Jermain Defoe had a point to prove on Saturday. Not to TFC fans, but to Roy Hodgson who left him out of the 23 man preliminary England squad for the World Cup next month in Brazil. Whatever the reason, be it Euro-snobbery over the quality of MLS, or the stated reason of “going with youth”, then England’s loss certainly appears to be  TFC’s gain!

Although MLS closes down for a  two week break during the four week duration of the world Cup, TFC will have 4 MLS games scheduled while the tournament is in play and a further 3 prior to that where players have already reported for International Duty ……  TFC will be missing both Julio Cesar (Brazil) and Michael Bradley (USA) for the duration. You would expect Cesar to be gone for the whole thing, but perhaps not Bradley? It will depend on how USA gets on in the so-called ‘group of death’ with Germany, Ghana, and Portugal.

During the time players are on international duty, TFC will face only two teams – both in the second half of the World Cup – that have not been weakened by the inclusion of players in their countries’ squads and Defoe could potentially give TFC the edge in those games. You have to assume that most teams due to face TFC in June/July had expected them to be missing both Bradley and Defoe not just one of them so gameplans may need to be adjusted!

23/05 Sporting Kansas City A 2 Besler, Zusi (USA)
31/05 Columbus Crew H 3 Francis, Gonzalez (CRC), Parkhurst (USA) [possibly Arrieta (CRC)]
 07/06 San Jose Earthquakes H 3 Bernardez (CRC), Goodson, Wondolowski (USA)
 27/06 New York Red Bulls A 2 Cahill (AUS), Miller (CRC)
 02/07 Chicago Fire A 0
 05/07 DC United H 0
 12/07 Houston Dynamo H 2 Garcia (HON), Davis (USA), [possibly Lopez (HON)]

Back to this game … While TFC were missing Bradley and Cesar (and really missing Issey !!!), New York had lost Tim Cahill (Australia) and Roy Miller (Costa Rica) to their respective international squads, but the lineup still looked strong:   Bradley Wright-Philips is top scorer in MLS right now with 9 and leads the league in shots on target (18). ‘Keeper Luis Robles leads the league in saves with 42 and of course you cant ignore Thierry Henry who sits 4th in MLS this year with overall shots (36). Having said that, NYRB looked blunt on Saturday. The Red Bulls also had ex-TFC player Bobby Convey in the starting lineup and former red Richard Eckersley on the bench.

Perhaps it was the early goal? Perhaps it was surprise at the hard work of Bradley Orr in an unfamiliar midfield position? or maybe it was something else? but for some reason New York didn’t seem to get out of first gear for much of the match despite having the lion’s share of possession. Thierry Henry, often the destroyer of teams, seemed lethargic and uninterested and this permeated the rest of the team.

In years gone by we have frequently said that TFC played badly and made other teams look good, well in this game, TFC were made to look good by a New York side who struggled on the day.  That is not to say TFC were bad (they weren’t), rather it was a hard working “blue-collar” performance as one newspaper put it after the match as opposed to the silky stuff. But hey, we’ll take the ‘graft over craft’ some weeks if it gets us the points !

When the top scorer in MLS blasts a shot over from close range with the opposing keeper down on the ground, and the opposition then go up the pitch a few minutes later and score when keeper & his own player get in a tangle then that’s vintage “TFC 2013” kind of stuff !!! thats what happened to New York and TFC were happy to take advantage and all the points !!!

Gallery for this game: HERE

Some bonus video:

Jermain Defoe Goal (from TFC)

Luke Moore Goal (from TFC)

Highlights (from TFC)

TFC supporters in 113

Luke Moore Goal from the stands …

TFC supporters at the end of the game


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