minute that directly led to the Colorado goal on the counter attack. I read more than half a dozen reports from MLS, Goal.com, Star, Sun, ESPN etc., and never saw one mention of the incident. Was I imagining things? Sadly, it appears that I was.
From my viewpoint in 113, partially obscured by the net, it looked like Irwin had parried a Bekker free-kick away for a throw, but on closer inspection of the highlights it seems Bekker actually hit the post and the ball travelled out for a throw. From the throw, with TFC all at sixes and sevens, a decent passing move ended with Edson Buddle who would eventually score his 99th career MLS goal. It wasnt a classic but it was enough to take all three points. Mr Gantar does not get totally off the hook though. There were a fair number of questionable calls, not least at least one very significant shout for a TFC penalty late on … but ah well, thats football isnt it !!!
TFC were missing almost half a team of legitimate starters … Henry, Osorio, Bradley, Rey & Defoe all out with niggling injuries, but even with a test of our depth this early in the season, TFC fans were feeling upbeat before the game. 3 of those same players were missing last week and we still pulled out a result against league leaders Columbus, Colorado have never beaten TFC at BMO and until this game, ref David Gantar had not officiated over a game where TFC lost. These were just a few of the nuggets mentioned in the pre-game watering hole. But Stats Schmats .. they are always there to be proved wrong and they were in this game! However, the one thing that stood out for me in conversation, and I have said this from the day he was signed, so its nice to know others are on the same wavelength, is that if Jermain Defoe is a “bloody big deal” (and he is) then Michael Bradley is “A bloody bigger deal”. In all the games he has played, Bradley has been all over the pitch (in a good way) and literally ‘makes things tick’. He brings not just steel but also a confidence to the side that he exudes to all those around him.
This is the new TFC and the reality is we are going to have days like this when some of our top guys are not available. Last week many of the second stringers stepped up and did the job, and despite the result there were a few positives from this week too when those same second stringers got another chance to shine. One in particular is catching the eye for me. Kyle Bekker.
Bekker has stepped in for the injured Michael Bradley and to many people’s surprise after a less than stellar season in 2013, he has done a decent job so far. He is not Michael Bradley, hell even Chuck Norris isn’t MB, but the young Canadian has come on leaps and bounds and does not look out of place in the side. He hit the post late on and then right at the death had a superb free-kick that hit the outside edge of the junction of post and crossbar but overall he was involved all game. You would think he will be back on the bench when Osorio and Bradley are fit but looks to be a decent option when called upon.
It was good to be back at BMO again (I missed the home opener due to illness). The buzz seems to be back and it was fun. The new watering hole for U-Sector appears to be decent and after years of wondering if we could get anywhere closer to the ground it seems we have got the perfect spot. Its going to be a good year …….