TFC 3-0 Chivas: A Regal performance
Ok, the whisky metaphor in the title may not fit that well when we are playing a team that was once a subsidiary of Mexican side CD Guadalajara but with our Scottish captain making a welcome return and a 3-0 victory at full time … Chivas Regal it is !!!
Going into this game TFC were winless in their previous six matches including last week’s game that included an egregious decision at the hands of David Gantar … a decision that even had the league commissioner declaring it wrong … before stating that Michael Bradley may still face disciplinary action for highlighting this very fact !!! It would not be so bad, but its about the 4th time TFC have suffered a wrongly called game changing decision at the hands of a referee this season …. see Gareth Wheeler’s preview of this match for the other 4 instances. So all eyes were on Edvin Jurisevic for this one.
This would be Jurisevic’s 8th game involving TFC since 2009. In his previous 7 he had overseen 1 win, 2 draws and 4 losses. He had issued 17 yellows to TFC and no reds or PKs against us. The opposition got off a little easier with 8 yellows, no reds and 1 PK awarded to them. Only 2 of his previous games had been at BMO field and we had yet to win …. suffering a draw and a defeat in previous outings (1-1 V Dallas in 2010, 1-2 V Chicago in 2013).
The only real talking point of the game from a refereeing perspective came in the 66th minute when he sent off both Jackson and Nigel Reo-Coker for a melee in front of the TFC bench. Controversial? not this time. Although it looked like “handbags” from across the field in the supporters section, TFC headcoach Vanney acknowledged that Jackson got involved in a confrontation and had raised his hands so while some refs may have dished out yellows because there wasnt much in it, the correct decision, and one you cant really argue with is a red card. Other than that, or maybe because of what we have become accustomed to this season, the referee seemed pretty good on the day. You could perhaps argue about a Lovitz foul in the first half (around the 2:10 mark in the “game in six” video below) but on the 10 point “Gantar scale” with 5 being average and 1 being David Gantar himself we give Jurisevic a 7.
As much as Chivas are a very very poor side this year – It cant be much fun for the players knowing the team likely wont be taking part in MLS next year and undoubtedly worrying about their futures – lets not take anything away from what was a decent TFC performance. There were pass marks all round in this game but if we had to single out a couple of performances that defined the game it would be the return of Captain Caldwell to steady the ship in defence and yet again the tireless work of Gilberto up front.
TFC had not recorded a clean sheet since August 2nd in Montreal and in the ensuing 7 games Caldwell racked up just 22 minutes against Chicago as TFC let in 15 goals and scored just 7.
His confidence and organisation at the back allows Michael Bradley to strut his stuff as our midfield general and also gives confidence to whichever youngster he is paired with at the back be it Doneil Henry or in most weeks Nick Hagglund. Welcome back Stevie !!!
As for Gilberto, he really is the “anti-Brazilian” and that is a compliment !! Watching Brazil in every world cup (except maybe this year after Neymar got injured) you cannot help but be in awe of their seemingly constant production line of silky skillful players. These guys do not graft or do the dirty work because they do not have to. Their superpowers such as they are come from their feet which can make the ball dance magically while they mesmerise the opposition !!! Gilberto is different … he has skill that’s for sure, but he throws himself 100% into games, working hard, tracking back, tackling and selflessly setting up others for goals (the backheel for Jackson’s goal as an example). Even when he was not scoring goals at the start of the season he was still doing the hard work to set up others and generally being a team player, and it is great to watch now that he has found his mark and is hitting the net regularly. A player that gives you 100% in a game and looks genuinely pleased to be in Toronto scoring goals is a BLOODY BIG DEAL in my opinion !
Gallery for this game: HERE
Game in Six
Steven Caldwell Interview
Michael Bradley Interview
Greg Vanney Interview